Jack Bruce, Palominos
Anton Fier, drummer and founder of the Palominos, had recorded
a song written by my brother that appeared on our 1st album. The song
Animal Speaks was released by the Palaminos with Johnny Rotten on
the A side and Jack Bruce singing it on the B side. When the ever changing
agrigate of musicians known as the Golden Palaminos showed up in Cleveland,
we got the call to open. The job was at Peabody's in the flats of Cleveland.
Antons' a fan of the band and has done a lot to get the band's name, more
specifically, my brother's name, around in the industry...The Music Business.
On our part the show itself went pretty well, I guess. We've played on
that stage so many times that one event tends to blur into another and
another. I do remember that the place was packed, I always like that.
This night, however, was set apart. Jack Bruce was touring with
the Palaminos. If you're too young or too burnt out to remember him, he was
the principle song writer and bass player for "CREAM", and yes I got to
meet him. Anton's entourage didn't carry the usual trappings of Gods sent
to earth to give respite to the less fortunate. We were actually allowed
to co-mingle, despite having assigned dressing rooms. Our band was treated
with some respect for what we had accomplished over the years. That was
refreshing, especially in Cleveland.
So anyway, we played our set which I'm sure was flawless and
amazing, then waited for the Palominos to come on and mop up. They took the
stage, but Jack wasn't with them. They were going to start without him, Jack
would be featured later. I like that concept, I need that.
I went back upstairs to grab one of their beers, their contract
provided beer. Jack Bruce was sitting in the dressing room alone, so I sat
down to have a beer with him. He a was a very personable guy, one of those
people who talk to you like they've known you for a while. He talked
about what it was like touring with CREAM throughout Europe in the early
days. A room they had played in Ireland or Scotland provided one electrical
circut for the entire building. That translates into having one outlet for
your entire house or apartment or whatever. They were a POWER trio and
you can bet those boys could draw the amperes. The venue had to go and get
an auxiliary generator just to get through it.
The other story he told me is one that's as old as the Music
Business itself, I had just never seen it this up close and personal before.
It seems that CREAM's manager had sold Jack's portfolio to someone during
the band's pinnacle of popularity, for some quick cash, $3000.00 to be exact.
Now for the uninitiated, that means that not even $.01 gets to Jack when
you hear "White Room" or "Sunshine of Your Love" on the radio, or buy a CD
to replace the album that he didn't get any royalties for in the first place.
He wasn't bitter, or he just kept it hid. It seemed to be a fact of his
He wanted to impart the story for its own value. Then he got up and went
downstairs to do the job he'd been hired to do, Rock n' Roll.