The Creedence Clearwater Revival song written to insult John Fogerty

No classic band is safe from having the occasional power struggle. Even though it’s easy to let the individual members excel in their own fields, there comes a moment where you start to envy the person who hogs the spotlight, always getting the praise for the song while you’re left on the sidelines. While there’s a good chance that no one cared about the other members of Creedence Clearwater Revival outside of John Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook was stewing with anger when writing this album cut.

By the time CCR entered the 1970s, though, they may as well have been broken up. After the massive success of Pendulum and songs like ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’, the band weren’t happy with Fogerty dictating everything, leading to his brother Tom quitting the outfit before they even released another record.

Continuing on as a trio, Fogerty claimed that the rest of the band gave him an ultimatum, saying that they wanted to write songs as well. Giving up the reins for the first time, Mardi Gras was going to be the group becoming a true democracy, letting every member show their stuff and get their tracks heard as well.

When you’re standing next to the man behind songs like ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Travelin Band’, though, no one’s going to want to hear your feeble attempt at writing something. Once fans picked up Mardi Gras in the stores, though, Cook used his first piece on the record to insult Fogerty right to his face.

Outside of his tone-deaf bark, ‘Take it Like a Friend’ is practically a band therapy session put to music, as Cook lets Fogerty know how badly he had been treated for so long. From the first few bars, the line about giving someone else a chance and wanting Fogerty to “take it like a friend” is one of the most passive-aggressive ways that any rock star has gotten his point across.

This is not the kind of musical brilliance that you would get from artists like Fleetwood Mac, though. Considering how Cook is singing, there was a damn good reason why John Fogerty was the singer and songwriter, with Cook not caring about notes and barely singing in any kind of key throughout the track.

If anything, drummer Doug Clifford does a much better job with his songs, if only because he’s not as cynical on tracks like ‘Tearin’ Up the Country’. Since no one on Earth is going to want to be featured on a piece that’s directed about what a tyrant they are, Fogerty let go of the reins completely, refusing to play guitar on any of the songs and only contributing to his tracks like ‘Someday Never Comes’.

It doesn’t get much better further down the record, either, with Cook trading in his insults for a baffling song called ‘Door to Door’, which sounds like something that would have come out of a bluesy jam by a bunch of amateurs at a dive bar. While CCR had something for everybody in their prime, ‘Take It Like a Friend’ is the kind of cynical rock and roll track that sounds about as bad as its attitude.

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