I was sitting at work today reading the major headlines when I was officially reminded that summer is just about here. If there is one sure sign of the vernal advent it surely must be the seemingly endless string of Rock N’ Roll reunion concerts. The most recent is Cream’s announcement that despite the fact that Jack Bruce and Baker hate each other, the band will, nonetheless, hit the road once again this summer.

Bad blood between the bass player and drummer goes back a long time. Baker once pegged Bruce with his drum sticks during a show. Not to be outdone, Bruce capsized Baker’s drum set. If you can guarantee me that both of these events will occur during the Denver leg of the tour, I will go online and buy a ticket right now. Who even cares if they play “Sunshine of Your Love” or “White Room.”

However, the reality of it is that I would rather keep my seventy or eighty dollars than give to three guys who don’t really like each other very much and are just riding the coattails of past successes in order to make a buck-or a few million, for that matter.

These guys are not in this for the music. They split up for thirty-seven years before getting back together in 2005 and even then relations between Bruce and Baker were once again strained. It’s not easy to make inspired music when all you can think about is how much you can’t stand the person you’re sharing the stage with. And there’s another thing-perhaps the biggest problem I see. What are the chances that they will have any new material? Any fresh music that is relevant to the time we live in today is likely to be absent from any set list you’ll hear on tour. It would be too risky for them to play new material. It’s the same principal as with other classic rock bands that have kept their careers going without actually writing new music. Look at the Eagles, The Police, Lynyrd Skynyrd…etc. Although it’s not entirely their fault that fans yell “Freebird!!!” every fifteen seconds, they have to take responsibility for letting it get to that point. Complacency has no place in music. How can I respect an artist that doesn’t strive to move forward and push the envelope? If they want to play the same songs that they played forty years ago, fine. I’ll just sit on my couch and go to Rhapsody if I ever want to hear “White Room”-for free.

So Cream is coming back, for better or for worse. Clapton certainly doesn’t need to do it financially. He makes enough playing arenas and stadiums to pay for all of the band’s imminent organ transplants, but maybe the other guys are hurting. That’s always the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear about these reunions. Someone, or everyone is financially desperate. Clapton might be bored playing his new age rock but I bet Baker and Bruce are flat out broke. Baker is playing at the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp skewering middle-aged men out of their savings and Baker had a liver transplant in 2004. Not good at all. Maybe it will be good for them to get back on stage and make some noise to remind them of better days. Maybe it will feel good again. Maybe they will drink virgin daiquiris backstage before the show. Maybe it will all work out. Until a renegade drumstick from Ginger Baker’s direction pierces Jack Bruce’s eye blinding him forever and canceling the rest of the tour, forcing Clapton to shell out the dough to pay for the corneal replacement.

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