Oakland Earwitness Recollections
from  Bruce Krejcik

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Bruce Krejcik, 2000

I know many of Cream's Farewell Tour concerts were supposedly of poor quality, especially the first one, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. At the time all I knew was I that was in the third row on the floor of the Arena for the last Cream concert I was ever going to see, right in front of Jack Bruce. I was eighteen years old and very excited to get such great seats to see my heroes.

The opening Band was San Francisco's own (It's a) Beautiful Day, which I had seen some months previously, at the Old FIllmore Auditorium. They had been very good then, but they were dull and gutless on this night. Perhaps they were playing things safe on this high-profile gig.

There was the usual long setup period while Beautiful Day's gear was removed and Cream's amps and drums were positioned. Actually, I don't remember Jack and Eric's amps being moved, but they had to bring out Ginger's drums, set them up and nail them down.

It was slow waiting while nothing happened, then all the lights in the arena were extinguished. The only lights we could see were the green Exit signs by the doors and the little red lights on the amplifiers. In a few moments I could hears some vague noises and then the amp lights winked out and back as people walked across in front of them. We sat in the dark awhile, then, in the same instant, the spotlights came on and Cream hit the first chord of "White Room." WHAM. I've never seen that done at any other show, and the effect was stunning.

They did "Sunshine of Your Love." I finally got to see them do "Spoonful." I was thoroughly blown away. I remember Baker's drum solo being done to "Passing the Time," which surprised me. I was amazed when Eric and Jack just plain left the stage after launching the song, then coming back when Ginger signalled them with a buildup to a pause, then a couple huge slams on his snare.

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Bruce Krejcik, 2000

Eric's jacket was a peach or apricot color, white trousers. Very classy outfit. Jack wore what seemed to be a dark blue velvet suit with a ruffled shirt under it. Great look. Of course, Ginger's clothing had to allow him to work hard; he wore a loose shirt, tied at the neck, with long cuffs.

I was electrified by the music and being so close to my favorite, legendary band. I was so totally knocked out by the whole Cream experience that I was not really an impartial judge of the quality of the music. I thought it was incredible.

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Bruce Krejcik, 2000


Bruce Krejcik, 2000