I’m so sad ♪ I’m so sad ♪ I’m sad, I’m sad, I’m sad; that I missed the Cream reunion concerts in the Royal Albert Hall; a 37-year hiatus is nothing to sneeze at. Actually, if I’d known about it, I might have gone nuts and bought a plane ticket and figured out a way to get in. Herewith some remarks on Rock & Roll Importance, and my Dad.

Swingin’ London · Sometime in the late Sixties when I was a pre-teen, my Dad, who at the time would have been about as old as I am now, was in London on a business trip. He, a greying bald Professor of Agriculture, walked into a record store and asked for a couple of records, whatever was hot, and brought me home two 45RPM singles: White Room/Those Were the Days and Badge/What a Bringdown. Now was that a classy thing to do, or what?

I had no idea what who Cream was, but I put the record on; it was White Room, and my life changed. That screaming guitar and Jack Bruce’s voice pitched perfectly to cut through it: Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes.... OK, when I write that lyric down, it does feel like the kind of thing that would appeal to a 13-year-old; but it still sounds good to me today.

Thanks, Dad.

What’s Important? · This isn’t my own sentiment and I can’t even remember where I heard or read it. It comes in the form of a question. Which Sixties band is more important: the Beatles, Cream, or Black Sabbath? The answer: Black Sabbath. Go anywhere and visit the rock & roll bars or scan the FM dial, and you’ll hear a lot of music that sounds like Sabbath. There’s nobody working these days that sounds much like Cream or the Beatles. Well actually, lots of bands occasionally sound like the Beatles, but only intermittently; perhaps the sound can be reproduced although the songwriting is unlikely to be equaled.

But Cream... that was three really idiosyncratic musical voices, with no reason a priori to think that the combination would work; and sometimes it didn’t. But our musical history is a lot richer for the times that it did; and there’s no reason to think that there will be many more chances to listen to that sound, live.

Here’s a review of the reunion show (a ways down, search for “cream reunion”). Sigh.


author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
May 06, 2005
· Arts (11 fragments)
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