Remembering Jack Bruce

Bass legend leaves immeasurable legacy

By Gary Graff
FBPO Contributing Editor
October 25, 2014

Jack Bruce, the virtuoso bassist, bandleader, songwriter and singer best known for his tenure with Cream during the ’60s, passed away Saturday, October 25, at the age of 71 at home with his family in Suffolk, England.

A message on Bruce’s official web site Saturday confirms that, “It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack; husband, father, grandad, 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.”

No cause of death has been revealed.

Bruce’s stellar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career began during 1962 with Britain’s Blues Incorporated and in addition to Cream included tenures with the Graham Bond Organization, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, BLT, BBM, West, Bruce & Laing, the Golden Palominos and Spectrum Road, as well as his solo work. His most recent album, Silver Rails, came out in March of this year.

Leslie West, who played with Bruce in the group West, Bruce and Laing between 1972-74, called news of Bruce’s death, “a sad day in my life…Everyone’s life. Having played with Jack in West Bruce and Laing and having played with his son, Malcolm, the music world can shed a tear for one of the best bass players and musician on anyone’s planet.”

Eric Clapton paid tribute to his former Cream bandmate with the following statement: “He was agreat musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me.” – ec

Ginger Baker posted on his official fan page: “I am very sad to learn of the loss of a fine man, Jack Bruce… My thoughts & wishes are with his family at this difficult time.”

Mike Watt shared: “up there w/james jamerson, jack bruce was huge bass sensei for me. I knew nothing of bass when d. boon’s ma put me on it when thirteen and he was first teacher for me from the endless loop of ‘fresh cream’ eight-track tape: me getting taught in forever mode w/him learning me the possibilities and opportunities of bass. it’s cuz of him I am forever grateful d. boon’s ma did what she did. he instilled in me the notion of working bass as a means of expression.”

Others from a stunned music community weighed in on Twitter:

Glenn Hughes:  RIP my beautiful friend Jack Bruce.  Thanks (for) your amazing art .. And being such an inspiration when I started playing bass .. love you J

Geezer Butler: So sad to hear of Jack Bruce passing.  My biggest influence and favourite bvass player.  Thank you, Jack.  RIP.

Wolfgang Van Halen: Very very sad to hear of Jack Bruce’s passing.  Amazing musician and inspiration.  Rest in peace.

Flea:  Oh man.  Jack Bruce.  Too much.  Wow.  Holy holy.  I love that guy.  One of a kind greatness.  End of an era.

John Wetton:  Especially sad to hear that Jack Bruce has passed away.  Top man, still an inspiration.  R.I.P.

Hans-Peter Wilfer:  (Below is a heartfelt tribute from Warwick, Jack’s longtime instrument maker):

For over thirty years, Warwick has had the honor of building basses for one of the great musicians of our time.  From his first “Thumb” bass in the ’80s to the JB3 Signature Survivor bass, he strove for perfection.  His legacy will continue in both his music and his signature instruments.

All my team and I will miss you, Jack.  You will always be in our hearts.

Hans-Peter Wilfer
October 25, 2014

Comments on Remembering Jack Bruce

  1. William Wood says:

    I am so sorry.I cut my teeth on Jack Bruce. I learned how to play bass listening to him.
    The world has lost a great one.
    Rest in peace Jack.

  2. Kurt says:

    Sad news indeed. Grew up on jack and his outstanding musicianship. Actually as I go older I rediscovered jacks playing and noticed how after 20 years of playing bass myself how much he had influenced me. A whole new respect the second time around. Keep it loud and proud Up on the heavens !!! Much respect and send my love and condolences to his friends and family. Know that Jack gave many people a gift that I for one will always cherish. His music and inspiration.

  3. mika says:

    I grew up emulating jack bruce and because of him I continued to play the bass . He was a legend in music and was the first bassist that showed the music world that a bass guitar could indeed fill the background for a guitarist and a drummer. RIP Jack you will continue to be my inspiration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *