There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. His incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.
Since the guitar's inception, there have undoubtedly been talented players that could make the instrument sing, but it wasn't until the mid '60s and the arrival of the wah pedal that one could make it cry.
Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker gave birth to the power trio, redefined rock improvisation and sold millions of albums. For all their success, Guitar World tells how nothing could stop the Cream from curdling.
As we reported over the weekend, former Cream bassist Jack Bruce died Saturday, October 25, at age 71. Earlier today, his former Bluesbreakers, Powerhouse and Cream bandmate, Eric Clapton, shared a brief instrumental track in honor of Bruce. You can hear the song, simple titled "For Jack," below.
"It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts," the Bruce family wrote. Bruce's publicist added, "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."
"It’s so funny, this,” Clapton says. “I’ve always had that held up as like, ‘This is one of the great landmarks of guitar playing.’ But most of that solo is on the wrong beat. Instead of playing on the two and the four, I’m playing on the one and the three and thinking, ‘That’s the off beat.’ No wonder people think it’s so good—because it’s fucking wrong.” [laughs]
The origin of heavy metal is a very fuzzy thing, but most historians and fans alike can agree that Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut was the first true heavy metal album. Its thunderous drums, sinister riffs and downright evil lyrics left little to be debated, but what we wanted to know was this: What was the heaviest song before Black Sabbath?