Album: Green River (1969)
Charted: 52

Songfacts®:

  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for above 2
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Gra - Stafford, 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    George - Stockton, CA
  • 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.

Comments: 35

  • AnonymousWho recorded it first ? Marvin gaye, gladys knight and the pips or credence clearwater revival ? I heard it through the grapevine
  • Olthe3rd from Chicago, Illinois, UsaAbszme Greyhound is a leading brand of interstate bus travel in the USA. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyhound_Lines. The narrator would have arrived in Lodi, California at that city's Greyhound station.
  • Abszme from Indiawhat actually was 'greyhound',mentioned in the lyrics...if it was a motorcycle,how did it look like and what make was it...just curious.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaMy second fav song by CCR. have been on the outskirts of Lodi. Am wondering what the reference to Johnny Cash is about in this song?
  • Nick from CanadaA Creedence Clearwater Revival song, "Lodi", was named for Lodi, California, although the songwriter John Fogerty admits he had never actually visited the city and simply thought it was "the coolest sounding name." Still, the song, with its chorus "Oh, Lord, stuck in Lodi again," has been the theme of various events in the city including a past Grape Festival. The narrator "came into town [on] a one-night [musical] stand," but his "plans fell through." He also laments how now that he is in Lodi, it "looks like they took my friends."
  • Star from Lodi, CaLiving in the city this is written about, I can say it really is a small town that is good for nothing. As a person who has never lived outside of Lodi & wants to be something in my life, I can say it is a terrible place for any artistic career to thrive. It is more aimed towards tourists and wine connoisseurs. However, definitely come to Lodi if you're a fan of the song! Haha. I wish I had more good to say of this town, but the song being written about it is really one of the main highlights. (Along with wine & A&W rootbeer)
    At least Lodi is close to wherever you may want to go in CA, be it SF, tahoe, or the state capital.
  • Dean from WisconsinI'm a huge fan of CCR and have listened to the Lodi version on Green River many times. I more recently got the album Europe-Live. As an intro to this song, I assume it is John Fogerty that says "A sad, sad song about a bad, bad photographer". One lyric is "The man from the magazine said I was on my way". Is the song about a man that is singing only because he can't make a living taking pictures?
  • Pat from TobyhannaAnyone who grew up in the Central Valley like I did knows what a po-dunk down Lodi was. Yes, John grew up in Berkley but there is no doubt that he knew Lodi, CA and this is exactly where he was talking about. It's also LIKELY that because this wasn't an actual experience but an idea that any other Lodi he may have come across only supported that one horse town feeling of what Lodi is. Really, he said he used to camp in the area with his brother so this is very likely the number one source of inspiration for the song. By the way, I love the feel of Lodi as a town, only visited there a few times - wouldn't want to try to become a star there but it's a lovely place.
  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkMan, I still love this CCR song. I recall buying the Green River album way-back-when & loved Lodi, Green River, & other songs on it. My brother inherited the album when I got drafted into the Army. Oh what fun! Love that "country feel" to the song & the way it sort of bounces along. Even though the original CCR broke up years ago, I still am a fan---even of John Fogerty & the Creedence Clearwater Revisited band. Rock on....
  • Steerforth from CaliforniaLodi, California. "The song describes the plight of a down-and-out musician whose career has landed him playing a gig in the small town of Lodi (pronounced "low-die"), a small agricultural city in the Central Valley about 70 miles from Fogerty's hometown of Berkeley" (California). Fogerty admitted that he had never been there before he wrote the song. He said that he chose the name, "Lodi", because it had "the coolest sounding name." Fogerty stated, "On 'Lodi', I saw a much older person than I was, 'cause it is sort of a tragic telling. A guy is stuck in a place where people really don't appreciate him. Since I was at the beginning of a
    good career, I was hoping that that wouldn't happen to me."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 17th 1969, Al Wilson's covered version of "Lodi" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; eventually it peaked at #67 and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100...
    Earlier in 1969 on May 18th Creedence Clearwater Revival's original version of the song peaked at #52 on the Top 100...
    After "Lodi" Al Wilson released six singles and none of them made the Top 100, then on October 14th, 1973 his "Show and Tell" entered the chart at #96 and January 13th, 1974 it peaked at #1 {for 1 week}...
    R.I.P. Allen Lamar 'Al' Wilson {1939 - 2008}...
    Note: There are 14 states with a city, town, or village named Lodi; Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, & Wisconsin.
  • Jorge from Mexico, MexicoI read somewhere that Fogerty originally wrote the line "Seekin' my fame and fortune driving through Ohio" which later changed to "Seekin' my fame and fortune lookin' for a pot of gold", this would mean that the Lodi town is not the one in California but the Ohio one at Medina County.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhHere's a down-on-your-luck song that many people can relate to, sort of a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of tale. You're stuck in some out-of-the-way town that no one's ever heard of...again! Okay, so it's not the first time you've been here. Yes, those fabulous lyrics, 'things got bad and things got worse, I guess you know the tune', meaning just about everyone's been there at some point in their own life. Once in awhile, during different travels with my husband, when we happen to drive through any random one-road country town with seemingly nothing going on, this song pops into my head.
  • Matt from Lodi, OhLodi is also a really small town in Ohio
  • Nikolai from Los Angeles, CaThe song is basically about the fear that Fogerty's fame could suddenly vanish, leaving him stuck in a small town with no way out.
  • Patrick from Lake Mills, WiThere's also a Lodi in Wisconsin, maybe 25-30 miles north of Madison, the state capital.
  • Cierra from Lodi, CaIM from this Lodi(: Lodi Lake is pretty boring and the camping isnt very funn:P oh well hahahahahahahahahahaha. Lodi is a VERY small town, we got to high school; Lodi High(: and Tokay>:P hahahaha GREAT SONG!!!!!
  • Jessica from Abrams, WiFive years ago I think when me and my mother was listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival's Lodi. My mother thought John Fogerty was singing Oh Lord I'm Stepping on an old diaphragm. Me and my mother started laughing!!!!. I really like the song Lodi a lot & it brings back memories!!!!.
  • Malina from Lodi, Calodi is where i grew up
  • Nicholaus from Tracy, CaPlease people! Don't refer to my beloved Central Valley's Town's and Cities as "Nowhere Town's"! It's a bit insultive, as we have a very rich heritage of peoples, cultures, and history. I live in "Tracy", which isn't all that far from Lodi and they could've very well named it "Trapped In Tracy Again". As they may have very well played in one of our old run down bars of that era just as easily....The point of the song is; just as soon as you think everythings going well for you, something happens and you hit the skids. And find yourself in random small town dives trying to irk out a living. Sometimes to no avail!
  • Wayne from Salem, VaOne of my favorite early CCR tunes. This is from the "Green River" album. I like the lines "If I only had a dollar for every song I've sung.Everytime I had to play while people sat there drunk". You can only imagine. Them in their early days. Trying to get somewhere,trying to make it. Playing little clubs and the patrons could care less.
  • Doc from Chapel Hill, NcJohn Fogerty admitted he had never been to Lodi, CA. He just thought it was a cool name for a small town. There is also a Lodi, NJ, Lodi, MO and Lodi, Italy.
  • Briar from Hazard, KyI like this song only because it sounds country.
  • Nady from Adelaide, AustraliaI nver understood this song because I thought he was singing "Oh lord, stalking Lodi again" and I thought Lodi was like the name of some girl he was stalking...peculiar I know
  • Wayne from Las Vegas, NvEveryone has gone through or is in one of the small towns like in the song. I think it would be pretty awesome to live in one of those. One of my favorite songs
  • Martin Sheen from Lima, NdSounds very country but still good
  • Derek from S-town, Megreat song but alot different than any eagles songs so you cant compare it to that.
  • Paul from Warren, MiThis song is one of my all-time favorite CCR songs. It tells a story about the city of Lodi, California. I really enjoy listening to the song.
  • David from South Sf, CaThe guitar in this song is incredible, so many moods and that presence just carrying the song along. Fogerty is the best artist to come out of the Bay Area.
  • Guido from Milano, ItalyAnd there's also an italian song from the '40 that talk about Lodi, it's call "La bella Gigogin" and the line about Lodi is the first one: "Andava a piedi da Lodi a Milano, per trovare la bella Gigogin" that means more or less: "He was going from Lodi to Milan on his feet to meet the gorgeus Gigogin".
  • Guido from Milano, ItalyLodi is also a little town in the north of Italy, about 30 km far from Milan. Us town is often named after italians one. And - yes - you can say that also the italian Lodi is a "nowhere town", though its cheese (a sort of parmisan) is quite famous and tasteful.
    Guido, Milano
  • John from Kalamazoo, Kythis song sounds depressing and it sounds like any part in someones life when they're having a rough part. This song is really great
  • Phil from San Jose, CaI do alot of camping in the delta outside of Sockton, Lodi, and Sacramento. So this is a cool song, great to kick back, fish and have a cold one!
  • Charles from Augusta,, GaGreat Song, much better than any wimpy ballads the Eagles did in the 1970's.
  • Ben from San Antonio, TxThe Tesla version is pretty good as well. My favorite part is "things got bad, things got worse, I guess you kmow the tune." Way too cool.
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