The term ‘legend’ is bandied about all too easily these days, what with everyone famous for 5 minutes after appearing on a reality TV show, or winning some dodgy talent competition.
So last Saturday when the death was announced of Jack Bruce, anyone with an interest in music was knocked for six.
The Bassmaster had been living quietly in the Suffolk countryside and all had seemed well. Known for being somewhat ‘prickly,’ Bruce was a classically trained cellist who considered himself a blues musician. Indeed, The Sunday Times said that “many consider him to be one of the greatest Bass players of all time’’.
Bruce has spoken of his growing up Glasgow, as a boy, dragging a cello through the notorious Gorbals area of the city, keeping a sharpened cello spike in his pocket…just in case!
But for about 18 months back in the 60’s, Bruce, together with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker swept all before them as members of power trio Cream. The stories about Bruce and Baker are indeed legendary.
The fights on stage, even sabotaging each other’s equipment! Bruce co-wrote most of the Cream hits with lyricist Pete Brown, a collaboration that lasted right up to his death. Rock anthem’s like ‘White Room’, Sunshine of Your Love’, and ‘I Feel Free’.
Bruce over the years has had to deal with the collapse of his first marriage, drug problems, and the death of his son from an asthma attack as well as an emergency liver transplant in 2003, for which he was put into an induced coma, during which he claims he actually wrote music!
Jack Bruce died last Saturday October 25th at the age of 71. Roger Waters has described him as ‘’probably the most musically gifted bass player who’s ever been’’…
Til the next time……
Greg Gaughran – Weekdays at 10am on Radio NOVA 100