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NAMES

‘Music is very healing for us.’ BMC nurses receive guitars from rocker John Fogerty

Nurse Sarah Demers, at left, struck up a correspondence with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty, who later sent guitars to Demers and her co-workers.
Nurse Sarah Demers, at left, struck up a correspondence with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty, who later sent guitars to Demers and her co-workers.courtesy BMC

The trials of 2020 sparked a new song for John Fogerty. “Weeping in the Promised Land” — released, of all days, on Jan. 6 — touches on the Black Lives Matter movement, the pandemic, and the struggles of frontline workers.

“With dread in their eyes/ all the nurses are crying/ Everywhere sorrow/ Everywhere dying,” Fogerty sings.

“I feel so strongly about the nurses and what they are going through. They have been battling for almost a year and I know they felt alone with all this,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer told the Globe in an e-mail.

He’s not just talking the talk.

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A lifelong Fogerty fan, Boston Medical Center nurse Sarah Demers played Fogerty hits in her neurology and infectious diseases unit to brighten the mood.

“Music is very healing for us,” Demers said in a recent phone interview. “It puts a smile on all our faces [at the hospital]. His music symbolizes hope, strength; we can get through anything.”

And so she wrote Fogerty a letter a few months back, telling him how much his music means to her at BMC. She didn’t expect a response — but he sent her some face masks and a CD.

So she wrote back in January to thank him — this time commenting on how much his new song means to her as a nurse. Fogerty sent her a custom Fender acoustic guitar.

This week, Demers (and her co-workers) got another surprise: The former frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival sent 10 Fender guitars to BMC. Demers and her co-workers unwrapped some of the presents Thursday.

“I’m a musician, so my initial instinct is to send music,” said Fogerty. “My wife, Julie, told Fender Guitars what we were doing and they jumped on board and donated a bunch of guitars. ... Music is just so healing and joyful. We all respond to it. We can’t help it, it’s in our soul. So, having the guitars in their breakroom, well, they can pick it up, sing a song, and feel good for a minute.”

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While she doesn’t play guitar, Demers says she “might start,” adding with a laugh, “I was wondering if John could give me some lessons.”

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. She tweets @laurendaley1.


Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twiiter @laurendaley1.