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Cream reunion discussion board
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hans-j?rgen
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:53 am    Post subject: Cream reunion discussion board Reply with quote

I would like to draw your attention to a web site that has been created for the Cream reunion which just takes place at the Royal Albert Hall, London (still two more nights to go):

http://messageboards.cream2005.com/eve/

I hope the upcoming DVD will at least capture some of the atmosphere that must have been incredible there...
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ian
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Hans ? many thanks for the link, some interesting discussions there. First day the tickets went on sale I thought they were expensive at ?60 to ?120?waited until my wife got home from work to ask if we should pay that much ? next day I phoned up and there was nothing left under ?300! ? by the end of the week they wanted over ?1000 WoW !

Bit disappointing for me to see Eric using that Strat, & someone said he was using Fender amps . Don?t get me wrong, I love Eric?s playing, whatever guitar/amp he?s using. But for me his best tone by far was that Les Paul & Marshall Bluesbreaker on the Beano recording. Still pretty good sound in Cream using a different LP, then SG, then 335 through bigger Marshall Stacks etc.,? but I think that Cream sound became too heavy & lost the definition of Beano.

I notice there was some complaint about the lack of energy, but in 1966-68 EC was never very animated ? he mainly stood there playing almost motionless. I think people often view those days through rose-tinted specs ? I doubt if every Cream performance was fantastic in 1960?s. For one thing, Baker always looked to me as if he was heavily on drugs (don?t know if he really was, or how much affect it had), but although his drumming was always exiting & energetic it was also pretty erratic & seemed to go off on into it?s own manic world at times.

Ian.
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hans-j?rgen
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ian wrote:
First day the tickets went on sale I thought they were expensive at ?60 to ?120…waited until my wife got home from work to ask if we should pay that much … next day I phoned up and there was nothing left under ?300! … by the end of the week they wanted over ?1000 WoW !

Never wait to ask your wife about such important matters...

Quote:
Bit disappointing for me to see Eric using that Strat, & someone said he was using Fender amps

Yes, if the experts on the Plexi Amp Forum are right, it was a tweed Twin Reverb (or rather two) either modded or built as a Fender replica by a guy called David Cornell. I think it's the same that he used on his blues album and tour "From the cradle". And I really liked that sound a lot, so I wouldn't be disappointed at allif he sounded like that on the Cream Reunion DVD, too.

Re: that ol' "D'oh! No Gibson! No Marshall either!!" issue I also believe that there are a lot of "gear nerds" hanging around in these web forums who never played in a band or in front of an audience...

Quote:
Don’t get me wrong, I love Eric’s playing, whatever guitar/amp he’s using. But for me his best tone by far was that Les Paul & Marshall Bluesbreaker on the Beano recording. Still pretty good sound in Cream using a different LP, then SG, then 335 through bigger Marshall Stacks etc.,… but I think that Cream sound became too heavy & lost the definition of Beano.

Hmm, I have another view on that, because at the moment "Sunshine of your love" from Cream's "Live Cream, Volume II" is my favorite honk tone of all times. In fact I'm still trying to find a bridge pickup for my LS 120 that would get me somewhere in the same ballpark at least (being a momentary gear nerd, too).

Some sounds on the Beano album are really good (e.g. Hideaway and Steppin' out), but overall the recording is sounding a bit too thin for me. I don't know if the later remixes changed anything in that respect, because I have the first CD release from 1982.

Quote:
I notice there was some complaint about the lack of energy, but in 1966-68 EC was never very animated … he mainly stood there playing almost motionless. I think people often view those days through rose-tinted specs … I doubt if every Cream performance was fantastic in 1960’s.

Ginger Baker himself said in an interview that the Farewell concert in the Royal Albert Hall (available as a video) only was a mediocre performance compared to what they were capable of, although I think his drum solo "Toad" is better than ever there.

And yes, Eric Clapton never moved around on the stage like e.g. Jimmy Page (I just had a look at their concert movie some days ago) and rather put all of his energy into his hands. That Farewell documentary has an interesting part where he is asked to show how "aggression" would sound, and he's playing some licks on his SG which he uses to express this feeling.

Quote:
For one thing, Baker always looked to me as if he was heavily on drugs (don’t know if he really was, or how much affect it had), but although his drumming was always exiting & energetic it was also pretty erratic & seemed to go off on into it’s own manic world at times.

Well, at times they all were heavily on drugs (also documented in these interviews), but what I like about him is his ability to concentrate and listen to the other band members trying to keep up the energetic flow of the music. I guess this might appear as being in an own world to others, but I think it's not quite true.
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ned
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to go to these shows, had a buddy in the UK try and get tickets.

Can't wait for the DVD.

Hans, I can get a really good Sunshine sound with both my LS50 and LS80 on my Guitar Port using the Plexi setting. Gotta use neck pickup that makes a huge difference. I switch to the bridge pup for the solo in order to cut through the mix. Can also get reasonably close using my Dean Markley head and a single coil, once again neck pup for the rhythm work.

Ned
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ian
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote ?Re. ?what no Gibson/Marshall??? ? believe a lot of "gear nerds" hang around in these web forums who never played in a band or in front of an audience... ? . Oh yeah, I?m sure that?s true, but the gear nerds are probably one reason for so much renewed interest in guitars/amps, which is probably no bad thing, and I guess their opinions are valid too... I'd be more concerned about opinion/comment from very young guys with little experience of anything. There are lots of factors .

Of course you can change the tone of any guitar using a versatile amp setup ? I?m always trying to tell guys not to get too hung up on a Gibson sounding one way, and a Strat or whatever sounding radically different, & if it comes to that not getting too ?hung up? on valve amps vs. SS either.

I often think there?s far too much talk about gear anyway, too much fussing over tiny or even imaginary differences, I suppose the talk is easier than getting down to serious playing lol . But I do think Clapton got a wonderful sound from that original Les Paul through a relatively simple Marshall valve combo ? his best tone for me. I have Beano on the original 66 Mono LP (almost worn out!), so I've never heard it on CD ... I guess the CD may be technically better, but might also seem a little more clinical/sterile as a result .

But it?s all subjective opinion.

Ian.
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hans-j?rgen
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ned wrote:
Hans, I can get a really good Sunshine sound with both my LS50 and LS80 on my Guitar Port using the Plexi setting. Gotta use neck pickup that makes a huge difference. I switch to the bridge pup for the solo in order to cut through the mix. Can also get reasonably close using my Dean Markley head and a single coil, once again neck pup for the rhythm work.

Do you have samples of that perhaps? I'm not sure about the neck pickup thing, but I also tried to play that intro with my P-94 of course which stays in the neck position as a reference (will try the DiMarzio PAF at the bridge over the Bassman tonight, too). And we are talking about that live recording, not the studio version from Disraeli Gears, right?
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ned
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Studio version.

I'll make some recordings this weekend.
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tokaigeezer
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A gear Nerd's thoughts on Cream.

At the risk of starting a war here's my two cents. First of all, it's kind of amazing that these guys are still alive with the decent health and the ability to enjoy playing and entertaining, so three cheers for 'em, I say. I remember the excitement when Wheels of Fire came out - I'm that old, I guess.

But maybe the reason two immortal British players (Beck and Clapton, not to mention Peter Green) have switched to Strats is that the single coil sound is more transparent and requires careful playing but also contains the potential possibility of creating a more natural tone that aims for subtlety and not pure sonic slam (ie., with a single coil there's no massive, lardacious humbucker sound to hide behind). I know, I know already that Carlos can make his PRS sigh or scream and I'm aware that there are some very emotive humbucker players out there (the amazing Phil Keaggy comes to mind, and I ain't fit to carry his guitar case on the nest playing day of my life), but it's the Strat sound for me, fellas. Just trying to be honest, not trying to be judgemental.

I know it's all a matter of taste but I honestly don't care about woman tone or the Beano album or whether he used a marshall or not. If I want to cop a great tone, I shoot for Hubert Sumlin's goldtop sound on "300 pounds of heavenly joy," not "White Room" or "Badge" or even "Crossroads." Or the clean toned genius of Jimi's "The Wind Cries Mary." Or the tone of Pee Wee Creighton or Guitar Slim. Or the amazing orchestral tones of Terje Rypdal or Eric Johnson.

Don't get me wrong. I'll take out the Les Paul and crunch it up good when the missus is out, so I'm not trying to be anal. I have a Tele with a set of EVH Wolfgang pickups that can really honk and I enjoy terrorizing the hounds and neighbors with it from time to time. And I'm still hoping to get a Love Rock some day because they are great guitars.

No offense meant, but for me the ultimate is trying to get a great tone with a Strat (Silverstar) with a good tube amp and trying to keep the silly pedals to a minimum. It's the interaction of a good fundamental guitar tone and the effects of overloading the tubes (valves) without rattling the windows or blowing out the last hair cells in my poor old decrepit ear canals. At least for me

My single coil bias aside, what I'm really ranting on about is that is shouldn't matter what you play on because the goal is to please yourself or others who listen to you, and to connect with your inner self or others' external selves in an artistic, esthetic, emotive way so that well, ... beauty of some sort can be created and shared. Or maybe just to make some noise.

Sorry if I've attacked a sacred cow here - not intended, really.
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hans-j?rgen
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ned wrote:
Studio version.

I see... yes, that sounds like a neck pickup to me, too, at least for the intro in D and G, maybe not the chorus in A, C and G.
[Edit]
Listening to it again I think it's a Fender Strat, because it sounds a lot like Jimi Hendrix to me. This would make sense, since he was buying his Brownie Strat during the Disraeli Gears sessions, as far as I know.

But the live recording is something else in my opinion, because the notes on the bass strings sound too clear and creamy for a neck pickup, especially when he's fiddling in G. I also wonder why this recording (and Sleepy Time Time) is so special, i.e. what happened on that night (March 9, 1968 in Winterland, San Francisco)? For me it's like a switch being turned on: "hollow honk on/off" compared to all other live recordings from the same period.

By the way, forgot to add three interesting links:

http://www.whereseric.com/clapton/
http://www.ericclaptonfaq.com/guitars_and_amps.htm
http://twtd.bluemountains.net.au/cream/contents.htm

Especially the last one is a very good resource for Cream gear related infos.
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ned
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some clips (no comments on the playing). The first part is the rhythm and the second is some lead (which the timing is off).

I recorded this with my GuitarPort and Axis SS.

Sunshine Clip

Ned
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hans-j?rgen
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ned wrote:
I recorded this with my GuitarPort and Axis SS.

Sounds great, what does "Axis" refer to, the Hendrix album? By the way, I think there have more Strats been used on Disraeli Gears than it's usually known...
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ned
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Axis = Music Man Axis guitar. The original Axis was the first EVH signature model guitar so the pups are a bit hotter than a typical Love Rocks. I mainly play it due to weight constraints. So far during rehearsal with my new band I've been playing a Tokai Sound Stream T2, has a PAF type HB in the bridge and single coil middle/neck pups.

When I listen to the Disraeli Gears version that really buzzy amp may be a Fender as well, probably an old Champ. I believe EC used a Champ for most of Layla.

Ned
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tokaiguy
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a joke right? Was anyone really expecting the band to bring out on the old outfits, instruments and rigs and perm their hair? There was an article in Guitar world a few years ago, an interview with Hendrix as if he was still among us. He was in his late 50's, receeding gray hair {looking just like Al} and still endorsing and playing his beloved Parker Fly Can you hear the wailing of the masses if Cream played to the nostalgia? Oh my God they would have been crucified! It is what it is! When the remaining Beatles got together with a dead John it was nowhere near the Classic Beatle sound! George played that godawful slide from his solo career and Ringos drums sounded as lousy as anything from "Abbey Road or Let It Rot" Lets face it we love our memories of the past, have you seen the new Mustang? A real artist has to grow! I can't wait to hear the Reunion Concert! I was more into Cream than Hendrix back in the Summer Of Love but listening to the three definative Cream Albums compared to the three Hendrix records I gotta say the Cream stuff sounds like the 60's while Jimi sounds like he is still her! Just my 2 cents, I could be wrong! TG
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Jim Jones
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tokaiguy,

I agree with 100 per cent - much of the Cream material sounds dated compared to Hendrix. I do love the Gibson/Marshall combo though - a big cliche but my favourite sound ever. I really don't like Strats at all.

Jim
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tokaiguy
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks JJ! I'm a sucker for the LP and the Marshall too! We have disscused the "Tone" thing here in the past. Gary Moore on those blues records from the 90's is a favorite {Rectified Soldano} But if ya want to be a bit more versatile I have to go for a Strat with a Blackface Super Reverb! Let's face it , wer'e all tone Junkies!!!
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