Clips & Pix: Cream/Politician

As frequent visitors of the blog may have noticed, I’ve been a bit on a Cream trip lately. Undoubtedly, most of this can be explained by two great back-to-back tribute shows to the British power rock trio I saw recently.

Cream only lasted for two and a half years and three albums (not counting Goodbye, which was released after they already had disbanded). If anything, I’ve gained new appreciation for their music catalog and “discovered” tunes that weren’t much on my radar screen before. One of these songs I’ve really come to dig is Politician. Yeah, it’s only a simple blues scale, but I just love everything about it – Eric Clapton’s cool guitar riff and solo, Jack Bruce’s vocals and the tight rhythm section he formed with Ginger Baker. I know I’ve said this before and completely unbiased as a former bass player: No rhythm section, no band!

While I usually keep the blog to music and don’t comment on politics, posting the tune at this time feels weirdly relevant. I think it’s okay and even healthy for democracy to have different opinions but just wish certain politicians and other folks would remember that at the end of the day we’re all together in this. When you see the media being called the “enemy of the people” and some nutcase mailing pipe bombs all over the country, you know not all is well. But amid the grim picture, I haven’t lost faith in this country. Democratic nations deserve the leaders they have. There’s an election coming up, and if you don’t like what you see and are eligible to vote, go and do so – frankly, it’s your fucking responsibility!

Okay, with politics being out of the way, let’s get back to a more uplifting subject – music! Politician was co-written by the amazing Jack Bruce and his frequent music collaborator Pete Brown. It first appeared on Wheels Of Fire, Cream’s third and last album that came out while they were still together. The above clip is from their 2005 reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Bruce and his former band mates Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton were in fine shape that night – boy, would I have loved to be at that show!

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube

5 thoughts on “Clips & Pix: Cream/Politician”

  1. One of my favorite Cream tunes. I play that lick on the guitar all the time. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but when I went to the Beacon to see one of the Allmans’ last shows, it was the same day Jack Bruce died. (Oct. 25, 2014). The ABB played “Politician” but oddly, never said a word about why they played it, Jack Bruce or anything. I guess you either knew or you didn’t.

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    1. I’m happy to report I also figured out how to play the basic riff on the guitar. But I have a funny feeling that compared to you, I completely suck at it – but I suppose I still get some points for the effort!😀

      As for that ABB gig you mentioned, how weird is that? If you play “Politician,” why not at least briefly acknowledge Jack Bruce? No long speech. They just could have said, ‘This is for Jack’ or something.

      I have to believe this wasn’t done deliberately. Perhaps, they thought everyone in the audience knew, given how prominent Jack Bruce was, so they didn’t feel the need to call him out.

      This reminds me that I once saw Gregg in a media interview. He wasn’t much of a talker and looked really awkward. For context, it wasn’t about music but for a health awareness campaign for Hepatitis C, which he supported. It was still cool to see the man!

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      1. Well, I wouldn’t assume my guitar skills are on the Clapton (or whatever) level. I could just be talking a good game. 🙂

        Yeah, I was puzzled why Warren Haynes (who sang it) didn’t say anything. That assumption that everyone would know it was incorrect. The guy next to me was relatively young and didn’t know shit. Once he realized I knew something about something, he asked me questions about the various songs. Had he known he was sitting next to the Music Enthusiast, I’m sure he would have shown the proper respect by pouring a beer over my head.

        Gregg was a laid-back guy but I saw two good interviews (Conan, Dan Rather) with him.

        Liked by 1 person

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