New Cream Work Is Series of Jumping Off Points

February 24, 1968

Below is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in RS 6 from February 24, 1968. This issue and the rest of the Rolling Stone archives are available via Rolling Stone Plus, Rolling Stone's premium subscription plan. If you are already a subscriber, you can click here to see the full story. Not a member? Click here to learn more about Rolling Stone Plus.

They are the Cream. Baker, Bruce and Clapton: and there's not many desperados who would hitch up their breeches and roll down the dusty main street to meet the Cream in battle at high noon.

There's something just formidable about the Cream, maybe it's the multi-talented Baker, Bruce and Clapton, brimming with musical confidence and religiously slaying their audiences night after night with a bedazzling hurricane of technique, drama, emotion and zooming spirit.

Maybe it's that hairy satanic aura, the cool hard gaze of Eric Clapton from beneath that underworld of hair, the deep colorful mystery of their flowing robes. Maybe it's the creamy texture of both the group and their music.

Admittedly, though, one's fondest memories of the Cream are their stunning live performances. That giant bank of amplification, red indicators shining, make an impressive science fiction-like backdrop of thundering rocket power; Ginger Baker up on his drum rostrum, a flashing angry hobgoblin weaving percussive spells, and stamping his heeled boots until you could hear the earth shake.

Suddenly the gentle voice of Jack Bruce, head cocked to one side, might float through the churning clouds and all the lights would go purple and the scene would change again — but how can the experience of a live group on stage ever be put onto record.

The Cream certainly, have been criticized by quite a few members of the public — fans, at that — on the tricky relationship between live experiences and recorded ones.

To read the full article, you must be a subscriber to Rolling Stone Plus. Already a subscriber? Continue on to The Archives. Not a member and want to learn more? Go to our All Access benefits page.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »