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Creedence Sings “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”

We’re going to be talking about biking music for the next few days.

Tomorrow I’ll review the best MP3 portable speaker I’ve found. The next day that I’ll write about the also-rans.

After covering hardware, I’ll share some of my playlists that make the miles go by. I know there are some purists that think you should be “one with nature,” but there are some days when the hills are too steep, the wind is too strong or you don’t have anyone to talk with. Tunes help me get in a groove.

Do you know the origin of Bad Moon Rising?

Mary Garita on the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, FLMy former riding partner, Mary, was an innocent who would believe anything. One day we were riding along Ghost Road 27 when John Fogarty’s Bad Moon Rising cued up.

When the chorus started – “Don’t go ’round tonight, it’s bound to take your life, there’s a bad moon on the rise,” –  I asked, “Do you know the origin of that song?”

Of course, she didn’t.

Hank Bordowitz didn’t even have this story in his book, Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The Creedence bus was highballing with a broken bathroom

“One night, the Creedence Clearwater Revival bus was highballing through the swamps of Louisiana trying to make it to the next gig when the bathroom broke,” I explained.

“One of the band had to answer nature’s call, so he convinced the bus driver to pull off on the side of the road. He was in mid-stream when a highway patrol car pulled up with blue lights flashing and started to arrest the long-haired singer for indecent exposure and anything else he could come up with.

“They finally managed to convince the cop to let them go, but the experience has been immortalized in these lines forever, listen: Bathroom on the right. [It takes a c0uple seconds to load, so be patient.]

“Can’t you hear them singing, ‘Don’t go ’round tonight, it’s bound to take your life, there’s a bathroom on the right.‘”

In fairness to Mary, I’ve told that story to a number of people. The most common response is, “Really?”

[Disclaimer: I told my friends at Aussies on Bicycles Network Australia that, for the record, I do not use botox. I can keep a straight face while spinning these tales without the aid of chemicals. (Is alcohol a chemical? I may need to amend that last statement.)]

Gavin Edwards makes a living with misheard lyrics

Here are three of his books.

What song lyrics have you heard mangled?

(By the way, I’ve made the commenting process easier. You no longer have to register and remember a password to be able to post a comment. We’ll try it this way until and unless the spammers become a problem.)

6 comments to Creedence Sings “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”

  • My little sister, age about 5, went around singing the Stone’s “Time… is on your side, yes it is”
    as:
    “Time…piss on your side, yes it is.”

    I always figured “crocking” was another word for howling, after I thought I heard Elvis sing: “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, crockin’ all the time.”
    I was 4.

  • George P

    And you guys think I’M deaf????

  • SLM

    I have noticed in the past when riding with you and I can hear the music you are playing and that you play a lot of folk music and not music with higher beats per minute.

    I tend to listen to music (you will scoff at the term “music”) that has a bpm that is about the same cadence that I want to maintain when riding. Needless to say (put important to point out) I have several playlist in my iPods that accommodate when I have to ride into the wind and just put my head down and watch the salty tears hit my bike, as well as slow ones for those monster hills that seem to go on forever.

    On another subject, how is your former bike partner doing? Is she back to riding at all again after the accident?

  • SLM,

    I remember when you were creating interval mixes that combined fast and slow tempo songs that would encourage you to charge hard and then slow down to recover.

    If I’m climbing (and that doesn’t happen often down here), I’ll punch the skip button until something with more energy comes up.

    When we get to the day when I cover playlists, you’ll hear me say that I like songs with words.

    Civilization went to hell in a handbasket when CDs came out and there wasn’t enough room to print lyric sheets with type that didn’t require a microscope to read.

    Miz Mary, her partner and their two-year-old moved a county to the north of us. I talked to her on the phone about three weeks ago and she sounded great.

    She’s still having problems with vertigo, so she hasn’t ridden since her crash on Lake O two years ago.

    I really miss her. She’s one of the reasons my mileage is down.

  • Herb Sandy

    I went to a John Fogarty concert a couple of years ago, great show, btw, and when doing “Bad Moon Rising”, on the first chorus, he clearly sang “there’s a bathroom on the right!”, and pointed off to the right in an exaggerated way. The crowd had quite a laugh…

  • Herb,

    I can’t wait to send your comment on to some folks who didn’t believe my story.

    Thanks for the validation.