Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Green RiverReleased: 1969Charted:
In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, John Fogerty explained that the inspiration for "Lodi" came from trips with his father around central California, an area of the world where he "felt very warm and special." This seed of an idea grew into a story about a traveling musician whose career "is in the rearview mirror." Fogerty was only 23 when he wrote this song about an aging musician.
This song is a reflection on John Fogerty's days with The Golliwogs, an early version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. They had to struggle for success, playing wherever they could with dilapidated equipment and an often indifferent audience. He did not want a return to the Bad Old Days.
Lodi is a city in California located in the central valley, about 30 miles south of Sacramento and 75 or 100 miles east of San Francisco/Oakland. Fogerty and his earlier band often performed in "nowhere towns" like Lodi.
Fogerty sometimes covered this at concerts after he became a solo artist.
Drummer Doug Clifford claimed the band played a show in Lodi in their early days. Said Clifford: "There were nine people in there, they were all locals, they were all drunk and all they did all night was tell us to turn it down."
Al Wilson recorded a cover of this song. His version was issued on Soul City Records in America and on Liberty Records in the United Kingdom. It was played extensively in the few underground "Northern Soul" clubs of England during the late 1960s and early '70s, getting its first exposure at the famous Twisted Wheel Club Allnighters in Manchester, England.
In a radio interview, John Fogerty said when he was young his parents took him and his brother to camp at Lodi lake (called Smith lake then) and they hated camping there. So later on they wrote a song about Lodi using their old hatred for the place.
Tesla did an acoustic version of this song that was included on their 1990 live album, Five Man Acoustical Jam. Each band member got to pick a song to cover for the set, and Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta chose "Lodi" since he was born there.