Puneet Varma (Editor)

The Old Man Down the Road

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Released  December 1984
Genre  Roots rock
Label  Warner Bros.
Recorded  1984
Length  3:32
B-side  "Big Train (From Memphis)"

"The Old Man Down the Road" is a song by American rock artist John Fogerty. It was released in December 1984 as the lead single from Fogerty's comeback album, Centerfield. It became a top 10 hit single, peaking at number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and spending three weeks at the number-one spot on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart.

Contents

Music video

The video for the song features what appears to be, through a little trickery, an extended single camera sequence that follows an electric guitar cord through various scenes. Fogerty appears briefly throughout the video, both as himself and at least one other character (i.e. the character at the very beginning of the video.)

Lawsuit

Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records claimed that "The Old Man Down The Road" shared the same chorus as "Run Through the Jungle", a song from Fogerty's days with Creedence Clearwater Revival years before. (Fogerty had relinquished copy and publishing rights of his Creedence songs to Zaentz and Fantasy, in exchange for release from his contractual obligations to them.) Zaentz sued (Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty) but the defendant Fogerty ultimately prevailed when he showed that the two songs were whole, separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters (himself included) have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears.

After prevailing as defendant, Fogerty sued Zaentz for the cost of defending himself against the copyright infringement. In such (copyright) cases, prevailing defendants seeking recompense were bound to show that original suit was frivolous or made in bad faith. This case, Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., became precedent when the U.S. Supreme Court (1993) overturned lower court rulings and awarded attorneys' fees to Fogerty, without Fogerty having to show that Zaentz's original suit was frivolous.

References

The Old Man Down the Road Wikipedia


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