By Jim Johnson

Eric Clapton has streamed a new acoustic piece of music in memory of his recently departed Cream bandmate Jack Bruce, titled “For Jack.” Bruce died on Saturday, October 25th of liver disease at age 71. Clapton posted a tribute on his Facebook page: “He was a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me.”

Another legendary English guitarist also saluted Jack Bruce, with Peter Frampton posting a long tribute on his Facebook page, which reads in full:

I was going to clubs in London’s Soho from the time I was about sixteen. Wardour Street had the Marquee Club, which was where, my first pro band, The Herd would be discovered. It also had the Flamingo. This is where I first saw the great Jack Bruce play bass with The Graham Bond Organisation.

W O W ! Jaw dropping stuff. I had never heard anyone play bass anything like this before.

Ginger Baker was the drummer and equally as innovative. At the time, no one had any idea that, later, the two of them would end up as two thirds of Cream.

But I couldn’t take my eyes of Jack. His style was so different and his singing was great. At the same time as singing he was playing the most intense bass lines.

His bass always had this gnarly, distorted, growling sound. I couldn’t get close enough to the stage ….. AND I was in the front row!

Eric, Jack and Ginger made music together that changed everything for me. And there was that phenomenal bass playing again, wonderfully forceful and so inventive.

Fast forward to the 90s and my dear friend, Ringo calls me up and asks if I will be in the All Star band for a tour. Delighted I said yes and then asked him who else was going to be in the band.

“Jack Brice is playing bass”. Did I hear him correctly?? THE Jack Bruce? OMG. My mind went right back to Wardour Street in 1967. Holy crap I’m going to play with Jack Bruce!

I did play with Jack for many shows and he and I really had memorable times together, on and off stage.

Jamming with Jack on Cream material was magical and him soloing on Do You Feel Like We Do was unforgettable. Some nights we got to play a duet together on, “Theme From An Imaginary Western”. Jack on piano and me on guitar. One of my all time favourite Jack songs.

At a gig in Arizona one day I was checking my rig after sound check. I look up and noticed a tall red headed, lanky chap ambling towards the stage. As he gets into speaking range I hear,

“‘ere Pete, where’s Jack?”

It was Ginger!!!!

Needless to say that night, “White Room” had Ginger and Ringo on drums and myself as Eric Frampton or Peter Clapton on guitar. Pick one or the other. No words to describe this.

So it’s taken a few days for me to get used to the idea that we’ve all lost Jack.

For me, I had a special connection with one of music’s greatest bass virtuosos. When you meet one of your heroes it can go both ways. Jack was everything great I remembered and more. Playing with him was a dream come true ….
Every night!!!

My thoughts, condolences and love go to Margrit and the children.

I miss you Jack. By for now. RIP

CHECK IT OUT: Eric Clapton’s “For Jack”:

Jack Bruce and Peter Frampton with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band on May 30th, 1997 performing “Sunshine Of Your Love” live in Clarkston, Michigan:


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