Cream was a blues rock group from the 1960s with Eric Clapton as the guitarist, Jack Bruce as the vocalist and bass player and Ginger Baker as the drummer. They were considered the most influential super group ever. A super group is a music group with all of its members from previous bands. Eddie Van Halen was primarily influenced by Eric Clapton in Cream.
Unfortunately, there was a rivalry between Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker that led to the end of Cream after making only four studio albums. Most of later concerts was spent with the band members trying to out do each other. As technology improved Jack Bruce started using multiple Marshall stacks for his amplifiers that drowned out the noise from Ginger Baker’s drums. According to Eric Clapton, he stopped playing guitar during one concert, but Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were so busy trying to out do each other that they didn’t even notice.
In 1993, Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were able to reform to play a few songs; Sunshine of Your Love, Crossroads and Born Under a Bad Sign, at their induction ceremony. The success of the concert and Bruce and Baker’s ability to work together led to rumors that they were going to tour. Bruce and Baker said that they would like to play together as Cream again, but they continued to follow their own solo projects instead. Bruce and Baker did perform as two thirds of a power trio called BBM with a blues rock guitarist named Gary Moore.
Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker got together to have four concerts, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of May in 2005 at Royal Albert Hall. Eric Clapton said that a major factor in the concerts was the health of Baker and Bruce. Bruce had recently had a liver transplant for liver cancer and Baker was suffering from severe arthritis.
The tickets for the concert sold out in under an hour. The concerts were recorded for live CDs and DVDs. Among the people who attended the concert were Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Jimmy Paige.
The concerts were such a success at Royal Albert Hall that they performed some concerts at Madison Square Gardens, too. People thought that they would continue touring, but Cream decided to cut it short because they wanted to make the rarity of their touring a “special occasion”.
When Ginger Baker was asked by the press about whether they would continue touring, Baker said that they would not because Bruce could be a nice guy but was sometimes too hard to work with. According to Baker, he had tried his best to cooperate with Bruce at Madison Square Gardens, but Bruce had turned up his bass really loudly and yelled at Baker. Baker said that Bruce apologized, but he was still too hard to work with.
They were supposed to have a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun in 2007, but they decided against it, and Led Zeppelin, who had also reformed, played at the tribute concert instead. in 2010, Bruce made a press statement that “Cream is over.”
During Cream’s run in the 1960s, Eric Clapton was the person who often served as a mediator between Bruce and Baker. He became so exhausted with the conflict in Cream, despite respecting both of his fellow musicians, that he had a solo career with emphasis on vocals and technique and a softer sound from early 1970s until today.