Four-Chord, Three-Chord, Two-Chord, It’s All Rock and Roll to Me

by Michael Walsh

Daniel: Your post about Michele Bachmann and the number of chords in “American Girl” reminds me of a story Andrew Lloyd Webber once told me about meeting John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival on an airplane (an anecdote I recounted in my biography of the composer):

ALW: “You’re the greatest three-chord band in the world.”

JF: “Andrew, we’re a two-chord band.”

In fact, I think you can make the argument that “Proud Mary” is essentially a one-chord song — it’s certainly constructed around an implicit pedal point — but the Corner is probably not the place for a music theory class.

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