Roger Waters and his love of Cream!
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 21 April 2005

In the current issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, cover date April 21st 2005 (issue 972), they look at the 100 greatest artists of all time, in a feature called "The Immortals".

Despite the fact that Pink Floyd don't appear, Roger Waters does make a contribution - talking of his love of Cream, who make the number 66 spot. The band - Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker - are reforming for a handful of shows in London at the start of May, and Roger will be visiting the Royal Albert Hall to see them perform.

In his article, Roger says:

I was in my third year of classes at a place in London called the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture, which is where I met Nick Mason and Rick Wright. At the end of each term we would have a show, and this time we had Cream -- in a small hall where I had once played Happy Loman in Death of a Salesman, which is beside the point.

The curtain drew back and the three of them started playing "Crossroads." I had never seen or heard anything like it before. I was simply staggered by the amount of equipment they had: by Ginger Baker's double bass drum, by Jack Bruce's two 4-by-12 Marshall amps and by all of Eric Clapton's gear. It was an astounding sight and an explosive sound.

Two-thirds of the way through their set, one of them said, "We'd like to invite a friend of ours from America out onstage." It was Jimi Hendrix, and that was the first night he played in England. He came on and did all that now-famous stuff, like playing with his teeth. That ticket cost about a pound or so. It might have been the best purchase I ever made.

After that, Pink Floyd started to go professional, and we would run into Cream on the road. They affected so many people. Jimmy Page must have looked at Cream and thought, "Fuck me, I think I'll do that," and then put together Led Zeppelin. Along with the Beatles, they gave those of us entering the business at that time something to aspire to that wasn't pop, but was still popular.

There are songs on all the Cream albums that amaze me still, like "Crossroads," "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room" and "I Feel Free." They were desperately trying to write material that was truly progressive and original. And they achieved that. That's why the work has lasted so long and so well. And that's why it was impossible to get a ticket to the upcoming Cream shows in London. I expect my eyes to be popping out of my head again when I see them at the Royal Albert Hall.

The complete article can be found in the magazine, which is currently in the stores, and available via mail-order from the website.