John Fogerty On 'Proud Mary' Film: It 'Has Nothing To Do With Me Or My Song'

John Fogerty has taken issue with the forthcoming film Proud Mary, which shares the same name as his 1969 hit with Creedence Clearwater Revival. The musician said that he was not consulted about "using my song this way" and that the film has "nothing to do with me, or my song."

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Directed by Babak Najafi, the upcoming thriller stars Taraji P. Henson as an assassin. It premieres in theaters on Friday. In a statement, Fogerty said that other than the name of the song and name of its title character, the film has nothing in common with the song's sentiments.

"There is a movie in current release called Proud Mary. I don’t know much about it other than this. The main character is a black woman who is also an assassin. And apparently, her name is Mary," Fogerty said in a statement, adding that when he wrote the song five decades ago he was excited about writing his "very first good song."

"My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses," he continued. "This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it."

According to Fogerty, no one from the film consulted him. He also cited the film's poster, which changed his lyrics to be far from their original context. "No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of 'Proud Mary,'" he added. "The movie poster has my lyrics changed to read… 'killing for the Man every night and day.''

A rep for Fogerty confirmed to Rolling Stone that the musician is not pursuing legal action.

Fogerty went on to clarify "Proud Mary"'s meaning. "I wrote the song about a mythical riverboat, cruising on a mythical river, in a mythical time. Perhaps, the setting was 'back in time' on the Mississippi River. It was obviously a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life," he concluded. "Far from a story about killing people for money."

Following the publication of the story, a rep for Screen Gems, the production company distributing the film, told Rolling Stone, "We would love Mr. Fogerty to come see the film. He would see that his complaint that the film has nothing to do with the song's message as ‘a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life’ is inaccurate. That is precisely what our Mary is looking to do, and Taraji nails it perfectly."

John Fogerty's full statement:

There is a movie in current release called "Proud Mary." I don’t know much about it other than this. The main character is a black woman who is also an assassin. And apparently, her name is Mary.

I wrote the song "Proud Mary" fifty years ago, and I was very excited to have written such a good song. In fact, it was my very first good song.

My songs are special to me. Precious.

So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses.

This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.

Back in the day, I had decided that I needed to become more professional, more organized about my songwriting efforts.

I bought a little notebook and after few days, I wrote down the words Proud Mary. It was the very first entry in this book. At first, I didn’t even know what those words meant.

No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of Proud Mary. The movie poster has my lyrics changed to read…. “killing for the Man every night and day” 

Source : https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/john-fogerty-on-proud-mary-film-nothing-to-do-with-me-w515369

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