When I was a kid my parents used to load the kids up into whatever car we had at the time. Maybe a section wagon or whatever could hold us all. We would travel to various places in New England where I’m originally from, Massachusetts, and turn on the radio and listen to whatever my parents were interested in at the time. We, the kids, didn’t have much choice but we usually enjoyed whatever was on at the time. Sometimes we’d get the Irish feed from Dublin to Boston and listen to Irish music. Other times it was the rock n toll station playing the likes of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, or Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR had a defunct sound. I was into them right off the bat.
This film depicts their meteoric rise to fame and their journey to this iconic concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Where all the biggest bands and music acts of the time played. Using the tried and true method of talking heads the doc gets to know what the band members are thinking from day to day moment to moment. The members consisted of the lead singer/vocalist, lead guitar, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty his brother, rhythm guitar, Stu Cook, bassist, and Doug Clifford drums. These guys rivaled the Beatles during the time of the 60s and 70s.
The documentary uses archival super 8 videos that band members and friends took during their tour of Europe on the way to Royal Albert Hall. Videos that show the band when they were nobodies struggling to make it in the music industry. This footage is narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. His voice perfectly marries the footage of this down-and-dirty type of band. His persona goes great with their style and grit. He was a great choice to narrate the doc.
The doc is split into two distinct halves. One where the archival footage narrated by Bridges tells the band’s story from beginning to the point of the tour they go on in Europe. The second half of the film depicts the band traveling around Europe visiting the sites and playing all their hits. The film culminates in them playing the iconic concert at the aforementioned Royal Albert Hall. They play all their hits from Proud Mary to Down on the Bayou to Travelin Band. It would have been a fun show to have witnessed firsthand.
That being said, listening to this band I’ve loved since when I was a little kid was a goosebump moment. I literally had goosebumps listening to all my favorite songs like Fortunate Son, Willy and the Poor Boys, Run through the Jungle, and Bad Moon Rising and the ones I already mentioned. The doc brought me into their world with all the archival footage and narrated that footage with the great voice of Jeff Bridges. It was everything I could imagine from a music documentary.
4 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen