Wally Heider Studios

Music Mardi Gras Creedence Clearwater Revival (album - 1972)
Mardi Gras... A strange name for an album in the form of a final point. The swan song of a cult band from the 1960's, one last time in his favourite studio, Wally Heider, at the dawn of the tumultuous 1970's.
Hyde Street Studios Wally Heider Studios
"Hyde Street Studios" by celine nadeau is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“I became much more than the musician I dreamed of becoming.”

John Fogerty, singer and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Regularly visiting Wally Heider Studios since their beginnings, where they notably recorded Bad Moon Rising and the albums Green River, Cosmo’s Factory and Pendulum, the San Francisco Bay Area bluesmen returned for a final tour in the spring of 1971. In the meantime, Tom Fogerty preferred to leave the ship. The tensions with his brother will never subside. The atmosphere between the members of the trio is not very good, despite the comfort of the studios. Stuart Cook and Douglas Clifford offered to contribute to the composition but John Fogerty refused to do anything on their tracks. Soon after the release of the album he put his new plans into action and started a solo career.

The Creedence Clearwater Revival adventure began in 1958, at El Cerrito College, when John Fogerty, an apprentice guitarist, met drummer Douglas Clifford. Soon joined by bassist Stuart Cook, the duo also ended up including Tom Fogerty, John’s older brother, whose talent had already made him a household name on the local scene. The beginnings are rather laborious. In 1966, John Fogerty and Doug Clifford had to do their military service. When they returned to civilian life, things accelerated and their band was officially named Creedence Clearwater Revival. Creedence refers to the first name of a friend of John’s, while Clearwater refers to a brand of beer and underlines the musicians’ ecological commitment. The word Revival indicates a desire to impose a new musical direction, closer to the rough blues.

Among the first songs the band recorded was a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell on You. The style becomes more precise and refined thereafter, getting inexorably closer to that of the Delta artists that John Fogerty likes so much. So much so that one quickly thinks that CCR is a band from the bayou and not from the suburbs of San Francisco. When most West Coast bands were playing more or less psychedelic rock, Creedence Clearwater Revival was making deep blues rock from the facilities of Wally Heider Studios. Now a seasoned composer, John Fogerty took over the reins of the band and went on to score one hit after another. Her Proud Mary, for example, was a hit with Tina Turner and helped establish Creedence as one of the leading bands of the day. The concert at the Woodstock festival is proof of the importance of the band. A piece of evidence among others illustrating the stainless character of this cult formation.


Mardi Gras is the only album of the band to have been recorded as a trio.

Hyde Street Studios

Opened in 1969, Wally Heider Studios, now Hyde Street Studios, is one of the great musical institutions of the West Coast. Many classics have been recorded within these illustrious padded walls.

Opened in former 20th Century Fox premises, Wally Heider Studios quickly established its excellence in the Californian folk rock scene. Jefferson Airplane was among the first to record there, followed closely by Harry Nilsson, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Steve Miller. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young contributed to the fame of the place when they came to work on the cult Deja Vu. The complex is still in operation today, but has been renamed Hyde Street Studios.

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By Gilles Rolland

Monday, January 3, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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