The Old Man Down the Road

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"The Old Man Down the Road"
Single by John Fogerty
from the album Centerfield
Released December 1984
Recorded 1984
Genre Roots rock
Length 3:34
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) John Fogerty
Producer(s) John Fogerty

"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.[1]

Music video[edit]

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.)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1984-85) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 10
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 22
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 12
Germany (Official German Charts)[5] 49
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 35
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 11
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 27
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 90
US Billboard Hot 100 10
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks 1

Lawsuit[edit]

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 same.) 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.[9]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]