On Tuesday, Bruce Springsteen played the Concert For Valor, a big event honoring Veterans Day on Washington D.C.’s National Mall. This was a self-consciously patriotic event, but Springsteen’s set list wasn’t exactly a jingoistic affair. Along with Dave Grohl and Zac Brown, Springsteen covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 song “Fortunate Son,” an angry song in which a soldier lashes out at those who avoided the Vietnam draft through family connections. The song choice raised a few eyebrows, but John Fogerty, the former Creedence frontman who wrote the song, has rushed to Springsteen’s defense.
As The L.A. Times reports, Fogerty has issued a statement supporting Springsteen:
“Fortunate Son” is a song I wrote during the Vietnam War over forty-five years ago. As an American and a songwriter I am proud that the song still has resonance. I do believe that its meaning gets misinterpreted and even usurped by various factions wishing to make their own case. At its core I believe the issue is really about what a great country we have that a song like this can be performed in a setting like Concert for Valor… Years ago, an ultra-conservative administration tried to paint anyone who questioned its policies as “un-American.” That same administration shamefully ignored and mistreated the soldiers returning from Vietnam. As a man who was drafted and served his country during those times, I have ultimate respect for the men and women who protect us today and demand that they receive the respect that they deserve.
Springsteen also sang his own “Born In The USA,” another song that might rankle blindly patriotic types if they actually listened to the lyrics.