Jack Bruce was one-third of the iconic rock legend that was Cream. Playing bass alongside drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Eric Clapton, Bruce would help churn out four albums before Cream flamed out.
“It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”
Bruce’s publicist Claire Singers said, “He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family.”
Cream, the most popular period of Bruce’s career, was originally active for less than three years. But in that time they sold 15 million albums. The band broke up, reportedly because Bruce felt that he had strayed too far from his ideals and wanted to re-discover his musical and social roots.
Others reported that Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, who had played together in another band before Cream, were not getting along. Eric Clapton has said that the band just kept playing louder and louder, not listening to each other on stage, and they had lost their way.
Over the years since the breakup, Cream has reunited twice for tours. Bruce’s former bandmates both offered kind words on the news of his passing.
“My thoughts & wishes are with his family at this difficult time,” said Ginger Baker. Eric Clapton remarked that Bruce “was a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me.”
Geddy Lee, bass player and singer for Rush, was a keen fan of Jack Bruce. He also left a sad announcement on Rush’s website.
“The sudden passing of Jack Bruce is terribly sad news. One of the greatest rock bassists to ever live and a true and profound inspiration to countless musicians. He was one of my first bass heroes and was a major influence on my playing and my music. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans.”