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Cream

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thanks, 7/4!

Sure thing! :g

I'm listening to Sunshine of Your Love now. It's a pretty good audience recording, I'm looking forward to the DVD(s).

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Cream Mulling New York Run?

July 18, 2005

By Ray Waddell, Billboard.com

SOURCE: Billboard.com

On the heels of its early May reunion run at London's Royal Albert Hall, legendary power trio Cream may be crossing the Atlantic for another round of shows this fall. Sources say dates are being "unofficially" held for three concerts at Madison Square Garden in October.

Guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce regrouped for the first time since their 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a May 2-6 stand at London's Royal Albert Hall. The shows grossed more than $3.6 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.

"Live, Cream was a great, hardworking band -- Eric was supreme and Ginger the most musical drummer alive -- and those original live albums were very good, probably the best records of their kind up to that point," Bruce told Billboard in 1997, prior to the release of the boxed set "Those Were the Days."

Neither Madison Square Garden nor Clapton's agent would confirm that the dates were being held.

As previously reported, Clapton's next studio album, "Back Home," is due Aug. 30 via Reprise/Duck. The set features guest appearances from John Mayer, Steve Winwood, Robert Randolph and Simon Climie.

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Cream Reunion

Three Nights Only at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, New York October 24th, 25th, 26th, 2005

(September 6, 2005, New York, NY) -- On the heels of four hugely successful nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall and after much speculation, the eagerly anticipated Cream reunion lands in New York for three exclusive nights at Madison Square Garden. In what will be one of the must see shows of this decade and their only appearance in the U.S., legendary rock group, Cream - Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, - will play Madison Square Garden October 24th, 25th, 26th, 2005.

Also this Fall, Rhino Home Video and Reprise Records release the bands‘ triumphant reunion performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall on DVD and CD. The London shows were brilliantly captured on HD and 5.1 surround sound. More information on these titles will be forthcoming.

Cream formed in 1966 and disbanded in 1968. In just under three years the band produced three seminal studio albums, ‘Fresh Cream’ (1966), ‘Disraeli Gears’ (1967) and ‘Wheels of Fire’ (1968) and secured worldwide acclaim and commercial success with their unique take on electrified blues. The band were a prolific and thrilling live act and toured incessantly in their short but remarkable history. Prior to the Royal Albert Hall shows, the last time the band played together was in 1993 when the group was inaugurated into the Rock and Roll Hall Of fame in Los Angeles.

These shows will be produced by Ron Delsener Presents and tickets will be available in advance to American Express cardmembers.

Ticket On-Sale Information

Tickets will go on-sale first to American Express cardmembers through a special pre-sale, beginning Monday, September 12th at 9am. Tickets can be purchased via ticketmaster.com and there will be a 4 ticket per person limit.

If tickets remain, they will then go on-sale to the general public on Monday, September 19, 2005.

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I always found Clapton, even in Cream, to be rhythmically stiff - could not compare to Peter Green or Mike Bloomfield or Jeff Beck - just my opinion -

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Royal Albert Hall: London May 2-3-5-6 2005 is the CD title.

Cream - Royal Albert Hall: London May 2-3-5-6 2005 is the DVD title.

release date: October 4, 2005. :excited:

I've been listening to the 5/5/05 show this afternoon, so I'm really looking forward to these releases.

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October 25, 2005

Rock Review | Cream

Cream Returns, Mellowed

By BEN RATLIFF

When venerable rock bands mobilize their management, their lawyers, their crews and matériel, and go back on the road, there's usually some degree of padding in their shows. A horn section, backup singers, an extra guitarist or keyboardist in the shadows all buttress the sound, firming it up.

The major attraction of Cream's limited reunion is that it's only the three of them, as forceful or sludgy or spindly as they may be. You must factor in their age, the encroachment of mellower temperaments. But still, the band was recognizable last night at Madison Square Garden in its heavy greasiness, its stomp, its throaty singing and some of its blare.

Cream existed only briefly in the late 60's and so is fixed in history a certain way, as purveyors of intense, long-form playing. Last night's efficient, more formalized set didn't conform to the historical record, but if you've been watching closely, you already know that. The band put on a series of shows in London in May, and the concert at the Garden generally adhered to those shows' set lists - and to the exact track order on the live album and DVD from those shows, "Royal Albert Hall" (Reprise), released three weeks ago.

Like the London shows, the concert heavily reinforced the notion of Cream as an overdriven blues band, with the band's versions of Skip James, Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson mixed in with its better-known originals, from "White Room" to "Sunshine of Your Love." ("Tales of Brave Ulysses" was the only surprise, a deviation from the new live album. "Never before done onstage," Eric Clapton declared when it was finished.)

But blues is Mr. Clapton's bread and butter, and he played it well, superbly at times; if there were few frenetic outbursts, he still played riffs beautifully, like the one in "Born Under a Bad Sign." Except when Mr. Clapton overpowered the sound with high-note soloing, Cream is a band with a low center of gravity, reinforced by Jack Bruce's bass playing and Ginger Baker's drumming. Holding his sticks at the bottom to wield maximum thump, Mr. Baker displayed a version of rock drumming that was at least half tom-toms.

Cream was at its best when cruising in mid-tempo or slower. In "Sweet Wine" there was a feeling of settling in, and the band did what great groups do: subtly adjust the dynamics around what you're supposed to hear, which in this case was one of Mr. Clapton's better solos. In "Stormy Monday," the audience adjusted its own dynamics: when Mr. Clapton sped up his licks, organizing them into hectic focus, there was a rising, calibrated roar.

As a bonus in a clockwork show, there were even a few longueurs, like Mr. Bruce's extended harmonica solo in Muddy Waters's "Rollin' and Tumblin'," and "We're Going Wrong," full of slow, sticky dread.

You couldn't afford a ticket? It's really all right. Watch the DVD.

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Cream rises to the top: A legendary '60s group reunites to revisit its past

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

BY JAY LUSTIG

Star-Ledger Staff

NEW YORK -- Blues revivalists, pop hitmakers, proto-metal band, head-spinning jam combo. Cream was all those things in its 2 1/2-year reign as a top rock act in the 1960s, and it was all those things Monday night at Madison Square Garden, presenting the first of three reunion shows.

For blues majesty, you couldn't beat "Stormy Monday," featuring a long, cathartic solo by guitarist Eric Clapton, or "Rollin' and Tumblin'," howled by Jack Bruce, who also played harmonica instead of his usual bass. For pop accessibility, there was the smooth-grooved "Sunshine of Your Love," saved for the show's only encore.

For heavy-metal crunch, there were the power chords and bellowed vocals of "Sweet Wine," and the lurching menace of "Politician." For jam-band expansiveness, there was "Toad," a 10-minute instrumental, mostly featuring just drummer Ginger Baker, who managed to retain a sense of swing even as his rhythms became progressively more complex.

Cream was, and is, a three-man band capable of just about anything. "Pressed Rat and Warthog," an odd little story-song, was drolly recited by Baker. "N.S.U." veered toward psychedelia.

Few rock concerts are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but this one qualified. That's not to say that Cream is picking up exactly where it left off when Clapton, now 60, Bruce, 62, and Baker, 65, went their own ways, in 1968. Whereas the original group was wild and combustible, the current version is more careful and precise.

At times during Monday's two-hour show -- the ferociously raw "Rollin' and Tumblin'," an extended jam on "Sunshine of Your Love" -- you felt anything could happen. But mostly, the band was content to revisit the past. And a few numbers simply didn't measure up. "Crossroads" was slowed down, with some soul added, but much drive lost. "Born Under a Bad Sign" seemed lethargic.

There were few surprises for anyone who has seen the DVD set or heard the CD set documenting the band's first four reunion shows, which took place in May in London. (No other shows have been mounted, or are currently planned.) Only one song, "Tales of Brave Ulysses," was added to the standard setlist, and it was met by huge cheers.

Why did Cream wait nearly four decades to reunite? Well, the musicians were frequently feuding, and Clapton has been hugely successful on his own. In an interview segment on the London DVD, Clapton explained that he resisted the idea of a reunion for years, but finally asked himself "Why not?" instead of "Why?"

"We are one of the few groups from (the '60s) who can honestly say that we can get back together again and do exactly -- almost -- what we did then," he said. "And I thought, 'Well, if that's the case, we would really be kind of crazy not to.'"

Indeed, all three musicians have made it through the years with their skills remarkably intact. Bruce still has a commanding voice and is an agile bass player. Baker still deserves to be considered one of the rock world's most creative drummers, rarely content to play a simple beat. Clapton's guitar solos still combine flash with slow-building drama, and though he sings less than Bruce, his plaintive vocal style adds another important flavor.

Perhaps it was necessary for the band, so forward-looking in the '60s, to be so focused on the past now. The musicians had to get reacquainted with each other before anything else was possible. But if the reunion is to continue beyond the Garden stand, they can't keep on playing the same old songs, every show.

It's not certain, of course, if Cream has a future. But after seeing Clapton, Bruce and Baker onstage together after 37 years, one believes that anything is possible.

Edited by 7/4

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Cream's "Sunshine" Days are Over

by Charlie Amter

Oct 27, 2005, 4:05 PM PT

back to story

Cream may have finally curdled.

Just days after the legendary group performed concerts in New York, the Eric Clapton-led band may have split up for good.

According to a Reuters report, the band's promoter and publicist say the trio's recent shows were likely their last.

"The band has no plans for the future," publicist Kristen Foster of KFPR told the news agency Thursday.

The "Strange Brew" singers are just coming off reforming for a string of shows in London, New York and Los Angeles over the past few months.

The English blues-rock pioneers could have surely launched a larger world tour based on the strength of the recent gigs; yet the appetite to do so is apparently not strong for remaining band members Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Clapton.

Cream announced they would re-form last December in England.

They went on to perform their first show in decades at London's venerable Royal Albert Hall in May--the same venue was the site of the power trio's final gig in 1968.

Since the group's disintegration 35 years ago, the only other time Clapton, Bruce and Baker appeared onstage together was when they performed a scorching three-song set at Cream's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After the jam, an emotional Clapton told audience members that he was "moved" by the band's performance, sparking a decade's worth of talk of a possible reunion.

"It's been so long since I've been around something from somebody else that's inspired me. For the last 20 years, it's been up to me to inspire me," Clapton said at the time.

Cream was formed in 1966 when Clapton left another Hall of Fame band, the Yardbirds, and hooked up with Bruce, a Scotsman from blues outfit Manfred Mann, and Baker, who played toms for the Graham Bond Organization.

Known for its blues and psychedelic-infused jams, the threesome quickly established itself among the rock pantheon.

The band released just four albums in two years--Fresh Cream, Disreali Gears, Wheels of Fire and Goodbye--but left an indelible mark on classic rock with such radio standards as "Sunshine of Your Love," "Strange Brew," "Spoonful," "White Room" and "Crossroads."

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MUSIC REVIEW

Strange brew with a vintage Cream froth

BY RAFER GUZMÁN

STAFF WRITER

October 27, 2005

Ginger Baker's nine-minute drum solo came near the end of Cream's two-hour show Monday night, and it was worth the price of admission - even if you did pay $354.50 for your seat.

Drum solos are a thing of the past, as is Cream itself, and there was certainly something nostalgic about this reunion show. The souvenir programs were square, like album covers, and even the tickets, emblazoned with the band's art nouveau logo, were collector caliber. But on stage, the three musicians - Baker, guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist-singer Jack Bruce - seemed less interested in revisiting glory days than in continuing Cream's original mission: channeling the blues into a form of powerful, pounding, mind-altering rock and roll.

Some in the audience altered their own minds (the smell of marijuana was powerful) and they probably enjoyed the vintage color swirls on the video backdrop, not to mention the band's famously nonsensical lyrics, better than most. But you didn't need a controlled substance to enjoy the spectacle of three astoundingly good musicians doing what they do best. Baker provided the thudding beats (and some delicate, jazzy fills) while Bruce drove the melodies with his bass and Clapton painted glowing canvases with his guitar.

Clapton generally took a back seat to Bruce, who resumed his role as the band's front man as if only a few months, rather than nearly 40 years, had passed. (Cream played its last U.S. concert at the Garden in November 1968.) Bruce opened the show with "I'm So Glad," then delivered a snarling version of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful." On "Rollin' and Tumblin'," a blues numberplayed at steam-engine speed, he traded his bass for a harmonica while still belting out the lyrics. He juggled all three on the mournful "Sitting On Top of the World."

(Near the end of the show, Bruce's fast-working left hand appeared injured - he frequently dropped it from the neck of his bass, flexing his fingers or pressing them to his thigh as if trying to work out a cramp - but there was no audible change in his playing.)

Clapton revealed more spirit and imagination than he has of late. He sang passionately on "Stormy Monday" and worked up some friction with his guitar. And during the closing "Sunshine of Your Love," he delved into the distorted, swirling jams that made him a legend in the first place. Clapton has obviously eclipsed Bruce and Baker since the demise of Cream, but his old band mates served him well Monday. Clapton's take on "Crossroads" would have fallen flat without Baker's punchy drumming, and it was Bruce's hard-hitting bass that gave "Tales of Brave Ulysses" its power.

The show had more than a few meandering moments - but then, this is a '60s band we're talking about. Overall, Cream made its version of the blues sound once again very much alive.

CREAM. Past its expiration date but still fresh. Monday through Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. Seen Monday.

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

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Cream rises to occasion

By Joan Anderman, BostonGlobe Staff | October 26, 2005

NEW YORK -- It is the mother of all reunions. Cream -- the original supergroup, seminal power trio, and egomaniacal virtuosos who in a mere two years laid the foundation for heavy rock, jam bands, and celebrity feuds -- is back together for at least a few fleeting moments. Ironically, there was little heaviness, jamming, or feuding Monday night at Madison Square Garden during the opening show of Cream's three-night stand here -- the only concerts the band has scheduled in the United States.

The only nod to psychedelia was an oozing rainbow backsplash, against which drummer Ginger Baker sat ramrod straight, peeling off taut rhythms with marvelous efficiency. Eric Clapton, ever the laid-back guitar god, seared his instrument to perfection. Bassist Jack Bruce, the evening's revelation, crisscrossed his bandmates' sensible paths with mischief and daring.

Nearly four decades after the British trio's brief, illustrious run in the late '60s, however, mastery never quite translated to synergy, and supreme balance trumped magic and chaos every time.

But what balance. This mix was so democratic one imagines that lawyers were involved. It was clear from the start of Cream's 20-song set -- a glistening, streamlined version of the Skip James gem ''I'm So Glad" -- that the signature three-headed assault of the band's early days was a thing of the past. In short order ''Spoonful," which stretched out graciously but never wandered too far or too long from center, confirmed Cream's shift into the mature musician's comfort zone -- forsaking the wildfires of youth for clean lines and predictable plots.

''Crossroads," gilded with the solo Clapton gleam, was pared to three minutes. The classic-rock radio staples ''White Room" and ''Sunshine of Your Love" promised great peaks but were reined in soon after the ascent began. Again during ''Sweet Wine," the elusive riveting groove emerged only to disappear before liftoff, the victim of careful scheduling.

Oddities like Baker's spoken-word piece ''Pressed Rat & Warthog" and the skewed blues ''Politician" stood out all the more for their distinctive textures. And a show-stealing version of ''Rollin' and Tumblin' " -- a careening mess of Bruce's harmonica, Clapton's slide guitar, and Baker's snapping snare -- was a too-fleeting foil to the night's wealth of tasteful restraint.

It's worth noting that with the exception of a brief set at the band's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Clapton, Bruce, and Baker hadn't played together in 37 years until this past May, when Cream did four dates at London's Royal Albert Hall. All got what they've candidly revealed they came for -- Clapton the collaborative spark, Bruce and Baker the paycheck, and the audience a massive jolt of quality nostalgia -- which inspired the group to book the New York shows.

One wonders what might happen if Cream continues on as a trio and makes an investment in unearthing the magic as well as relearning the songs.

Joan Anderman can be reached at anderman@globe.com.

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Long-awaited licks of Cream served up at MSG

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

Talk about your leisurely breaks.

A staggering 37 years after Cream last set foot on American soil, the trio reunited Monday night for the first in a series of three shows at Madison Square Garden.

Unsurprisingly, the reconstituted Cream served up last night wasn't quite the same brew that peaked in the '60s. Rarely did their riffs, leads or beats strike the unique dynamics and strategies of Cream's genius. Thankfully, they did mine other qualities in the music that proved stalwart and pleasing in their own right.

At the Garden, fans got to hear a sleek and pruned version of the world's premiere power trio. In classics like their opener, "I'm So Glad," or "Born Under a Bad Sign," the players carefully navigated the melodies and offered thoughtful swipes at jams. Only a few times, however, did the group approach the spontaneity or abstraction that once made this act the cream of all jam bands.

When the group formed in 1966, their fantastic notion was to treat blues-rock with the wild improvisation and dense soloing of free jazz - to mix John Mayall with Ornette Coleman. Toward that end, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker used to play like they were trying to run each other off the stage. Bruce's bass solos in particular shoved and prodded Clapton's leads, until you weren't sure if the two were about to fight or embrace. It was a riot of sound, and a profound one at that.

Just twice last night did the neo-Cream approach that kind of mania. In "N.S.U." and "Sweet Wine," the players teased and flirted with each others' licks to create a heady cascade of solos. Elsewhere, in "Stormy Monday" or "Sleepy Time," Clapton hit his peaks while the others held back.

Even in these sections, the group found a power in the sexy grind of their blues riffs. Songs like "Badge" and "Tales of Brave Ulysses" had real swing.

Other numbers lapsed into the tepid. The band played "Crossroads" at half the pace of old. They pulled their punches on "White Room," and "Toad" found Ginger Baker shuffling more than pounding.

However, the excitement generated by the pure notion of Cream playing together again carried them through. And rarely did they fail to deliver at least a tasteful performance. But for a group that staked its legend on pushing rock's boundaries, it's too bad their comeback didn't foster a greater sense of adventure.

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Cream rises to the occasion

October 26, 2005

BY JEFF JOHNSON Staff Reporter, Chicago Sun Times

NEW YORK -- What took them so long?

That question must have been on the minds of many in the crowd of about 24,000 who turned out Monday night at Madison Square Garden for Cream's first full-length U.S. show in 37 years.

It must be painful, though, for the men of the British power trio to come face-to-face with the realization that nothing in their post-Cream repertoire, although occasionally brilliant, has ever approached what they created over a 28-month period ending in November 1968.

The band had a rather slender body of work, with just four studio albums. Still, it left a giant shadow over rock music. Guitarist-vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist-vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker -- the Cream of the crop, as their name boasted -- whipped up a strange brew of psychedelia, the blues, rock and improv jazz to create a sound that was totally fresh at the time. Their farewell album was called "Goodbye," and they stuck to it, with the sole exception of a set at the 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

CREAM'S SET LIST

"I'm So Glad"

"Spoonful"

"Outside Woman Blues"

"Pressed Rat and Warthog"

"Tales of Brave Ulysses"

"N.S.U."

"Badge"

"Politician"

"Sweet Wine"

"Rollin' and Tumblin' "

"Stormy Monday"

"Deserted Cities of the Heart"

"Born Under a Bad Sign"

"We're Going Wrong"

"Crossroads"

"Sittin' on Top of the World"

"White Room"

"Toad"

"Sunshine of Your Love" (encore)

But so long after the expiration date, how would Cream hold up? It was obvious from the sloppy presentation Monday night that their material has spent a long time in the deep freeze. Still, the songs stood the test of time.

The band had reunited in May for five shows in London that became the "Royal Albert Hall" album and DVD, both released earlier this month. The set list from those shows basically was duplicated at the Garden, with a few additions, notably the trippy "Tales of Brave Ulysses," which Clapton announced, tongue in cheek, was "never before done onstage."

The three Garden shows, which wrap up tonight, were added to the reunion to allow the lads to let down their hair in New York -- always their most enthusiastic U.S. fan base. They sold out immediately, with top-end tickets priced at $354.50. The legal scalpers were asking about 12 times face value online. A quick computation: The house is scaled to gross about $3.5 million per night. Cream no doubt would fetch similar prices in every major city -- a powerful incentive to take the revival on the road.

They appeared fashionably late onstage, dressed for a night of jamming in the garage. The two-hour show had its ragged notes, with a false start by Baker on one number and a few times when they seemed to be playing at different tempos. With their penchant for acronyms in their song titles (such as the ultra-cool "N.S.U.," which they played, and "S.W.L.A.B.R.," apparently gone to psychedelic heaven), they should have avoided this one: "SNAFU."

Clapton -- who has been reluctant to cut loose with guitar solos during his recent solo tours -- was like a prowling jungle beast with fresh meat in his jaws as he tore into lickety-split runs during the band's covers of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday" and Robert Johnson's "Crossroads," done at the lilting gait of Clapton's recent "Me and Mr. Johnson" solo project. His vocals, though, were subdued, especially for "Outside Woman Blues," where he backed away from the mike as if overcome by shyness.

The MVP of Cream always has been Bruce, and he was in great form Monday night, running up and down the fretboard and trading riffs with Old Slowhand as if his bass were a lead instrument, rather than a bottom-end foundation builder. His voice, perfect for singing rock 'n' roll, was alternately a bellowing foghorn for the boastful "Politician" and the foreboding "Deserted Cities of the Heart" and a siren sweetly singing for "Tales of Brave Ulysses." He displayed prowess on the harmonica, too, for Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin,' " the veins bulging in his temples as he blew his heart out.

The enigmatic Baker, whose visa troubles related to old drug and tax issues almost prevented the U.S. shows, is not the banger he once was, adding jazzy flourishes instead of his old thunder on numbers such as "Sweet Wine." And his one spoken-word vocal turn, on the curio "Pressed Rat and Warthog," was delivered haltingly and off kilter. His nine-minute signature drum solo for "Toad" was inventive, building on a few basic rhythmic themes as the crowd roared its approval.

One of the greatest revelations onstage was how well the blues classics work alongside the group's self-penned hits such as "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room" and "Badge." British poet Pete Brown, who supplied the lyrics for many Cream tunes, must have had the soul of the Delta blues poet.

Cream's original material was driven by special effects such as fuzz tones, reverb and wah-wah pedals, which Clapton kept in the gym bag through most of the evening. He played the entire show unadorned on the Fender Stratocaster, which may have hamstrung the group from utilizing the full range of sounds from the '60s.

These quibbles aside, this is a band that still has plenty to say. It would be welcome news indeed if Cream decides to polish its act after the Garden shows, write some new material and soldier on.

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Rock group Cream takes final bow

Glowing reviews for Clapton and band as they part ways

Reuters

Updated: 1:09 p.m. ET Oct. 28, 2005

NEW YORK - After reunion concerts packed with nostalgia and their signature gritty blues-rock, Eric Clapton and his pioneering British band Cream are parting ways again, their promoters said Thursday.

Performances in New York and London were the last planned for the band that broke up in 1968 after turning obscure blues songs into Top 40 hits and transforming guitarist Clapton into a household name and rock ’n’ roll legend.

“The band has no plans for the future,” said publicist Kristen Foster of KFPR.

A few U.S. newspaper headlines poked fun at the aging trio after their final performance in New York on Wednesday night, one summing up their style as “geezer” rock. But the Madison Square Garden concert won generally glowing reviews.

The band “dipped into the musical fountain of youth for a tight jam of blues-rock that thrilled the sold-out house,” said the New York Post.

“Cream’s driving, powerful sound isn’t old, even though Clapton, the youngest of the three, turned 60 this year,” said The Washington Post, adding that the concert was “more than just a nostalgia trip.”

There was plenty of nostalgia.

White hair and loosened ties predominated in the arena, while onstage -- on what looked like a giant computer monitor -- the band’s signature psychedelic album artwork was updated on a digitized, kaleidoscopic screen saver.

Some worried that age and health problems for the three musicians -- Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Clapton -- would turn the show into a psychedelic “doo-wop” revival. Modern Guitar Magazine’s Tom Guerra said, “Those fears were put to rest as soon as Cream took the stage.”

Starting with their set with Delta bluesman Skip James’ ”I’m so Glad,” written in 1931, Cream packed their own greatest hits into the nearly two-hour set, a mix of songs they wrote, like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Badge” and “White Room,” and played the blues standards they updated in the 1960s, like ”Crossroads” and “Rollin’ and Tumblin.”

The group, known for onstage spats and sparring egos, surprised the rock world by announcing a series of shows this year in London and York. They were almost immediately sold out and tickets were being scalped for up to $4,000.

“The underlying vibe was that a musical miracle was taking place,” said Dan Aquilante of the New York Post. But he added: ”Why, after all these years, the three have agreed to any reunion, even one as fleeting as this one, is unclear. You could guess it’s about the money or about reclaiming their place in rock history while all three men are alive.”

The seven concerts -- the three this week in Madison Square Garden and four in London’s Royal Albert Hall last May -- could generate $100 million in tickets, record sales, videos and related products, industry experts say.

While rock concerts proceeds aren’t what they used to be, older acts like Cream and the Rolling Stones continue to rake it in, since their fans have the funds to pay for $175 average tickets and $40 T-shirts.

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"Tales of Brave Ulysses" was the only surprise, a deviation from the new live album. "Never before done onstage," Eric Clapton declared when it was finished.

Ummm - he must have been smoking something. What exactly is track 4 on side one of Live Cream, Volume II?

Mike

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Cream's "Sunshine" Days are Over

by Charlie Amter

Oct 27, 2005, 4:05 PM PT

back to story

Cream may have finally curdled.

Just days after the legendary group performed concerts in New York, the Eric Clapton-led band may have split up for good.

According to a Reuters report, the band's promoter and publicist say the trio's recent shows were likely their last.

"The band has no plans for the future," publicist Kristen Foster of KFPR told the news agency Thursday.

The "Strange Brew" singers are just coming off reforming for a string of shows in London, New York and Los Angeles over the past few months.

[...]

Los Angeles??? :huh:

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Cream's "Sunshine" Days are Over

by Charlie Amter

Oct 27, 2005, 4:05 PM PT

back to story

Cream may have finally curdled.

The "Strange Brew" singers are just coming off reforming for a string of shows in London, New York and Los Angeles over the past few months.

[...]

Los Angeles??? :huh:

Don't worry, you didn't miss out on an instate roadtrip opportunity. It isn't Cream that curdled but the writer's brain. They did not play LA.

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"Tales of Brave Ulysses" was the only surprise, a deviation from the new live album. "Never before done onstage," Eric Clapton declared when it was finished.

Ummm - he must have been smoking something. What exactly is track 4 on side one of Live Cream, Volume II?

Mike

One of the other reviews mentions that Clapton spoke "tongue in cheek"--and Cream always was apt to abusrdity. And hey, I'm just glad they played it... Clapton needs to get busy with the wah-wah ballistics.

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I think this reunion will go down in history, not because of the music, but because of the plethora of hackneyed newspaper article titles.

Must have been thinking Traffic, not Cream - (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired.

Mike

BTW - I wonder if Clapton's comment might have referred to the previous tune: Pressed Rat And Warthog - which, until this reunion, really had never been done onstage, right?

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Frankly, I'm still shocked by how many ways one can spin a pun on "cream rising".

As per "Pressed Rat and Warthog"--yeah, I'm pretty sure it's specific to the reunion shows. The trio had minimal time to rehearse the bulk of the "Wheels of Fire" tunes, so few could be taken on the road. Which goes to show--at least some of this stuff is new wine.

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February 7, 2006

British Rock Group Cream to Play More Reunion Shows

By REUTERS

Filed at 8:21 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Legendary rock trio Cream, which reunited last year for a handful of concerts in London and New York after a bitter break-up in 1968, has scheduled more shows, bassist and singer Jack Bruce said on Tuesday.

But don't expect a world tour. Rather, Bruce told Reuters that he, guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker will set up camp in select cities for multiple dates, just as they did last year.

``What we feel is that it's so special, and also so emotionally draining that it's not something we could do every day,'' he said. ``We will play more, but where and when I'm not at liberty to say.''

He declined to say when an official announcement might be made, joking that he would ``get chopped'' if he said anything.

Bruce, 62, was speaking hours before Cream was due to receive a lifetime achievement Grammy during a ceremony also honoring rocker David Bowie, country singer Merle Haggard, opera diva Jessye Norman, folk group the Weavers, late bluesman Robert Johnson and recently deceased comedian Richard Pryor.

Bruce, flying in from his farm in Britain, was set to be the group's sole representative. He said Clapton, 60, had other commitments, while it was impractical for Baker, 66, to leave his farm in South Africa.

All three did show up in Los Angeles 13 years ago when Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, burying their differences long enough to play three songs, including their hit ``Sunshine of Your Love,'' for a black-tie crowd.

Then they went their separate ways until last year, when they reunited for four lucrative shows at London's Royal Albert Hall, the scene of their farewell concert on November 26, 1968, and then three at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In its first iteration, the band lasted a little over two years, brewing a potent mix of blues and psychedelia that paved the way for hard rock. But Baker and Bruce fought bitterly, leaving Clapton to play the thankless role of peacemaker.

Cream cultivated the tensions, churning out four albums, and rock-radio staples such as ``Sunshine of Your Love'' and ''White Room.'' But the group's demise was inevitable.

Bruce said he is less explosive in his old age, and the band knows better how to handle problems, but there remains an underlying, brotherly tension with Baker. On the other hand, he described Clapton as ``the most beautiful, kindest, most understanding guy that I've come across.''

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