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Cream Reunion 2005 wadya think of it???


 
12/5/2005 8:36 PM
Mitch Cream Reunion 2005 wadya think of it???
I seen this on PBS and it was great to see these guys rocking after all these years.  
 
I wonder how this compares to the farewell preformance though???  
 
Mitch
 
12/6/2005 10:24 AM
Steve Dallman
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I purchased the reunion concert (from May 2005) and was pretty disappointed. The whole concert was so "polite" and the fiery interplay that live Cream had was nowhere to be found.  
 
The mix was poor, at least as far as Bruce's tone went, until he took off the Gibson bass and switched to the Warwick he's used for years. That bass had more presence, but Bruce's intonation was poor.  
 
Clapton's tone was nothing like classic Cream. It was sterile and his Strat using that mid boost to simulate a humbucker was just that...a simulation. Lace Sensors through tweed Twins just don't produce like humbuckers through dimed Marshalls.  
 
Baker's playing, as was with Bruce and Clapton, was reserved and polite. He was incredibly laid back compared to his playing during the short time Cream was together.  
 
SO...out of curiousity, I ran back to the store and purchased their "FAREWELL CONCERT."  
 
The Farewell Concert was far better although the mix suffered at times and the "psychedelic" camera shots were maddening.  
 
Instead of being able to see the band playing, it's one close up after another. Usually it was seeing Bruce's or Clapton's face, but too often it was a close up of a cymbal, or a shoulder. Full on shots or shots of a guitar or bass fingerboard to see how they were playing were few if any.  
 
The mix was strange, but at least you could hear each player clearly.  
 
What the Farewell concert had was energy, and passion. I remember those days well, and Cream impacted musicians terrifically...as much or more so than the appearance of Hendrix or Led Zep.  
 
Perhaps they just waited too long to do the reunion. Are they just too old to play with the fire and passion they once did? Is it the absense of "non-prescription, recreational pharmecuticals"? I know Bruce is still recovering from his liver transplant.  
 
I'll watch the reunion concert from time to time. It was just so reserved and polite...as if each player held back, or was afraid to push the envelope.  
 
God bless them for surviving and for finally getting back together to do this. In reading about Cream, I had forgotten how short their run was. Incredible that a band that was only together 2 or 3 years could affect music so greatly.  
 
(My own playing is probably way more reserved than it was in the 60's and 70's...)  
 
Maybe they did just wait too long for a reunion. I remember Clapton saying that with Cream, he thought of himself as the weak link. He claimed in their long improvisations, he'd play everything he knew and then play it all again. Bruce's counterpoint was the pivot of the band, and that presence was sadly missing for the most part in the Reunion Concert.  
 
For the best "reunion" material of Cream, check out the album Baker, Bruce and Gary Moore did a few years ago. THAT is what Cream should have been. Baker and Bruce screamed, and Moore played like Clapton should be playing now.
 
 
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12/6/2005 9:01 PM
GregP
Great assessemtn Steve. I agree with all your points.  
 
I watched the other night, off and on. There was no fire in their bellies. They were relatively content, comfortable musicians that have stepped back from the abys that youth continuously flirts with.  
 
It wasn't nearly as bad as watching one of those 60's faux folk music revival's you only see during PBS pledge drives, but it wasn't much better.  
 
The most disappointing sign was Clapton choosing to use a strat and Fender amps (or equivalent). No Gibsons and Marshalls. I much prefer the sound of a strat through a tweed, brownine or blackface, but that wasn't Cream's sound. Might as well been billed as "Cream: Unplugged"  
 
And where was Ginger Baker? The was a guy behind the drums that looked like him, thirty five years older, but he wasn't flailing like the Baker I know.  
 
Oh well, it beat the heck out of watching Peter, Paul and Mary singing Puff the Magic Dragon.
 
12/6/2005 6:21 PM
MKB
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I don't have the reunion DVD, but have seen a lot of it, and it's on my Christmas list. I do own the farewell video so I've seen them both. IMHO there is not as much fire in the reunion, but there is a lot of content. To me they sounded exactly like Cream 40 years down the road, if that makes any sense. They were a lot more seasoned and mellowed, and were excellent in their own way. The real surprise was Clapton, his playing had far more content than in the sixties. I was a bit shocked at how well he played. He is to be admired in that he could just simply coast on his laurels at this time in his career, but he decided to go way out on a limb and be put in this situation. It would have been easy for him to fall flat on his face and be ridiculed, but he stepped up to the plate and delivered.  
 
In the interview section of the DVD, Bruce said they tried practicing with the Gibsons and Marshalls, but they just didn't work very well, so they decided to use their normal gear to get the best results.
 
12/6/2005 9:51 PM
Mitch
Well you all have good points. Cream broke up when I was only 8 so I wasn't into their music until the 70's.  
I do feel they sounded good. Maybe not like they used to but still good. Got to give them credit as the older you get the more laid back you get too.  
They still jam.  
 
Times and music have really changed and have made their music sound not so heavy as it did when it first came out.  
 
It was still a cool concert. The only guys you see still playing their age is the Stones so shows that most musicians cannot keep up the music scene or concert pace into their 60's.  
Its shame that time takes its toll on us as we age. I feel the soul is timeless but the body isn't :(  
 
I'm in my mid 40's now and can still play the Van Halen stuff but even if I was to play out I don't think too many would be interested in hearing some mid forties guy playing Eruption or Panama... LOL...  
 
A buddy that used to play bass in my old band from the 80's still does the club gigs every weekend and finds most want either laid back music or the new stuff that kids listen to now aday. I can't relate to that so I still like watching even the old farts play good old music.  
Just my take, everyone has one LOL......  
 
Mitch
 
12/7/2005 6:20 AM
Regis
Well, I didn't want to like it but I did. I thought for a bunch of geriatrics (Baker is what, 67,68?) they kicked ass. Sleepy Time Time, Politician, even Crossroads sounded good.  
 
C'mon, guys, that was almost 40 years ago!  
 
I've been playing 38 years, and I'm certainly not the same guy or the same player I was even ten years ago. I'm certainly not the hothead I was when I was 25, and they aren't either.  
 
Now, having said that, I can pick on it. For one, crappy tone. I got no problem with Strats and Tweed amps, but that midrange boosted shit Clapton uses just pisses me off.  
 
It would have been nice to see an extended jam, but since everyone in the audience was probably sober that might not have gone over too well. :-)
 
12/7/2005 6:27 AM
giustd
the other guys need the $, Clapton did it strictly for fame.
 
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