After hearing about Senator Ted Cruz’ shenanigans the other night on the Senate floor I felt Cream’s “Politition” was in order for this evening. Lucky for me the entire album Wheels of Fire is phenomenal, so it’s a win-win.
One of my lucky grabs at Sunday’s record show, Wheels of Fire has been one of those albums that I’ve wanted to own but never clunked down the green for it. I always had issues with live albums, and the second record of this double LP is nothing but live cuts. Well, once I heard “Spoonful” I realized this one was the exception as far as live albums go. This album is easily becoming one of my favorites(Disraeli Gears still reigns supreme in the land of Cream, though.)
From 1966 to 1969 Cream were the band no one could come close to. What made them so great was that they put ego aside and worked together as a solid unit, everyone contributing and uniting to make some amazing music…. Ha! Gotcha! Hell, Cream was nothing but a giant pulsating ego. It was nothing more than three guys so full of themselves trying to one up each other every chance they had. And if Cream hadn’t been that giant pulsating ego they could’ve ended up being just another Beck/Bogart/Appice. Or worse yet, just another British blues rock band that we’d forget about minutes after their song played on the oldies station. This was not the case, because not only did Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton have massive egos, they also had the talent to back that shit up. I may be going out on a limb here, but these three were never as good as when they were together. Sure, Clapton went on to steal his best friend’s wife, get hooked on coke, write a bunch of saccharine sweet shit songs, and have some career renaissance thanks to some song about “Bad Love” and MTV Unplugged. But dammit, he sold his soul for VH1, people. Jack Bruce went on to do a bunch of work with has-beens and wannabees, while Ginger Baker has done some interesting stuff with Fela Kuti in the 70s and was the drummer for Masters of Reality on their best album, Sunrise on the Sufferbus. Other than those things, the only other thing he’s done is beat Keith Richards Guinness Book of World Records record for most cigarettes smoked in an hour(Richards was 253; Baker beat him by 111 cigarettes.) What I’m saying here is that Cream were a powerful rock trio. They had fire, funk, groove, and most of all, soul. Wheels of Fire is a massive statement of ego, talent, machismo, and some damn fine riffing. Clapton never sounded better. Bruce was an entire rhythm section with his bass playing, and Baker was a beast on the drums. John Bonham, eat your heart out.
So, right now I’d just like to thank Senator Ted Cruz for giving me a good laugh with his crazy shenanigans and reminding me to put on some Cream tonight. Oh, by the way Senator, not sure if you ever finished that bedtime story for your kids or not. If not, let me fill you in on the ending. You see, Sam tried the green eggs and ham. You know what? He liked the green eggs and ham. John I am.
Just a little food for thought on a rockin’ Thursday evening.