Regular So Much Great Music readers/listeners may recall we’d previously explored the ingenious art of the fake ending, and crowned Jonathan Richman the pseudo-endings champion by quantity, employing an incredible 7 decoy usages in his 1977 live rendition of ‘Ice Cream Man.’ But I’d like to revisit the topic here to award an equally important title for the longest single fake ending duration – call it the qualitative title – to Creedence Clearwater Revival. In their 1970 hit ‘Molina,’ the band held their false finish for a full, time-stopping five-and-a-half seconds! That may not seem like all that much in writing, but just imagine this: a song reaches its climax and plays the final note, then takes that prescribed pause before finally starting up again. Now, count five-and-a-half seconds out to yourself (go on, do it, we’ll wait). That’s a long break, right? If you were listening to that much dead air on the radio you’d assume the deejay had fallen asleep in the studio and change the station. In this instance, Creedence belatedly returns with Doug “Cosmo” Clifford’s insistent drum beat and then, of all things, a sax solo – a rarity for any Creedence song, but the second of this tune to be played by none other than John Fogerty himself. Then 16 seconds later, they’re already hitting the fade-out.
Even though the prolonged gap should’ve theoretically provided ample time for Fogerty to drop his axe and pick up his sax, Creedence never performed this song live in concert, and neither has Fogerty done so throughout his long solo years. A fake ending of that length is likely no match for the awkward reality of a rock and roll band staring out at an audience for five-and-a-half long and silent seconds.