Paul Stanley (KISS), Mick Mars (MÖTLEY CRÜE), Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH), Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH), Geddy Lee (RUSH), Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE), Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, THE WINERY DOGS), Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH) and Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DIGS) are among the rock musicians and scores of other artists who reacted on Twitter and Facebook to the death of legendary CREAM bassist/singer Jack Bruce on Saturday (October 25). He was 71 years old.
Bruce's family said in a statement: "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 death was confirmed by his publicist Claire Singers.
She said: "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."
CREAM was formed in 1966, and consisted of Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their sound was characterized by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and burgeoning psychedelic rock, combining imaginative lyrics, often written by poet Pete Brown, Eric Clapton's innovative blues guitar playing, Jack Bruce's operatic voice and fluid bass playing, and Ginger Baker's jazz-influenced drumming.
The group soon evolved further creating a trademark approach built around each musician's virtuoso playing. Their live performances soon became renowned for lengthy improvisational pieces based on traditional blues structures such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", modern blues such as "Born Under A Bad Sign", and their own songs such as "White Room" and Ginger Baker's powerhouse showcase "Toad".
Following their first pop hit single "I Feel Free" in January 1967, CREAM's debut, "Fresh Cream", set the tone for group's inventive mix of blues standards and more eccentric original material and reached No. 6 in the UK album charts. It offered a unique blend of blues — Robert Johnson's "Four Until Late" and Skip James' "I'm So Glad" — inventive originals such as "Dreaming" and the showcase, near-instrumental "Cat's Squirrel".
Before the end of the year, CREAM released the follow-up "Disraeli Gears", its distinctive Day-Glo psychedelic cover designed by underground illustrator Martin Sharp. Recorded in May in New York during their first American tour, it includes landmark songs such as "Strange Brew", the melodic but heavy-riffing "Sunshine Of Your Love" and more surrealistic, wah-wah drenched "Tales Of Brave Ulysses"; in all a brilliant, textured, multi-dubbed sound that went beyond blues.
Non-stop touring soon saw CREAM break through in America where "Wheels Of Fire", released in August 1968, topped the U.S. charts for a month and was the world's first platinum-selling double album. It comprised one album "in the studio" — including the Jack Bruce- and Pete Brown-penned classics "White Room" and "Politician" — while the other side was recorded at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, highlighted by expansive readings of "Crossroads" and "Spoonful".
RIP Jack Bruce. One of the true greats. Bass playing & singing in Cream influenced countless others who followed. Sad pic.twitter.com/vteKTkKFDP— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) October 25, 2014
So sad to hear of Jack Bruce passing. My biggest influence and favourite bass player. Thank you, Jack. RIP.— Geezer Butler (@GZRMusic) October 25, 2014
Very sad to hear of the passing of Jack Bruce, a major influence in music and an amazing bass player and singer. He was a hero to so many.— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 25, 2014
RIP to Jack Bruce. You are with Ronnie Now. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. #RIPJackBruce— Official Dio (@OfficialRJDio) October 25, 2014
Jack Bruce " Bassist of Cream " R.I.P.— Mick Mars (@mrmickmars) October 25, 2014
Very very sad to hear of Jack Bruce’s passing. Amazing musician and inspiration. Rest in peace.— Wolfgang Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 25, 2014
RIP Jack Bruce...I had the honor of jamming with him a few years ago, a memory I will always cherish! One of the legends...— Mike Portnoy (@MikePortnoy) October 25, 2014
On a sad note-- by far, one of my biggest influences and important heroes of my life JACK BRUCE has passed away. God bless you, Jack.— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) October 25, 2014
I did a cover story for Guitar World mag w Jack years ago. We hung out together for the interview. What an amazing time we had.— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) October 25, 2014
What a privilege and an honor to hang with "rock royalty" like Jack Bruce. I look back at that as one of the high points of my life & career— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) October 25, 2014
He will be missed but his music is immortal. And his playing AND SINGING were spectacular. One of the GREATEST. EVER.— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) October 25, 2014
RIP my beautiful friend Jack Bruce .. Thanks your amazing art .. And being such an inspiration when I started playing bass: love you J??GH— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) October 25, 2014
Truly in the sunshine of your life now. Rest In Peace #JackBruce.— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) October 25, 2014
This is such a tremendous loss. I got to do a Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp with him in Las Vegas a few years back.... http://t.co/kPJjaokbAT— David Ellefson (@ellefsondavid) October 25, 2014