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Group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. The song is often interpreted as a protest of the Vietnam War (like "Fortunate Son
"), but when he performed it at the Arizona state fair in 2012, Fogerty told the crowd that he had been at Woodstock, watching the rain come down. He watched the festival goers dance in the rain, muddy, naked, cold, huddling together, and it just kept raining. So when he got back home after that weekend, he sat down and wrote "Who'll Stop the Rain," making it not a Vietnam protest at all, but a recounting of his Woodstock experience.
This was used in the 1978 motion picture of the same name starring Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. The movie was going to be called Dog Soldiers, but when the producers got the rights to use this song, they changed the title to Who'll Stop The Rain.
This was released as the B-side to "Travelin' Band." It's one of the many CCR singles to stall at #2. Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 hit in the US.
The line, "I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm" gave Bob Dylan the idea for the title of his 1975 song "Shelter From The Storm."
This is one of many rain-themed CCR songs, including "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"
When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked, "Does 'Who'll Stop The Rain' contain lyrically specific meanings besides the symbolic dimension?" His response: "Certainly, I was talking about Washington when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, 'Daddy stop the rain.' And my wife and I looked at each other and said, 'Well, not quite.'" (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for above 3)
Bruce Springsteen opened with this song during his summer stadium tour of 2003 whenever it was raining. (thanks, Brandon - New York, NY)
Mike Love of The Beach Boys
The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.
Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"
The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."