Live: Jack Bruce Tribute Concert

Friends and family celebrate the music of the late rock great.

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All too often, all-star-gatherings fall flat on their face, usually because of insufficient rehearsal. Thankfully that wasn’t the case when stars, friends and family came together to pay tribute to former Cream bassist, vocalist and songwriter Jack Bruce, on the first anniversary of his death.

Sadly the hotspot in most people’s account of the mostly enjoyable evening won’t be Level 42 man Mark King’s sterling efforts on bass and vocals, the bluesy guitar playing from Bernie Marsden and David ‘Clem’ Clempson, or Uli John Roth’s solos on I Feel Free and Badge. Nor will it be the spine-tingling video of vintage Jack, solo at the piano, playing his beautiful Theme From An Imaginary Western; or his daughter Aruba Red’s emotional vocal delivery of We’re Going Wrong; or Ian Anderson’s wonderfully light delivery of Tickets To Waterfalls; or any other touching moments.

The name that will dominate most people’s memory of the event will be legendary drummer Ginger Baker. Having taken to the stage to wild applause, Jack’s former Cream bandmate’s petulance – forcing other drummer, Frankie Tonto, off stage a few minutes into We’re Going Wrong, then throwing his toys out of the pram and storming off himself during the grand finale of Sunshine Of Your Love – was unforgivable, whatever the reasons. Speaking as a life-long fan, the man is an utter twat.

Paul Henderson

Classic Rock’s production editor for the past 22 years, ‘resting’ bass player Paul has been writing for magazines and newspapers, mainly about music, since the mid-80s, contributing to titles including Q, The Times, Music Week, Prog, Billboard, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and International Musician. He has also written questions for several BBC TV quiz shows. Of the many people he’s interviewed, his favourite interviewee is former Led Zep manager Peter Grant. If you ever want to talk the night away about Ginger Baker, in particular the sound of his drums (“That fourteen-inch Leedy snare, man!”, etc, etc), he’s your man.