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Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dead At Age 71

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2014 11:03am | Post a Comment

As reported this morning by several news outlets and confirmed by his publicist, Cream bassist Jack Bruce died at his home in Suffolk, England. While no exact cause of death was announced, it has been reported that the revered artist had suffered from liver disease. He was 71 years of age. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the lifelong musician -- who played and recorded solo, and with such artists as Ringo Starr and Frank Zappa (his latest solo album Silver Rails released back in March of this year - also released on vinyl) -- will always be best remembered as the bassist for the influential '60's British rock trio Cream along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (seen in photo above, circa 1967). The Cream classics "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room" (both hit singles culled from the Cream albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire respectively) are among the songs that Bruce wrote or co-wrote during the rock supergroup's all too-short career (1966 - 1968. Although they did reform briefly a couple of times in recent years including a decade ago for shows at Madison Square Garden and the Royal Albert Hall).  Check for Jack Bruce's solo discopgraphy and his Cream discography at the Amoeba online store. Meanwhile, below is a video of Bruce and Cream performing "White Room" at London's Royal Albert Hall when they reformed in 2005.

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Music History Monday: July 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 22, 2013 11:40am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: July 22, 1966Blue Breakers With Eric Clapton by John Mayall & The Blues Breakers is released. Produced by Mike Vernon, it is recorded at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London in March of 1966. The album will initially be planned as a live recording, but the recordings are scrapped and the band will record in the studio instead. It will be released to great acclaim upon its release in the UK, further cementing Eric Clapton's reputation as a brilliant lead guitarist, and is regarded as one of the quintessential British blues recordings. Clapton will use his newly acquired (and now legendary) 1960 Les Paul during the sessions. The album's now famous cover photo features the band posed together looking at the camera, with Clapton eyes averted reading a "Beano" comic book. In 2006, Universal Music Group will release a 2 CD Deluxe Edition of the album featuring a remastered version of the original album with the original stereo and mono mixes, with the second disc featuring live recordings made for and originally broadcast on the BBC radio program Saturday Club Sessions as well as the stand alone single "Lonely Years" and its original B-side "Bernard Jenkins." Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton will peak at #6 on the UK album chart.
 

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'Beware of Mr. Baker' Celebrates One of Rock's Greatest (And Wildest) Drummers

Posted by Billy Gil, January 22, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

Ginger BakerAt the beginning of documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, we’re introduced to the titular character when the misanthropic elderly man bashes his biographer in the face with a cane. Filmmaker Jay Bulger gets out of the car to show us his bloody nose, and from there we’re whisked back through not only the story of Ginger Baker, famed drummer for Cream, but also the story behind the creation of the film.

Bulger bills himself as a writer for Rolling Stone in order to get an interview with the reclusive Baker — this is a lie. However, the article Bulger comes up with once he meets with Baker in his South Africa compound does get published in Rolling Stone, providing the catalyst for the film. The brash Bulger, and his interactions with Baker, become a hilarious side story to that of Baker, the red-headed wild man who helped pioneer rock drumming as a member of Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Baker’s unique, African and jazz-influenced style would go on to be widely used in hard rock and heavy metal in years to come. But Baker’s personal life is beset by drugs, family issues, several wives and money problems.

Beware Mr. Baker

However, Beware of Mr. Baker is no predictable “VH1 Behind the Music” story, nor is it a sob story. It’s more a celebration of a life thoroughly lived, and of a character whose lust for life and for drumming supersedes his ability to live normally and care for anyone else. It’s riveting viewing, even (and perhaps especially) for those unfamiliar with Baker. The film’s editing, full of animated bits, stock footage and interview footage, jump-cutting and fading with psychedelic aesthetic, is nothing short of brilliant. It also includes enlightening, often funny interviews with the likes of Clapton, Steve Winwood, Carlos Santana, Lars Ulrich and Neil Peart.

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Trip Down Memory Lane Via Rock Album Billboards of the 70's Along Sunset Blvd

Posted by Billyjam, February 29, 2012 09:51am | Post a Comment

Of interest to anyone into rock albums from the seventies and of particular interest to folks in LA into recent era history is the excellent collection of Billboards on Sunset Blvd 1974-5 flickr page by Larry The Frog that features photos of billboards shot in those two years of the mid 1970's along Sunset Blvd. in the  vicinity of the Hollywood Amoeba store.  The majority of these shots are ones advertising new album releases or concert dates from such acts as Poco, Loggins & Messina, Barbi Benton, Donovan, The Who, War, Joni Mitchell, Billy Preston, Neil Sedaka, Greg Allman, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mahogeny Rush, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The 5th Dimension, Steppenwolf, Rick Derringer, and many more.

These great shots were all photographed by Larry The Frog when he lived a block off the Sunset Strip back in the 70's.and were recently lovingly restored by the photographer utilizing photoshopping from scanned 35mm slides and negatives. There are over a hundred shots in this engaging collection that, like rummaging through the old 70's album dollar bins at Amoeba, will unveil a whole bygone era - only better than merely album cover art since they also capture the time and place so well. View the full collection here

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Why We Love Those Sad Songs So Much: Because It Feels So Good To Hurt So Bad!

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2011 01:20pm | Post a Comment
 

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Today"

Why do we love those sad songs so much? What is It with songs that help us wallow in our misery? Those post break up anthems, or songs about loss and depression that just seep of sadness yet draw us like a moth to a flame. Why do people love Morrissey and the Smiths' sad songs about been miserable? Because - like hot tea on a hot day that fights fire with fire - so too do sad songs quell the sadness in our collective hearts. Some say that we like sad songs of others' tales of despair because we can indulge in their suffering from a safe distance. Like in the comic strip above we love/hate those sad songs so much we have to hit replay. "Please Mr Please" don't play B 17. I don't ever want to hear that song again," sang Olivia Newton John on the weepy Bruce Welch & John Rostill penned 1975 international hit - but you know she secretly indulged in hearing B17 again despite the sadness it aroused in her tortured soul.  Of all the pop hits over the past several decades Elton John's Bernie Taupin penned hit "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" sums up our need for sad songs: "It's times like these when we all need to hear the radio.`Cause from the lips of some old singer we can share the troubles we already know. Turn them on, turn them on. Turn on those sad songs when all hope is gone!" and the song's clincher line, "it feels so good to hurt so bad"

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