JOHN FOGERTY: No Respect for the Dead
Saul Zaentz (prn: Zants), the onetime owner of Fantasy Records, home to Creedence Clearwater Revival, as well as an Oscar-winning movie producer, died on Friday at home in San Francisco from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 92.
Aside from winning Oscars for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient, Zaentz will be remembered for allegedly ripping off John Fogerty when the singer and guitarist broke his contract with Fantasy. Fantasy owns the distribution and publishing rights to CCR’s music, and to extricate himself from his label contract, Fogerty signed away even more than the original contract had stipulated. Then in 1985, the bad blood between the two spilled again when Zaentz sued Fogerty for plagiarizing himself in the song “The Old Man Down the Road” off of Centerfield. Zaentz lost and then sued again, claiming defamation of character in the Centerfield songs “Zanz Kant Danz” and “Mr. Greed.” This suit was settled between Zaentz and Warner Brothers Records, and “Zanz Kant Danz” was changed to “Vanz Kant Danz.” Zaentz sold Fantasy years later, and Fogerty re-signed with the label in 2005. However, his last album, Wrote a Song for Everyone, was released by Vanguard Records.
Fogerty reacted to the news of Zaentz’s death by posting the video for “Vanz Kant Danz,” which depicts Zaentz as a pig, on his Twitter page. And earlier this year, in the video for his new song “Mystic Highway,” Fogerty poked fun at Zaentz. It showed Fogerty driving his pick-up truck and reminiscing about days gone by when he stops by a roadside stand. There an elderly gray-haired man, who looks like Zaentz, is sitting in a rocking chair, and beside him is a suitcase with CDs in it with a sign that reads, “Used stolen music for sale.”