Rock and roll hangs its hat today at the loss of one of the most influential bass players who ever rocked, Jack Bruce. With all the tributes that will surely be written I only want to say that it’s very much because of Jack Bruce that I play rock and roll today.
One of my earliest rock and roll memories is sitting in my friend, Eric’s bedroom listening to the first Cream album on a portable Decca stereo where the speakers had lights on them that flashed to the music.
I was probably 7 years old when we were rocking out to White Room and Badge. And though I would become a guitar player and though Eric Clapton got most of the glory for his guitar work in Cream, it was Jack Bruce that captured the fury and the freedom of rock and roll in his meandering improvisational bass playing that set the bar line for those that would follow his lead.
But it was Jack’s haunting high voice on songs like I’m So Glad, Strange Brew and Badge that resonates through my DNA when I think about those early years shedding in my bedroom learning those Clapton solos, listening to the band and songs that would shape my style and approach to rock and roll that carries over to the present day.
I’ll miss you, Jack. Can’t help but fantasize about an amazing power trio forming in heaven right now with Jack, Jimi and Bonzo. Talk about The Cream!