October 23, 2003
I took that depressing shit out of my stereo and plugged in an oldie but a goodie and turned the volume up loud. It's Cream, "Live at the Fillmore," circa late 1960's. Goddam! Eric Clapton can play a guitar. "Slow Hand," my ass. He and Jack Bruce COOK together. Ginger Baker isn't half-bad on the drums, either.
What I really like about that CD is the fact that it was recorded live. That's the REAL DEAL when you play it on stage. Recording studios are very forgiving places. You can go back and fix your mistakes there. You get only one chance when you're up there in front of the crowd. That's when you show what you really bring to the table. A lot of musicians are good in the studio while they suck on stage. I always liked doing it live.
I believe the Cream version of "Crossroads" is about as good as I've ever heard it played. Man! That song makes me want to get up and dance, and I'm not drunk OR stoned right now. Plus, I dance like a fucktard. Bejus! It's just plain, straight-out, good music. Listen to those licks!
I go flying off into my own sphere like this sometimes. If you are not a musician, you may not understand what I am talking about, but TRUST ME about one thing That's really good stuff on my stereo right now. I wouldn't lie to you about that.
I would never lie to anyone on my blog. Well, I never tell BIG LIES. I may elaborate and pontificate, but that's what a writer is SUPPOSED TO DO. Gimme a break. Just listen to the music.
That's the GOOD stuff.
Ginger Baker was to drumming what metal sculpture is to a body shop.
That said, he worked with Jack Bruce and Clapton because they were such incredible musicians.
And Clapton got his nickname of "God" just before he played with Cream, and now you know why. Even Hendrix was impressed with him, and that says a lot. (Of course, the impression was mutual.)
Cream's just about my favorite "classic rock" band. I mean, FAVORITE- i have just about everything they've done, and most of Jack Bruce's solo stuff, and some Ginger Baker Trio stuff. Big shout out to Felix Pappalardi, too, for being such a fantastic lyricist.
"driving in my car, smoking my cigar, the only time i'm happy's when i play my guitar"
Ginger was the first drummer I ever heard play double-bass drums. I was impressed with his foot-rolls at the time.
But the older I get, the more I like the tasty players instead of the noisemakers. Do you know who I consider to be a VERY good drummer today?
Ringo Starr, that's who. If you don't know that fact already, I'm ready to argue with you about it. Just listen to The White Album.
And I agree on one point. Clapton is God. He makes it look SO FUCKING EASY, too.
Best display of drumming I ever saw was at the Concert for Bangla Desh, with Ringo and Jim Keltner drumming completely in sync, throughout the entire concert.
Unless you know how unbelievably difficult that is, you can't really pass a negative comment on Ringo's ability.
"Super-competent" would be my description of Ringo's drumming. 80% of the world's drummers aren't even that good.
Listen to Ringo's work from the early albums to the end of The Beatles. He is ALWAYS right where he needs to be when he should be there. I've played with some talented drummers that SUCKED in a band because they couldn't do that.
Ringo is VERY GOOD on the drums.
Imus put John Prine heavily into the bumper rotation this week, with ``your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore,'' in musical notes from all over.
The only thing better than one virtuoso guitarist is two. How about the Layla album where E.C. and D.A. go toe-to-toe for 3 sizzling sides?
Damn! Something I actually agree with you on. Ice Cubes must be free today in hell. ;-)
"Disraeli Gears" is my favorite Cream album. If you really want to hear Clapton play the blues pick up a copy of "EC Was Here". there are cuts on it that'll make you cry.
Live is where you can tell good musicians. One of my favorite all time groups was Cactus and they were better live than in the studio. Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert were always together on drums and bass. Listen to the live version of Parchman Farm.
Johnny Winter is the best blues guitarist I have ever heard in my life and he is so much better live than in the studio.
You know what fascinates me about Clapton? The fucking guy never had a guitar lesson in his life. Amazing stuff.
Right on brother! Lotta good shit came out of the Fillmore, including some Allman Bros.
Live Cream Vol II - best damn "Sunshine of Your Love" ever, Clapton jamming his ass off on an extended break. At the end it sort of goes to hell, going for too heavy a finish, they wrecked it--but up to that point, magnificent. When you hear the opening notes of Clapton's guitar, you know it's the hardest-rocking rendition ever. Time: 7:22, but most of it is great.
(In later years he said he worked his ass off with Cream, it took too much energy, being a 3-piece band.)
I think Fillmore East was where they laid down that great version of "Key to the Highway." Another favorite
Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.
He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
Insanity is forgetting to believe a few lies.
What else can i say after all this ?!