“Lodi” by Creedence Clearwater Revival 

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lodi” is a song that centers on the lamentations of a character that can perhaps best be described as a busker. By the looks of things, his original plan was more akin to heading out west, doing his thing and making it big. But the reality of the situation differs from the fantasy. Instead, we find the narrator stranded in a dead-end career, being relegated to the low-end bar circuit – a modus operandi that has him feeling very much less than fulfilled.

And that fate is exemplified through the vocalist proclaiming that he’s “stuck in Lodi again”. Now for the record, first of all Lodi is a relatively-small, agriculturally-minded city found in California. And secondly John Fogerty, who wrote this song, never actually visited Lodi before doing so. However, he had traveled through the region before and therefore knew that it wasn’t an ideal place for the likes of a professional musician to be stranded.

So with all of that in mind, in context Lodi serves as a symbol. And what it symbolizes is the type of small town that no musician with dreams of becoming a celebrity would want to find him or herself marooned in. That is to say that even though it is situated out west, this city is still a long way from Hollywood, if you will.

Lyrics of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lodi"
Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty discusses "Lodi"

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival was a rock band from El Cerrito, a Californian – city that’s much smaller than Lodi even. The band was extant from the late 1950s to early 1970s. Their (non-live and non-compilation) discography only spans 1968 to 1972.

John Fogerty and the boys dropped a couple of Billboard 200 chart toppers during their day, as well as a number of hits single-wise also. But something that no one could have predicted is that during the early 2020s, via streaming platforms, the band has experienced a notable resurgence in popularity.

For the record, during the Creedence Clearwater Revival days John was backed by the following musicians:

  • drummer Doug Clifford
  • bassist Stu Cook
  • guitarist Tom Fogerty (who was John’s older brother)

Tom passed away in 1990.

Facts about “Lodi”

As noted earlier, it was John Fogerty who wrote this song. And even though he may not have been personally familiar with Lodi, the lyrics are based on the band’s own experiences playing in the small-town bar circuit.

The residents of Lodi have not taken offense to this song but have rather embraced it, on top of sorta using it for marketing purposes. And to reiterate Fogerty did not name the song so because he was personally familiar with the city but instead because, in his mind, this particular locality has “the coolest sounding name”.

John also served as the producer of this track.

Lodi was put out by Fantasy Records, with the company officially doing so on 15 April 1969. It was one of two lead singles  (the other being “Bad Moon Rising”) from “Green River”. “Green River” is one of the afore-referenced CCR albums that topped the Billboard 200. The the other being 1970’s “Cosmo’s Factory”.


The “Green River” Album

The album was released on August 3 of 1969. It is officially the band’s third studio album.

It was recorded at the defunct Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, California. This fourteen-tracked album was produced by a co-founder and lead singer of the band, John Fogerty. According to him, this is is his favorite album from the band.

The album produced a song of the same name, “Green River”. It has been regarded as one of the band’s best performing singles.

In 1969, aside from “Green River” two other albums recorded by the band were released through the American record label, Fantasy Records. They are:

  • “Bayou Country” (released in January)
  • “Willy and the Poor” (released in November)

In December of 1990, “Green River” earned a 3x Platinum certification from the RIAA. It had earlier received a Gold certification from the same institution in 1970.  

In 2005, the album featured in the famous book, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 95 on their “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.  

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