Gary Moore: "Cream was a very magical band"
When Gary Moore joined Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in the ‘ersatz Cream’ BBM, it was a dream come true for the guitarist – but one that was over almost as soon as it began
Gary Moore was off the road and hardly in the studio during 1993, until he took a call from former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, who had just lost his guitarist Blues Saraceno to the glam-metal band Poison. Jack had a couple of gigs coming up in August in Esslingen, Germany, where his wife Margrit was born. Steve Topping was down to play the first night, but couldn’t do the second, so Jack asked Gary if he fancied stepping in.
Gary Husband was Jack’s drummer at the time: “I was immediately pretty impressed by Gary’s ‘lightning strike’ impact as a guitarist. He meant every note, and that means a lot to me. For the majority of the time we were playing Cream material, which wasn’t my favourite endeavour with Jack because I always hated trying to fill someone else’s shoes in a very particular and personally formed way of playing. Gary, on the other hand, came in and ‘owned’ those songs, seemingly from moment one, almost as if he had been the guitarist in the original group. It was always very impressive how he did that.”
Gary Moore told me in 2009: “That gig in Esslingen went so well, I asked Jack if he fancied doing some writing together, because I was planning the next Gary Moore album.”
Gary had tried to set up a studio in his house in Shiplake in Oxfordshire. He experimented with the changing room of the outdoor pool but it didn’t work, so he rented a house nearby that would serve as an office and an eight-track studio. Gary said: “Jack would come over and would work with me during the day. I’d written some songs, but it was kinda weird because the songs were moving more his way and I was starting to think of Jack singing them.”
At the beginning of November 1993, Jack celebrated his 50th birthday with an all-star concert over two nights at the E-Werk in Cologne, featuring many of the musicians he had played with over the years, including Ginger Baker, Simon Phillips, Clem Clempson, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Pete Brown and Gary Husband, and Gary Moore was invited to take part.