October 25, 2014 – Jack Bruce, best known as songwriter/bass player for 1960s Super Group Cream, has died of liver disease. In a statement issued by his family on Saturday, October 25, 2014 his family said: ““It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”
Bruce played bass, sang and was the principal songwriter in Cream, but even leaving aside that group, in which he played with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, his CV reads like a comprehensive guide to the British blues boom, with spells in Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc, the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann.
Following the demise of Cream in 1968, which opened the doors for another super group, called Led Zeppeling, Bruce worked mainly as a solo artist or as part of small groups. Cream reunited briefly in 2005 for a short series of shows, but soon split again. The animus between Baker and Bruce, which had made Cream so combustible in the 60s, and had caused Bruce to leave the Graham Bond Organization even before then, appeared to make any further Cream activity unworkable. The irony was that both had achieved their greatest commercial success together: not only were Cream hugely successful, but the album the two released with guitarist Gary Moore as BBM in 1994 saw them make a rare return to the top 10, it being as near to Cream as fans thought they would ever see.
Bruce’s life had been marked by health and financial troubles. In the late 1970s he struggled with drug addiction, and worked as a session musician to make money. In 2003 he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and that September he underwent a transplant. His body initially rejected the new liver, and Bruce almost died, but he recovered well enough to return to performance in 2004.
My all-time favorite songs from Jack Bruce are In a White Room and Sunshine of your Love, where the lyrics describe that beautiful time in the second part of the sixties, when for a moment we thought or at least hoped that the world could be guided back on track to civility.
Check out these videos:
Sunshine of Your Love from the Royal Albert Hall on November 26, 1986 at Cream’s Farewell Concert
In a White Room with Gary Moore and Ginger Baker in 1994
RIP JACK, we hope you get with Gary Moore tonight and blast one off for all of us.