Jack Bruce: The Man Behind the Bass ArtWorks Scotland


Jack Bruce: The Man Behind the Bass

Documentary telling the story of the late bassist Jack Bruce, who fronted 60s group Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, from a childhood in Scotland to global superstardom.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language.

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Jack Bruce is probably Scotland's most famous international musician.

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In a 50-year career, Jack has fronted '60s supergroup Cream

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and played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Jimi Hendrix,

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and from Lulu to Lou Reed.

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# When lights close their tired eyes... #

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Jack Bruce's contribution to rock music has changed

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the culture of music as we see it.

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Jack, he never thought about it, he just did it. He was a natural.

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Jack Bruce tore up the book and threw it away, and I went with him.

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He is one of the biggest talents in the world, you know.

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I mean, he lives, eats and breathes music.

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Especially for this programme,

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Jack returned to Scotland to reinterpret six songs pivotal to his life and his music.

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He spent three days rehearsing and recording with

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the cream of Scottish musicians, including hot traditional trio Lau,

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to create radical new performances of some of his best-known work.

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I quite often announce it

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as a classic piece of Scottish miserablism!

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About sums it up, really.

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MUSIC: "I Feel Free" by Cream

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I think there is a lot of Scottish influence in my music,

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it would be surprising if there wasn't.

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Playing rock and jazz and sometimes blues, then you have this

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other little dimension, which is the teuchter in you!

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Even if you leave all your life and go back,

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you are still living in Scotland, you know, you never get away from it.

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This is Wester Ross

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and it is towards the north of the West Highlands of Scotland.

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The mountains here are some of the oldest in the world.

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It has got a feeling of that, when you are in this landscape.

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You just feel significant by being so insignificant.

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I feel there is a lot of Scottish influence in my songs.

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Weird Of Hermiston, for instance. Lovely lyrics.

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Weird Of Hermiston, of course,

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was based on the unfinished novel

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by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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I think both of us were very into Robert Louis Stevenson,

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in particular the darker things that he wrote.

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# I'm going to a wedding

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# I'm going to a wedding Dressed in black

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# I'm going to a party

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# I'm going to a party, won't be back

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# But I'm not going with you

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# No

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# Trees are no longer a comfort

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# Messages sad in the wires

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# My hair is hung down

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# With the blackest of rain that I'm feeling... #

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Weir of Hermiston, his unfinished novel,

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has this really peculiar atmosphere of total doom about it.

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It's really amazing. It's very heavy.

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# ..I'm going to the mountains to cool my fears

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# But I'm not going with you

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# No

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# Skies are no longer a comfort

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# Leaves turning black in the autumn

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# The corn is hung down

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# With the saddest of weight that I'm feeling

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# I'm going to the funeral

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# I'm going to a funeral Dressed in white

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# I'm going to a nightclub

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# I'm going to a nightclub to sleep at night

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# But I'm not going with you

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# No

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# Love is no longer a comfort

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# Fantastic times are forgotten

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# My heart is hung down

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# With the saddest of rain that I'm feeling. #

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Jack Bruce was born in Bishopbriggs in 1943

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and at an early age showed a talent for and a love of music.

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I think I was born a musician, really.

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Certainly, a performer of some kind,

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because my mother used to put me in for all these competitive festivals.

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I won quite a few of them.

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Then I realised that I had this talent and also,

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the ability to make money with it.

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So I joined a church choir

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and I got paid for that, that's why I did it.

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I went commercial, commercial for God!

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So, you know, it just showed that I would do anything for a few bob,

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even then.

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Jack began playing in dance bands around Glasgow,

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while still at school.

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This Musicians Union register of 1958 shows Jack

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as a professional bass player, which raised a few eyebrows,

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given he was only 15.

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While I was in the sixth form at school,

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I was also working as a professional musician.

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I was playing at the Dennistoun Palais,

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and making more money than my dad was.

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That made me realise that you could actually make a living

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out of music, and meet girls!

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I mean, who wants not to do that, you know?

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His talent was encouraged and he started playing the cello,

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winning a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.

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I was doing cello, piano as a second instrument, and composition.

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I found it all very middle-class.

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If you were a working-class lad in those days, you just didn't fit in.

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And they would tell you that, they would say, "Oh, you've got no chance.

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"Forget it." They would just tell you that!

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At least they were honest about it.

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Then, various things happened,

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including being sexually assaulted by the, er...

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by the composition teacher.

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And that, in those days, that was something

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that you did not just talk about,

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you didn't even mention it, you kept quiet about it.

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It really put me off, I tell you!

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He was a kind of...

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friend/associate of Benjamin Britten.

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Say no more!

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Jack left Glasgow and went on the road with a trad jazz band.

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Whilst on tour, he came across a drummer called Ginger Baker.

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We were doing a jazz set in the cellar,

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and this scruffy little Scots guy

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comes to the side of the stage,

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going, "Let me sit in, man! Let me sit in!"

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And to everybody's surprise,

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he played his arse off.

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And I'm afraid that was the end of our bass player, Morris.

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This chance meeting started a 40-year love-hate relationship

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between Jack and Ginger.

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Jack met me when I was a junkie.

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I was a junkie in the early days of our relationship.

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I was a junkie drummer.

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They first played together in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated,

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where Jack's talents were soon noticed by other musicians.

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To me, he was in another world, you know, he was a jazz musician,

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and a very, very avant-garde jazz musician,

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compared to the rest of the London scene.

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After playing with Alexis Korner,

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Jack and Ginger joined The Graham Bond Organisation.

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But as the band became more successful,

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the tension between the two of them grew.

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Jack was becoming very popular as a singer,

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and it all went to his head a bit, you see.

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And he started shouting at people on stage,

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mainly, in particular, me.

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Um...

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One particular night in Golders Green it's my drum solo...

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..and Jack's phrasing along with my bass drum, in my drum solo.

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And he suddenly turns round and screams into the microphone

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so the whole audience can hear,

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"You're playing too fucking loud, man!"

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In my drum solo!

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HE LAUGHS

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The on-stage arguments between Jack and Ginger

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went from bad to worse.

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And in the end, Graham came up to me and said, "Look, he's got to go."

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Well, I was the junkie in the band so I got the gig...

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..of firing him.

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After I'd left Graham Bond...

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..at the wrong end of a knife from Ginger...

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I joined... for a while I joined John Mayall.

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And then, after that I joined Manfred Mann.

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# On our block, all of the guys

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# Call her flamingo... #

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The strange thing about Jack Bruce joining Manfred Mann

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was it was like getting in a Lamborghini

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to do your weekly shopping at Sainsbury's, because...

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this was like a famous session player

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who could play all kinds of stuff

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and had a fearsome reputation as a player

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and there he was being asked to play one-note baselines on pop songs.

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That was what I always say

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was an ill-advised attempt at commercialism...

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cos I never got any money for it.

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As Jack left Manfred Mann,

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Ginger was talking to a 21-year-old wonderkid guitarist

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about forming a band.

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Eric Clapton's choice of bass player was a bit of a shock to Mr Baker.

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And then Eric dropped a bombshell.

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He said, "What about Jack?"

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Now, he didn't, as Jack will have it, say...

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.."Either we get Jack or I'm not doing it."

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I didn't know at that point

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that there was any enmity between Ginger and Jack...

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I'd heard rumours

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but I didn't think they were that grounded in fact, so...

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So I said to Ginger,

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"Yeah, I want...I'll do it but only if Jack comes in."

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Ginger went to Eric and asked him to form a band and Eric said,

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"Yeah, but we've got to

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"have Jack in the band as the singer," basically,

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cos he had heard me singing a couple of songs I used to sing with Graham.

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Ginger's reaction was so...vehement, you know...

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"Grrr," he just started talking under his breath and mumbling

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and he didn't blow it entirely cos he had to have me...

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he was trying to keep me on a string,

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so he sort of grudgingly agreed but he was warning me all the time,

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"It won't work, it won't work."

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And it wasn't... Ginger at that point -

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he's probably much more mature in his view of it all now -

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was just blaming Jack for everything,

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it wasn't saying... Ginger didn't say,

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"I don't get along with Jack," he would just accuse Jack

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of all these different kinds of character defects

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that made life unbearable, so...

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I thought, "What am I getting into? What am I getting into here?"

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But at that time in my life - I was in my early 20s -

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you know, I thought, "What have I got to lose?"

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# I've been waiting so long... #

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'Jack just developed his own singing style,

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'which was completely unique in the end

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'and quite operatic cos he used...'

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and correctly, he sang from his diaphragm and he sang big, you know.

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At first, I was a little bit confused about...

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Was that the right way to do this stuff?

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Then it just...well, this is what it is and this is actually who we are.

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This mad kind of mishmash of styles and...

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..aspirations, musical aspirations is coming together in a way

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that is absolutely different to anything...

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There's nobody else like this and it's actually pretty good.

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I was quite unprepared for Cream.

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Before the curtain even went back

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they hit the opening chord of the opening number

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and it was like the heavens had opened and thunder had come.

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# I found out today

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# We're going wrong... #

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The one song I remember more than any other

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from that first Cream concert was We're Going Wrong.

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Jack just closes his eyes and sings in the spotlight

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and pours his heart out and it just goes heart-to-heart.

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'I think to this day, it's really one of the great songs of the era.'

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# Please

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# Open your eyes

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# Try

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# To realise

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# I found out

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# Today

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# We're going wrong... #

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We're Going Wrong - often people think of that

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as some kind of deep, political statement of the '60s

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and all of that stuff but in fact...

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'I'd just had a fight, a rather bad argument with my first wife, Janet,

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'and I just stormed out of the house and...'

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..the words and the music came into my head at the same time.

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That's all it was.

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# I found out

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# Today

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# We're going wrong

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# We're

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# Going

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# Going, going wrong

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# Going wrong

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# Going wrong

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# Going wrong

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# Going

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# Going wrong

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# Yeah

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# Going wrong

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# We're going wrong. #

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In the early days of Cream, Jack was introduced to Pete Brown,

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a performance poet and lyricist.

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I think it's an important part

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of the Jack Bruce story that... he, along with Pete Brown

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did write the vast majority of the material for Cream.

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And it's always interesting when somebody outside of the band

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provides a perspective or a lyric like that because it actually means

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that the people in the band can concentrate on being in the band.

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I got the call, basically.

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When they formed Cream, I got the call and...

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I went down to the studio and there we were writing Wrapping Paper.

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# Wrapping paper... #

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Jack and Pete became the main songwriters in the band,

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much to the annoyance of Ginger.

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The Pete Brown thing...

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..it was a farce!

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Pete Brown earns more out of Cream than Eric or I!

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I had no problem with Pete Brown,

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I liked Pete Brown a lot,

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I thought he was a very interesting guy and a nice guy.

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For me, it was fine, but I think...

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I think it caused friction in other areas.

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Then I approached Pete Brown to write songs with us...

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..and it didn't work out like that.

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The chemistry was always between me and Jack.

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I tried to write with Ginger and I tried to write with Eric a little bit

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but Eric wasn't really writing much at the time

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and Ginger's ideas were great but they were very, very far out

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and not necessarily belonging to Cream.

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Ginger got very embittered

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because he thinks that playing the drums in a song

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is the same as writing the song,

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but it doesn't quite work that way.

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Somebody's got to stay up all night and write them.

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Until recently Ginger Baker lived in South Africa,

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where he mixed his passions for music and polo.

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Ill health and financial difficulties have led to him

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giving up his horses and trying to sell his ranch.

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People go, "Oh, Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton.

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"Ginger Baker's super rich."

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And that's what they believe.

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No, I regret being part of Cream...

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..simply because of the position I find myself in now.

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Unfortunately, I'm not super rich.

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I think I'm poorer now than I've ever been in my life.

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Between 1966 and 1968,

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Cream recorded four albums which sold over 35 million copies.

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They toured constantly and as the gigs got bigger

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so did the volume on stage.

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No, the happiest time

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was the first year and a half.

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Then Marshall came upon the scene...

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..with these huge

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Marshall amps.

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And the volume...

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got to be...

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painful for me.

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In order to get any impact, we had to play loud on stage.

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Yeah, I certainly played loud.

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We all played loud.

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I asked him if he could turn it down a bit

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and he threw a fit

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and turned it up.

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He's got it the wrong way round again.

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It wasn't out of choice that Eric and myself were playing very loud.

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It was in order to achieve something.

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I was the one who was suffering at least as much as he was

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cos I had to do the vocals and he didn't.

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It was almost like they were both

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looking for the next opportunity to say, "I told you!"

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And I would be the one, you know,

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"I told you he'd do that. He always does that."

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And the other one, "Yeah, that's cos you do that."

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I, very quickly, became the caretaker.

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I kept trying to think of ways to make them see

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that it wasn't worth it but it was so deeply ingrained.

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I think quite a few things had probably already taken place

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before I ever came into the picture

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that they hadn't been able to forgive one another for.

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I think they both had transgressions that needed to be resolved.

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I don't suppose they ever will be. Still not, I'm sure.

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But, at the same time, they love one another.

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There was deep love in the fray and that couldn't be left out.

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They would be drawn back together again.

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As Cream's frontman,

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Jack moved bass from the shadows to front stage,

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inspiring thousands of young players to pick up a bass guitar.

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Before Jack Bruce,

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the bass player's gig really was just sort of standing there,

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sort of plodding along and putting in the root notes.

0:24:180:24:22

Jack came along and said,

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"Guys, this is what you can do with a bass guitar."

0:24:250:24:27

Singing songs and playing bass is quite a hard thing to do.

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I took up the bass because it was the simplest thing that I could do

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and still sing lead at the same time.

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# Three, five, seven, nine A double white line... #

0:24:410:24:45

So to actually play

0:24:450:24:47

really complicated parts like Jack does and sing at the same time,

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requires a level of competence and schizophrenia

0:24:510:24:55

that I'm just completely incapable of.

0:24:550:24:58

I think Jack was a part of

0:25:080:25:10

making the bass something cool.

0:25:100:25:13

Something that you had to have.

0:25:150:25:18

Something you had to hear.

0:25:180:25:20

# Greedy little people in a sea of distress

0:25:200:25:22

# Keep your more to receive your less... #

0:25:220:25:25

He is such an influential bass player...

0:25:250:25:29

So much inventiveness, so musical, so exciting. So heavy.

0:25:290:25:34

Beautiful, pretty. All of those things. Awful...

0:25:350:25:39

I always think of him as a warm player

0:25:390:25:42

mostly because of Cream being such a warm-sounding band.

0:25:420:25:46

But he can be cold and mean and nasty with that thing too,

0:25:460:25:50

which is such a great colour in music.

0:25:500:25:53

The date is November 26th 1968,

0:25:530:25:56

an historic occasion in the world of music.

0:25:560:25:59

A group called Cream are making their farewell appearance

0:25:590:26:02

at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.

0:26:020:26:04

They played together for only two years but during that time

0:26:040:26:07

have single-handedly given pop a musical authority

0:26:070:26:10

which only the deaf cannot acknowledge

0:26:100:26:12

and only the ignorant cannot hear.

0:26:120:26:14

Their records have sold more copies in the past 24 months than

0:26:140:26:17

the Bible has sold in the past 24 years.

0:26:170:26:20

The touring was obviously where the real cash would come from.

0:26:200:26:25

So we went out and did whistlestop tours across America and Europe.

0:26:250:26:30

We would play every night.

0:26:310:26:34

A six-month tour playing every night, by the time we got to

0:26:340:26:38

the end of '67 I weighed something like nine stone

0:26:380:26:42

and I wasn't eating.

0:26:420:26:44

Most bands have a special time,

0:26:460:26:50

you know, things like that.

0:26:500:26:52

They last a certain time

0:26:520:26:54

and if you want to keep it going then it's false.

0:26:540:26:59

You keep it going, you repeat yourself and go through the motions.

0:26:590:27:05

We weren't giving ourselves the time to recharge our batteries.

0:27:060:27:12

I think if you're going to work that hard, even if you're young,

0:27:120:27:16

there comes a time when you need to stop and reflect.

0:27:160:27:23

You just have conversations, "This is great what we've been doing

0:27:230:27:29

"but we're doing the same thing we've been doing for the last year."

0:27:290:27:33

The only reason Cream lasted as long as it did

0:27:330:27:37

was because it was so successful.

0:27:370:27:41

I think it could have gone on a bit longer

0:27:450:27:47

but I also think that what we did was really about right.

0:27:470:27:53

A couple of albums, and some tremendous gigs.

0:27:530:27:57

After Cream broke up in 1968, Jack went straight into the studio

0:28:190:28:23

and recorded his first solo album, Songs For a Tailor,

0:28:230:28:28

which got to Number 6 in the UK album charts

0:28:280:28:31

and featured the track Theme from an Imaginary Western.

0:28:310:28:35

I had the music for that in a different form

0:28:350:28:38

for many years without knowing what to do with it.

0:28:380:28:42

And Pete Brown came up with those wonderful lyrics.

0:28:420:28:46

I was a fan of westerns and when I heard the music that Jack came up with

0:28:460:28:51

I thought, yeah, this has a feeling of...

0:28:510:28:55

kind of a Scottish thing but a western thing.

0:28:550:28:59

And I tried to combine those things in the lyrics.

0:28:590:29:03

# When the wagons

0:29:050:29:08

# Leave the city

0:29:080:29:12

# For the forest

0:29:150:29:18

# And further on

0:29:180:29:20

# Painted wagons

0:29:230:29:27

# Of the morning

0:29:270:29:29

# Dusty roads where they've gone

0:29:310:29:36

# Sometimes travelin'

0:29:400:29:44

# Through the darkness

0:29:440:29:46

# At the summer

0:29:480:29:50

# Comin' home

0:29:520:29:55

# And fallen faces

0:29:570:30:01

# By the wayside

0:30:010:30:05

# Look as if they might have known

0:30:050:30:11

# But the sun was in their eyes

0:30:140:30:22

# And the desert

0:30:220:30:26

# The desert that dries

0:30:260:30:30

# In the country towns

0:30:310:30:35

# Where the laughter sounds

0:30:350:30:39

# The dancing

0:30:450:30:49

# Oh, the singing

0:30:500:30:53

# The music

0:30:550:30:57

# When they play

0:30:590:31:02

# The fires

0:31:030:31:07

# That they started

0:31:070:31:10

# Oh, those girls

0:31:120:31:15

# No regret

0:31:150:31:19

# Sometimes they found it

0:31:200:31:24

# Sometimes they kept it

0:31:240:31:27

# Often lost it

0:31:290:31:33

# On the way

0:31:330:31:35

# Found each other

0:31:380:31:41

# To possess it

0:31:410:31:46

# Sometimes they died

0:31:460:31:49

# In sights of day

0:31:490:31:52

# But the sun was in their eyes

0:31:550:32:01

# And the desert

0:32:040:32:06

# The desert that dries

0:32:060:32:12

# In the country towns

0:32:120:32:17

# Where the laughter sounds

0:32:170:32:21

# Oh

0:32:280:32:30

# Oh

0:32:360:32:42

# Going down down down down down

0:32:430:32:48

# Going down down down down down. #

0:32:480:32:51

Over the next ten years, Jack recorded six more solo albums

0:33:070:33:13

but none had the commercial success of Cream

0:33:130:33:16

and by the end of the '70s Jack was facing financial ruin.

0:33:160:33:20

He was in an ongoing dispute over royalties with his manager

0:33:200:33:24

and was heavily involved in hard drugs.

0:33:240:33:27

In 1979 he left his wife Janet.

0:33:270:33:31

Whilst on tour in Germany earlier that year Jack had met

0:33:310:33:33

a graphic designer called Margrit Seyffer.

0:33:330:33:37

When I find out who he was I thought it's a little romance,

0:33:370:33:44

why not make the most out of it, but it was more than that.

0:33:440:33:48

From that day we just stayed together really.

0:33:480:33:52

You're not thinking of riding her out? Oh, you are.

0:33:550:34:00

He was in deep trouble, really.

0:34:000:34:01

Mainly mentally, because he said "Everything has been taken from me.

0:34:030:34:10

"And do I deserve this?" He was almost in a suicidal state.

0:34:100:34:16

Not almost, he actually was.

0:34:160:34:18

And that's why he wanted to sort of really, he was really...

0:34:180:34:24

..destructive, he really wanted to...

0:34:250:34:28

He didn't care how much alcohol he drunk or how many drugs he took.

0:34:280:34:33

He just mainly had given up.

0:34:330:34:35

I had a hard tussle with hard drugs.

0:34:380:34:42

Whenever I'm asked about this I don't like to talk about it a lot

0:34:420:34:47

because I know it can be romanticised.

0:34:470:34:50

In the same way that when I was very very young,

0:34:500:34:54

I was attracted to heroin by the people that I admired,

0:34:540:35:00

people like Charlie Parker, the bebop people who seemed....

0:35:000:35:06

Who use it and it became a romantic thing.

0:35:060:35:10

So the first thing I did as soon as I could was take drugs.

0:35:100:35:13

At this time, despite many attempts to give up heroin,

0:35:190:35:22

Jack was still an addict and people close to him were getting worried.

0:35:220:35:27

And the next one is called Keep It Down.

0:35:300:35:32

Keep It Down was really a song about addiction.

0:35:330:35:38

He just knew if he wanted his marriage to work

0:35:380:35:42

he couldn't just stay on heroin

0:35:420:35:44

because there would have been a point I would have walked away.

0:35:440:35:49

And he was aware of that.

0:35:490:35:52

I was very fortunate in having Margrit to help me

0:35:520:35:56

but ultimately it is down to yourself.

0:35:560:36:00

Nobody can do it for you.

0:36:010:36:03

If you are doing cold turkey, you are the guy or gal who has to do it.

0:36:030:36:09

And it takes a bit of doing and it's not worth going through that.

0:36:090:36:15

I went through that so many times that it's scary.

0:36:150:36:21

And if you can think of a hangover

0:36:210:36:24

and multiply it by about a million... why bother?

0:36:240:36:29

The high is not worth it. Nothing is worth it.

0:36:290:36:32

Have some good sex, that's better.

0:36:320:36:36

# Keep it down

0:36:440:36:48

# If it's still hangin' around

0:36:490:36:54

# Kept away

0:36:560:36:57

# Well, it's lost inside a day

0:36:590:37:03

# On the journey through the streets

0:37:060:37:09

# To the corner you got to meet

0:37:100:37:14

# Keep keeping it down

0:37:150:37:18

# If it's hanging around

0:37:180:37:21

# In the dawn

0:37:240:37:27

# When the last drop it has gone

0:37:290:37:34

# Summer leaves

0:37:350:37:37

# From the hill

0:37:390:37:41

# Where my love grieves

0:37:410:37:45

# From the sun where you met her

0:37:450:37:50

# To the shade where you left her

0:37:500:37:55

# Keep keepin' it down if it's hangin' around

0:37:560:38:01

# Head down

0:38:060:38:07

# Head down... #

0:38:130:38:16

It's my message to him,

0:38:240:38:25

really, in a way.

0:38:250:38:28

So he is singing a message to himself on the song

0:38:280:38:32

about trying to keep away from it!

0:38:320:38:38

That's what that one's about.

0:38:380:38:40

# In the night

0:38:410:38:43

# There's a space replaces your face

0:38:450:38:50

# That you lent

0:38:520:38:54

# I don't know where it went

0:38:560:39:00

# Smile as it passes you by

0:39:020:39:06

# It still sits up in your sky

0:39:080:39:12

# Keep keeping it down if it's hanging around. #

0:39:120:39:17

Jack has had five children - two sons from his first marriage

0:39:360:39:43

and two daughters and a son with Margrit.

0:39:430:39:46

You know, Jack is somebody who is a father.

0:39:490:39:54

It's one of his roles is being a father.

0:39:540:39:57

I'm somebody that's been a reluctant father

0:39:570:40:00

but he's not a reluctant father.

0:40:000:40:02

Childsong was written for

0:40:100:40:13

my, erm, my oldest son Jonas,

0:40:130:40:20

who died when he was 28.

0:40:200:40:24

It was written for him, really.

0:40:240:40:30

You know, the lyrics.

0:40:300:40:33

A few of my songs have been written for my children.

0:40:330:40:37

It's very difficult for me to talk about that, even now,

0:40:370:40:43

after all those years.

0:40:430:40:46

I find it quite difficult, so, I can't talk about it. Sorry.

0:40:460:40:50

I wasn't able to play the piano for two years after he died,

0:40:500:40:54

for instance. I couldn't touch it. Because that was his instrument.

0:40:540:40:58

# She shakes her head and says

0:41:360:41:39

# That her last word is spoken

0:41:420:41:45

# Tumbling down

0:41:450:41:48

# Something she found

0:41:500:41:54

# Where happiness lay

0:41:560:42:00

# Not far away

0:42:020:42:05

# Hear it now

0:42:060:42:09

# You got so many ways

0:42:120:42:17

# When the last chains are broken

0:42:170:42:22

# Tumbling down

0:42:220:42:25

# You hear a new sound

0:42:270:42:30

# It's dark into day

0:42:320:42:34

# Not far away

0:42:380:42:43

# Hear it now

0:42:430:42:44

# When summer leaves

0:42:460:42:49

# The tangles that it weaves

0:42:510:42:57

# Are floating in the wind

0:42:570:43:02

# Hard to begin

0:43:020:43:05

# To get back in

0:43:070:43:10

# You stay

0:43:120:43:15

# But it's never in only one piece

0:43:150:43:20

# You got to find release

0:43:200:43:28

# He runs away and plays

0:43:450:43:49

# His laughter is just awoken

0:43:490:43:53

# Tumbling down

0:43:530:43:55

# The eyes of a clown

0:43:590:44:02

# And truth sings today

0:44:040:44:10

# Not far away

0:44:100:44:13

# Hear it now

0:44:150:44:18

# When summer leaves

0:44:190:44:22

# The tangles that it weaves

0:44:240:44:29

# Are floating in the wind

0:44:290:44:34

# Hard to begin

0:44:340:44:39

# To get back in

0:44:390:44:42

# You stay, but it's never in only one piece

0:44:460:44:53

# You've got to find release

0:44:530:45:00

# Hear it now

0:45:090:45:12

# Hear it now

0:45:140:45:17

# Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

0:45:170:45:20

# Ohhh

0:45:200:45:22

# Tumbling down

0:45:220:45:24

# Hear it now

0:45:240:45:26

# Oh, yeah

0:45:260:45:29

# Tumbling down

0:45:290:45:32

# Tumbling down

0:45:340:45:36

# Hear it now

0:45:390:45:42

# Now

0:45:460:45:47

# Hear it now. #

0:45:490:45:51

Jack has played all sorts of music in his 50-year career,

0:46:090:46:14

from the free jazz of Tony Williams' Lifetime

0:46:140:46:17

to his Latin-influenced band, Cuckooland Express.

0:46:170:46:21

But over the years,

0:46:230:46:25

Jack has often returned to the rock trio as a form of expression.

0:46:250:46:30

So what is the attraction of a trio?

0:46:300:46:34

Well, because they're cheap.

0:46:340:46:36

There's something magical about a trio.

0:46:360:46:40

And there really is. There really is.

0:46:400:46:43

Especially in kind of rock or blues or something like that.

0:46:430:46:47

Because you haven't got that

0:46:470:46:50

kind of block chord thing that you have if you've got a piano or an organ or something.

0:46:500:46:55

So it's a whole different way of playing.

0:46:550:46:58

In 2003, rumours started about Cream reforming for some showcase gigs.

0:46:580:47:04

But the same year, Jack's life went on hold when he was diagnosed

0:47:080:47:12

with inoperable liver cancer and went through a liver transplant.

0:47:120:47:16

The transplant was fantastic.

0:47:180:47:22

But unfortunately, as happens with a lot of people

0:47:220:47:28

after something like that, the infection is the danger.

0:47:280:47:32

And I certainly got a lot of infections.

0:47:320:47:37

And that was what I had to try and struggle to survive, to get through.

0:47:370:47:42

-There you go.

-Oh, that looks good.

-Cuppa tea. And a biscuit.

-Thank you.

0:47:420:47:49

There was a point he would have died within two hours,

0:47:490:47:53

and the doctor looked at both of us

0:47:530:47:55

and said, do you want to go back

0:47:550:47:58

on the fifth floor to intensive care?

0:47:580:48:02

And it was a really big decision for Jack.

0:48:020:48:05

Should I go through all this again? Or should I just say goodbye?

0:48:050:48:09

Well, there was a point

0:48:090:48:11

when they wanted to turn the life-support machines off.

0:48:110:48:16

They brought my family in.

0:48:160:48:18

Very cruelly, I think, now. Obviously, I wasn't that aware of it.

0:48:180:48:21

But they brought them all in to say goodbye and I'm all tubed up, as it were.

0:48:210:48:26

And I thought he was dying, and then suddenly,

0:48:260:48:30

this warm feeling came through me, like it's not a bad feeling.

0:48:300:48:36

How do I say goodbye to my love?

0:48:360:48:39

It was a bit like that, but Jack said, he just sort of,

0:48:390:48:43

he wanted to go up to this fifth floor and keep on fighting.

0:48:430:48:49

They said, well, we're going to turn off the life-support machines now.

0:48:490:48:53

And it was like, I must've heard it or something,

0:48:530:48:56

it was like a flicker of an eyelid.

0:48:560:48:59

"His eyelid moved! Don't turn off the machine!"

0:48:590:49:03

And then, I do remember Margrit saying to me,

0:49:030:49:07

you're going to have to,

0:49:070:49:09

do you want to go through this attempt to live again?

0:49:090:49:14

And I said, I did. Somehow, I communicated that.

0:49:140:49:18

So they let me keep on trying to survive.

0:49:180:49:23

Barely a year later, Jack was back on stage at the Royal Albert Hall

0:49:230:49:27

as part of one of the most exciting reunions in rock history.

0:49:270:49:32

People had been on at me, or on at us for a long time, to reform.

0:49:320:49:38

I thought, well, in a way, because we've reached this kind of age,

0:49:380:49:43

and we're all still alive, it'd be churlish not to, because

0:49:430:49:46

there are lots of groups that would like to do that, but they can't.

0:49:460:49:49

Like, for instance, with The Who, they can have a reunion,

0:49:490:49:52

but it's not the full thing.

0:49:520:49:56

The Beatles can't do it, we can do it. You know.

0:49:560:49:58

We can actually do it, so why not give it a try?

0:49:580:50:01

I didn't really hear about it until I came out of the coma

0:50:010:50:06

and then I said, "Oh, yeah, definitely, let's do it".

0:50:060:50:08

But then I had to learn to walk

0:50:080:50:13

and talk and then I had to learn to sing.

0:50:130:50:17

The night we went on, we walked onto that stage and I swear

0:50:210:50:26

they stood and applauded for what seemed like five minutes.

0:50:260:50:29

People went crazy.

0:50:290:50:32

And it was very, very emotional for all of us,

0:50:320:50:35

to know that we had had that kind of effect on people.

0:50:350:50:39

# In a white room With black curtains... #

0:50:390:50:43

I think the love from the audience carried us through.

0:50:430:50:47

I think, musically, you could pick it all to pieces,

0:50:470:50:51

what we actually achieved musically.

0:50:510:50:55

It's what it is.

0:50:550:50:56

It's a reunion, many, many years later

0:50:560:50:59

of pretty old guys playing young guys' music.

0:50:590:51:05

# Dawn light smiles on you leaving

0:51:050:51:09

# My contentment... #

0:51:090:51:11

We had a fantastic time.

0:51:130:51:15

And I... But, you know, it had to be said

0:51:150:51:18

that this was, quite clearly - and we were all in agreement - this was going to be a one-off.

0:51:180:51:23

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:51:250:51:27

And, er... And then this offer came in, from New York, you know.

0:51:290:51:34

It was a million a night for each of us, three nights.

0:51:340:51:38

I thought... And the thing is, playing the Albert Hall,

0:51:380:51:41

for anybody, doesn't matter, unless you go on solo,

0:51:410:51:47

it's not going to break even.

0:51:470:51:50

We didn't make very much.

0:51:500:51:53

We made some money from filming it.

0:51:530:51:55

But to get this kind of offer for just a three-night live show...

0:51:550:52:01

But then we did Madison Square Garden.

0:52:010:52:04

Now, the original Cream concerts were in May.

0:52:040:52:08

And then October was the Garden.

0:52:080:52:10

So, between that time, um...

0:52:100:52:15

I don't quite know how to put it without being...hurtful.

0:52:160:52:21

I don't want to be hurtful to Ginger, because I love him

0:52:210:52:24

and we're friends again now and I want that to continue,

0:52:240:52:27

but I don't think he stuck in at his practice enough.

0:52:270:52:32

But we'd made a big mistake.

0:52:320:52:35

We assumed we could go back in just where we left off.

0:52:350:52:38

So we'd practise maybe three days, before the first show.

0:52:380:52:43

And we practised half a song, instead of doing full rehearsals.

0:52:430:52:48

I dreaded...

0:52:480:52:50

..something happening.

0:52:510:52:56

And unfortunately, it happened.

0:52:560:52:59

And when Ginger has problems,

0:52:590:53:03

he has to take them out on somebody.

0:53:030:53:05

And it was always me that he took those things out on.

0:53:050:53:09

When we got on stage the first night, it was wrong.

0:53:090:53:12

It didn't click.

0:53:120:53:14

We were...

0:53:140:53:16

We were short.

0:53:160:53:17

We were short in our capabilities and a fight broke out,

0:53:170:53:22

a verbal fight broke out between Jack and Ginger.

0:53:220:53:25

And it got sour, instantly.

0:53:250:53:27

And I thought "I should've known, I should've known."

0:53:270:53:31

Cos we went back to the worst days of our original incarnation, very quickly.

0:53:310:53:38

I thought, "Well, you know, you've only got yourself to blame."

0:53:380:53:42

If we had addressed this and done full rehearsals...

0:53:420:53:45

But that would've impinged on the amount of money we were going to make.

0:53:450:53:49

So, the cash kind of soured it.

0:53:490:53:51

Playing the Albert Hall...

0:53:510:53:53

it resolved me, I have to say, into saying, "You did the right thing the first time, treat it with respect."

0:53:530:54:00

Maybe it should've been left there, you know.

0:54:000:54:04

And money will always put an angle, an odd angle on things.

0:54:040:54:09

HE PLAYS THE PIANO

0:54:090:54:11

I tend to just write things that I like now.

0:54:200:54:25

And, er... And some people like them.

0:54:250:54:29

And, yeah, I'm still going.

0:54:290:54:31

You never know, might come up with another Sunshine Of Your Love riff.

0:54:310:54:36

HE CHUCKLES

0:54:360:54:39

So, we're in my flat, and we'd been working all night,

0:54:400:54:45

fruitlessly. We didn't have a single...

0:54:450:54:48

We didn't come up with a sausage.

0:54:480:54:51

And then he said, "Well, what about this?"

0:54:510:54:53

and he grabbed his double bass and played me the riff.

0:54:530:54:57

And Pete looked out of the window and the sun was coming up and he wrote...

0:54:570:55:03

It's getting near dawn. "It's getting near dawn

0:55:030:55:05

"and lights close their tired eyes."

0:55:050:55:08

And that was it.

0:55:080:55:09

# It's getting near dawn

0:55:130:55:16

# And lights close their tired eyes

0:55:180:55:22

# I'll soon be with you, my love

0:55:230:55:26

# To give you my dawn surprise

0:55:270:55:31

# I'll be with you, darling, soon

0:55:320:55:35

# Be with you when the stars start falling

0:55:370:55:42

# I've been waiting so long

0:55:520:55:55

# To be where I'm going

0:55:570:56:00

# In the sunshine of your love... #

0:56:020:56:09

It's about a musician coming home from a gig

0:56:110:56:13

and hoping that his wife or girlfriend

0:56:130:56:16

is going to be in a receptive mood when he gets back!

0:56:160:56:20

# ..I'm with you, my love

0:56:200:56:21

# The light's shining through on you

0:56:240:56:27

# I'm with you, my love

0:56:270:56:30

# It's the morning and just we two

0:56:340:56:37

# I'll stay with you, darling, now

0:56:390:56:42

# Keep with you till my seas are dried up, yeah

0:56:430:56:48

# I've been waiting so long

0:56:590:57:03

# To be where I'm going

0:57:030:57:07

# In the sunshine of your lo-o-ove

0:57:080:57:16

# Yeah. #

0:57:160:57:17

'Actually, playing, it's the only time I've ever really been alive in my whole life.

0:57:340:57:41

'It's, like, what I am.'

0:57:410:57:43

The rest of the time, I'm kind of like, you know,

0:57:430:57:45

sort of half alive

0:57:450:57:49

and as soon as I get plugged in, I go, "Ooh!" you know?

0:57:490:57:52

I come alive, until the next time.

0:57:520:57:55

Once the gig's over, it's a little buzz,

0:57:550:57:58

and then you get really depressed until the next time.

0:57:580:58:02

So, yeah, my life is a search, a constant search for the next gig!

0:58:020:58:08

THEY PLAY "Sunshine Of Your Love"

0:58:090:58:12

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:450:58:49

The late Jack Bruce fronted the 1960s supergroup Cream alongside Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker and has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Jimi Hendrix and from Lulu to Lou Reed. ArtWorks Scotland tells the story of his life, from childhood in Scotland to global superstardom, through some of Jack's favourite songs and with contributions from Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Adam Clayton of U2.

The story encompasses some of the biggest riffs and rifts in rock, taking in family tragedy, drugs and near death. A specially chosen set of six songs mark crucial moments in Jack's life, including Cream's Sunshine of Your Love. Jack rerecorded the tracks with some of Scotland's finest musicians including folk trio Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboard player Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, his nephew Nico Bruce on bass and string ensemble Mr McFall's Chamber.


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