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Posts Tagged ‘Cream’

RIP, Jack Bruce (October 25, 2014) Bassist For Cream

Posted by themusicsover on October 25, 2014

John “Jack” Bruce
May 14, 1943 – October 25, 2014

Photo by David Plastik - Click To Order Quality Prints - Discount code: 10OFF

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

As the founding bassist, songwriter and singer for the psychedelic rock trio, Cream, Jack Bruce will be remembered as one of popular music’s greatest bass players.  Formed with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker in 1966, Cream quickly formed a legion of fans thanks to their powerful hybrid of hard rock, electric blues, and psychedelic rock. Like no other group before or since, each instrument was as prominent as the other to the point where Bruce’s bass, Clapton’s guitar, and Baker’s drums could be called the “lead” instrument.  Even though they recorded only four albums across the span of just two years, Cream is regarded as one the most successful and influential “supergroups” of all time.  Their third album, Wheels Of Fire was the world’s first platinum double album.  Born into a musical family, Bruce took a shine to jazz bass early and eventually earned a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he supported himself during by playing in a local jazz band.  In 1962, he joined the Graham Bond Organisation where he met Baker.  After leaving the band in 1965, Bruce released a solo album and then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers where he met Clapton, who he recruited for his new band.  After Cream broke up, Bruce released several solo albums and collaborated with numerous rock and jazz fusion artists before reuniting with Cream in 1993 for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and again in 2005 for a series of successful shows at the Royal Albert Hall  in London and Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Bruce continued to record and perform live until his passing from liver disease on October 25, 2014.  He was 71.

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Died On This Date (January 18, 2013) Steve Knight / Keyboardist For Mountain

Posted by themusicsover on January 19, 2013

Steve Knight
1935 – January 18, 2013

Steve Knight at far right

Steve Knight at far right

Steve Knight is best remembered as the original keyboardist for American hard rock band, Mountain.  Formed in 1967 by bassist and famed Cream producer, Felix Pappalardi, the band, which also included singer and guitar great, Leslie West,  went on to have one of the era’s most familiar songs, “Mississippi Queen.”  Climbing!, their debut album from which it came, reached #17 on the Billboard charts and achieved Gold status.  Their two follow-up albums failed to produce any hit singles but did achieve Gold status as well.  In 1969, Mountain was one of the highlights of Woodstock with just their fourth live performance ever.  Although they can be heard on the album, they did not appear in the legendary film of the event.  After Mountain broke up in 1972, Knight returned to his first love, traditional jazz.  He enjoyed a long musical career as a sound engineer, author, songwriter and session player.  He was known to pop up on stage with West from time to time as well.   During the mid 90s, Knight settled in Woodstock, New York, where he was active in local politics, serving two terms on the Woodstock Town Board.  Steve Knight died of Parkinson’s disease on January 18, 2013.

Thanks to David Plastic from for the assist.

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Died On This Date (September 20, 2012) Robert Whitaker / British Photographer Who Took Beatles “Butcher” Image

Posted by themusicsover on September 20, 2011

Robert Whitaker
1939 – September 20, 2011

Robert Whitaker was a celebrated British photographer whose shots of the Beatles are some of the most iconic images in pop music history.  Whitaker’s career in photography can be traced back to the late ’50s when he was attending college  in Melbourne, Australia.  It was while freelancing in 1964 that he had a chance meeting with Beatles manager, Brian Epstein while the band was in the midst of an Australian tour.  That lead to numerous photo sessions with the band over the next few years, including one on March 25, 1966 where Whitaker captured the infamous image that shows John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney wearing white lab coats and covered with baby doll parts, raw meat, and false teeth.  The photo was selected for the band’s Yesterday and Today cover as seen below, but Capitol records quickly recalled it, but only after several thousand got it.  The cover was changed making original copies of the “Butcher” cover extremely valuable to this day.  Away from the Beatles, Whitaker photographed the likes of Gerry & The Pacemakers, the Seekers, Mick Jagger, and Cream who used his photos of band members within the collage of their Disraeli Gears album cover.  Robert Whitaker continued to work in photography throughout the rest of his life, at times as a photojournalist for TIME and Life magazines.  He was 71 when he passed away on September 20, 2011.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus and Scott Miller for the assist.

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Died On This Date (August 7, 2011) Joe Yamanaka / Lead Singer For Japanese Prog Rockers, Flower Travellin’ Band

Posted by themusicsover on August 7, 2011

Akira “Joe” Yamanaka
September 2, 1946 – August 7, 2011

Joe Yamanaka was a singer who is perhaps best remembered as the lead vocalist for Japanese prog rock group, Flower Travellin’ Band.  Formed as a cover band in 1968, their intent was to introduce Japanese audiences to the sounds of such western rock artists as Jefferson Airplane, Cream and Jimi Hendrix.  Yamanaka joined the group the following year as they were beginning to record original music and after they relocated to Los Angeles, California.  Flower Travellin’ Band broke up in 1973, but reunited for good in 2007 with Yamanaka on board as the front man.  Outside of group, Yamanaka released several solo albums, one of which included his biggest hit, “Proof Of The Man,” which sold in excess of 500,000 copies and made him a household name throughout Asia.  In early 1982, Yamanaka became the lead singer of the Wailers as replacement for the recently deceased Bob Marley with whom he was good friends.  He fronted the Wailers for the better part of the next five years.  Yamanaka was also an accomplished actor, appearing in several Japanese films and at least one American one – mostly in “tough guy” roles.  During the spring of 2010, Joe Yamanaka was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He was 64 when he ultimately died from it on August 7, 2011.

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Satori - Flower Travellin' Band

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Died On This Date (June 14, 1995) Rory Gallagher / Irish Blues Rock God

Posted by themusicsover on June 14, 2010

Liam Rory Gallagher
March 2, 1948 – June 14, 1995

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Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues rock guitar great who sold more than 30 million albums and is considered one of the greatest musicians Ireland has ever produced. Gallagher first began making waves with his mid ’60s blues rock trio, Taste.  The band began building a solid reputation in London and soon found themselves opening for such bands as Cream and Blind Faith.  By the early ’70s, Taste had broken up and Gallagher was now leading a trio under his own name, making some of his best and most popular albums.  In 1972, the trend-setting Melody Maker magazine named him Top Musician Of The Year.  It was during this period that Gallagher was being strongly considered for the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple AND Canned Heat.  By the ’80s however, Gallagher was falling deeper into drug and alcohol addiction, and his musical output suffered from it.  He made his final performance in January of 1995, and was in such bad health, he soon needed a liver transplant.  Unfortunately, an infection developed following the surgery, and he died at the age of 47.

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Irish Tour (Live) - Rory Gallagher


Posted in Blues, Musician, Rock, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »