[Slowhand] Jack's Back

John Mills turbineltd at btconnect.com
Thu Jul 5 03:15:18 EDT 2007


Cream rises to top as Bruce finally gets degree - 50 years after angry
AS a precocious and talented teenager who believed he was destined for
stardom, Jack Bruce thought he knew it all.

So, when his tutors at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama failed
to take his ideas on music seriously enough, he quit the course in protest.

Now, nearly 50 years on, Jack Bruce, the rock legend who founded the
superband Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, has returned to
Scotland's national school of music to receive an honorary degree and make
peace with the body he walked out on.

Now 64, Bruce studied cello and classical composition at the RSAMD. But he
was to find his fortune in rock music, becoming a millionaire as vocalist
and bass player with Cream, a band that had hits with the likes of I Feel
Free and Strange Brew.

He returned to the RSAMD in Glasgow to accept his honorary degree from Jim
Gourlay, the director of music.

A spokesman for the academy said yesterday: "We are delighted to finally
confer a degree on someone who turned out to be one of the most influential
and successful musicians of his age.

"Jack Bruce is hailed as one of the most powerful vocalists and bassists of
all time. His pioneering playing on the electric bass guitar revolutionised
the way the instrument is used.

"His work with bands such as Cream, as well as his solo material, opened the
doors to a new approach to the art of sound, breaking the barriers of
tradition and creating a kind of music which had never been heard before."

Chris Jisi, an American rock writer and guitar expert, said both Clapton and
Baker had attracted more attention on stage. He said: "Bruce was at times
overshadowed by the other two, even though he was the lead vocalist and main
song writer who stirred this strange brew with vision and an unusually
progressive bass style."

Bruce already played in big bands around Glasgow while a student. And the
multi-talented Glasgow-born musician took to the road after leaving the
RSAMD, playing double bass in dance bands and jazz groups in London and
mainland Europe.

He also played with Manfred Mann before founding Cream in the 1960s.

Bruce, who now lives in Suffolk, has worked with some of rock's top
musicians, including Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, who went on to become the
Rolling Stones' drummer, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Peter Frampton.

He is also credited with influencing musicians ranging from Sting to Jaco

Cream notched up 35 million album sales around the globe in only two years,
won the first-ever platinum disc and virtually invented stadium-sized rock
concerts, before splitting up in 1968.

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1046332007

Last updated: 04-Jul-07 00:17 BST

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