On the 25th of October, in the year of our Lord 2014, the world lost one of its greatest citizens. Jack Bruce, husband, father, grandfather, and virtuoso bassist, passed away from liver disease at the age of 71. His bass playing in the supergroup of supergroups, Cream, was some of the most influential in the annals of bass guitar. Just listen to “Badge”, “White Room”, or Cream’s explosive live version of “Spoonful” to hear not only Jack Bruce’s bass lines, but also his majestic vocals.
The death of Jack Bruce brings up once again the constant question of what will become of Rock and Roll in the future? It’s no secret that, these days, we see less and less of the brave and bold rockers that are willing to push the boundaries of volume, sound, and effects. Oh, they’re out there, making the music that they want, rest assured. But these types of serious, studious, talented, and fearless artists seem to not get the respect, adoration, and exposure that their ilk received even 20 years ago. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Rock and Roll used to fill stadiums and arenas. 20,000-seat venues were the playgrounds of contemporary rock bands like Cream, Aerosmith, Metallica, and Pearl Jam during their respective eras. But where are the rock bands of this generation? Who shreds for the people today? One would think that the incredible access to information available to the average citizen these days would give them up-to-minute access to the best modern bands to fill their respective personal tastes. However, it has had the opposite effect. There are so many bands rocking out there now, and even more forming every day. How’s a shred-head supposed to narrow down the sounds?? There’s only so many hours in the day – I can’t listen to all this new music and still appreciate my faves!! And the worst part is that the so-called “popular” radio stations today play the same watered down crap every 20 freakin’ minutes!! It’s not that the great musicians aren’t out there, they totes MAGOTES are! It’s that the great musicians, artists, and songwriters of today are forced to take a backseat to the over-produced and over-exposed pop stars that have flooded the market with their generic anemic crap!! It needs to end.
Everyone who reads this, I have an assignment: go out and listen to a band or artist that you’ve never heard of and know nothing about. Just one!
Do it, and I guarantee your horizons will expand beyond what you thought possible. Go out and seek some new talent. Don’t wait for it to be announced by some producer or studio. Find something new, and listen to it. Even if you hate it, listen to it. Because it might lead you to something you didn’t even know about yourself.
Do it for Jack Bruce!