Ruminating on the passing of Cream bassist Jack Bruce this past Saturday. Cream was the short-lived supergroup that also featured Eric Clapton (guitar) and Ginger Baker (drums).
I do not own any music by Cream on vinyl or otherwise. I do not own any music that features Jack Bruce playing on it. Sure, I have heard it, but there isn't even any Cream on my iPod.
So, why is Jack Bruce a critical cog in my musical career? Back in high school, my best friends and band mates, Mark & Mike were fans and brought Cream to the table. Mark went so far as to insist on naming our band the Flaming Yogurt in tribute to Cream. "Get it?" He would ask.
The second number we ever performed in public was their signature hit, "Sunshine of Your Love." Probably because of the heavy bass lick Mark got to groove on. "White Room" wound up in our repertoire, too. This was a classic case of learning songs by repetition in the garage and listening to the records on Mark's stereo. A pure musical education.
So, thank you, Jack Bruce, for inspiring mates who asked me to join my first band.