John Fogerty has created some great American music, first with his band Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Proud Mary," "Traveling Band," "Who'll Stop the Rain") and later flying solo ("Old Man Down the Road," "Centerfield"). Next up, the 59-year-old swamp-soaked rocker — whose current album Déjà Vu All Over Again has him on tour — takes a trip down CMT's Crossroads (Saturday, 9 pm/ET) for a rollicking jam session with country singer Keith Urban. Here, TV Guide Online talks to Fogerty about what it's like to be a legend in your own time.TV Guide Online: Did you enjoy doing Crossroads?
TVGO: Keith Urban was obviously excited to meet you. Have you ever met any of your own musical idols?
Oh, man, [Nashville guitarist and producer] Chet Atkins would be one. That was great because he was a really mellow and down-home guy. I met B.B. King in 1969. He was someone I really respected because he was the elder statesman. He was playing about 350 live dates a year then, probably still does today, and I remember I asked him if he'd ever missed a gig. He said, "No, but I think I was late once." You've got to like that work ethic!
TVGO: Ever been disappointed with someone?
Hmm... let's not go there. Let's just say the old adage "you never want to meet your idols" sometimes holds true. But happily, most that I've met have been very nice.
TVGO: And now you've reached legendary status.
No. Johnny Cash is a legend. I jump around and have way too much fun — legends don't act like that.
TVGO: Do you like when artists cover your songs?
Oh, yes, please take my tunes! I mean Ike and Tina Turner doing "Proud Mary"... it doesn't get any better. Tina really made that song her own.
TVGO: You went for many years not performing your old songs. Why?
I had a very unhappy relationship with my old record company. I felt I had been cheated out of the ownership of my songs. I really just divorced myself from those songs and that legacy. It sounds kind of crazy, but it was a mental shutdown due to some extreme adversity.
TVGO: Now you're back out on the road doing those classic tunes.
Well, I started doing the songs again because I've moved on, and that really was because I met my wife Julie and we started a family. My heart healed.
TVGO: Speaking of good places, did you ever think you'd be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
You know, when I had a paper route as a kid, I read about the Country Music Hall of Fame. And I just knew there would be a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day. Not so I could be in it, but so Duane Eddy could be in it. [Laughs.]
TVGO: And now you're both in. Give me five albums everyone should own.
Elvis Presley's first album; it's what set the world on fire. Ray Charles in Person, a great album that has "The Night Time is the Right Time." Jimmy Reed's Greatest Hits — his music just floors me. Buck Owens' Ruby, country music heaven. And Jerry Douglas' Lookout for Hope, a great dobro player [from Alison Krauss' band] whose music means so much to me.
TVGO: Your new CD has a bit of that classic Creedence Clearwater Revival sound.
I'm between a rock and a hard place with that. Sometimes people will complain when something I've done sounds like Creedence, and other times, if I do something different, people will say, "I wish it sounded more like Creedence."
TVGO: Is rock and roll still fun?
I'm still having a great time. The other day, someone asked my little daughter what her daddy did for work and she said, "He runs around like a funny guy." It's true, I do run around like a funny guy, screaming at the top my lungs. I love every minute of it.