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Simply the fact that Doug Clifford was a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival lifts him to the select company of one of the most important drummers in rock music history. Although CCR’s peak success dates back more than 30 years, their hit songs like “Proud Mary” or “Bad Moon Rising” are frequently listened to on the radio throughout the world. You might not find dodgy beats or odd licks in Doug’s style of drumming, but solid grooves and an authentic blues and rock & roll feel on monstrous 18” hi-hats is what distinguishes him from so many other drum legends! The rock and roll heroes of the mid 50s were probably Doug’s main influence, but seeing Jazz legend Gene Krupa on TV encouraged him to start playing the drums at the age of 13. In 1969, Doug joined the Paiste family as one of the first and still active official endorsees. His cymbal choice was the Formula 602, a series that he still admires and uses. After more then four decades of playing, Doug “Cosmo” Clifford can still be seen performing CCR’s timeless hits with his current band Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

How did the band form?
The band started in 1958 in middle school. I heard R&R piano licks coming from the music room so I stopped and listened. When the kid stopped playing I walked up to him and said that’s authentic Fats Domino, and Little Richard, do you want to start a band? The kid was John Fogerty and he said “yes, but actually I play guitar and I am looking for a piano player.” I said I know the guy, his name is Stu Cook, and we became an instrumental trio, Tom Fogerty came later.

Who are some of your favorite Paiste artists today?
I like ALL the Paiste players, as we are all brothers and sisters - a family, if you will!

How did you first become familiar w/ Paiste?
Creedence was starting to take off and I was breaking a lot of cymbals. Kenny Williams, the owner of a drum shop in SF, told me about a new line of cymbals called Paiste, and he said they were more durable yet maintained great tone. I tried them and loved them and I still do. That was 44 years ago.

Tell us the story about how you began playing 18” Hi-Hats?
I came up the idea of using 18" hi hats as soon as I started using Paiste because I wanted a bigger sound and more options. First I had to go to the hardware store and buy a stronger spring because drums were not built like they are today. Solving that problem helped me in many ways, giving me options for arrangements that still serve me today.

What is it about Paiste that has kept you loyal for over 43 years?
I like Paiste because they are constant and innovative; they are a great company that you can count on and when you tour as much as we do it is comforting to know they have my back.

Birthday: 4-24-45
Hometown/birth place: Palo Alto, CA
Playing drums since: 1958
First Drum set: old beat up Slingerland kit
First Paiste Cymbal(s): Formula 602 (1969)
Heroes/admirers: Gene Krupa, Al Jackson, Jr., the great R&B & R&R drummers from the 50’s & ‘60’s
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Favorite food: Anything spicy

View Cosmo’s Artist Profile

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