Monday, Mar. 09, 2009

Cream: Still Rising To The Top

The short-lived union of the supergroup that included vocalist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce as the 60s blues-rock trio Cream seemed to be clearly written in the cards. After coming together in 1966 after each left his respective band, Cream — as in "cream of the crop" — sold more than 15 million records over the three years they stayed together and developed a massive following.

Torn apart by expanding egos and a rigorous touring schedule, Cream gave its farewell concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on November 26, 1968 — leaving fans speculating for decades that they might reunite for a special tour. In 1997, just a year before the 30th anniversary of that show, rumors of a comeback reached a fever pitch. While Baker and Bruce seemed open to the idea, Clapton's manager Roger Forrester remained resistant, saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Clapton, now a Grammy-winning solo artist, didn't have as much to gain from it. But eight years later, Slowhand changed his tune: Cream performed several shows at Royal Albert Hall and even rocked the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Rumblings of another tour surfaced in 2007 but so far, no dice.

From the Archive: "The Return of Slowhand"