The official website of Jack Bruce announced Oct. 25 that the legendary bass player of Cream had died. “It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announced the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad and all around legend. The world will be poorer without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts,” the statement on the website read. His publicist confirmed the death to the Associated Press. The cause of death was reported by the UK Guardian as liver disease.
Bruce was born John Symon Asher on May 14, 1943 in Glasgow, Scotland. His early schooling was at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He was a veteran of many UK bands, including the Graham Bond Organization, Manfred Mann and Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated
After attending a gig by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers which included Eric Clapton. Ginger Baler suggested he and Clapton form a group. Clapton nominates Bruce, then with Manfred Mann, as their bass player. The group members’ reputations help secure them a quick contract with Atco Records in the U.S. and Reaction Records in the UK.
They played their first major gig at the Jazz & Blues Festival in Windsor, Berkshire in the UK on July 16, 1966. The group’s first record, “Wrapping Paper,” co-written by Bruce and Pete Brown, hits #34. They made its BBC debut on Dec. 9, 1966, on the “Rhythm & Blues Show.” In June, 1967, the album “Fresh Cream” debuts on the U.S. charts. Cream had three Top 40 singles on the Billboard charts in a year from February, 1968. “Sunshine of Your Love” hit #5, the follow-up, “White Room,” hit #6 and “Crossroads,” recording live at the Fillmore, hit #28.
Despite a wealth of success, Melody Maker reported in July, 1968, the shocking news the group would split. Bruce began a long solo career with his debut, “Songs for a Tailor.” in 1969. Bruce joined up with the third version of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band in 1995 and played in two more versions through 1999. Current Ringo All-Starr Steve Lukather, on Twitter today, wrote, “RIP Jack Bruce. I am honored to have known him. The world lost another legend.”
Cream returned to the stage in 2005 and put out a DVD and CD of their reunion. In March, Bruce’s website announced his first new studio album in 10 years, “Silver Rails,” recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The deluxe version came with a DVD documentary on its making. Musicians on the album included Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and Robin Trower, and some songs were written by Cream lyricist Pete Brown.