Cream bass guitarist Jack Bruce honoured by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Legendary Cream bass guitarist Jack Bruce has been honoured by his alma mater with the installation of a new sculpture at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Regarded as one of the finest bassists of all time, the Scottish singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist has been recognised by the institution where he was a cello and composition student between 1958 and 1961. In a neat twist, the sculpture which is made of wood, Perspex and metal – encapsulates some of Jack’s own bass guitar strings. Laser etched on to the artwork is a quote from Jack which reads: “Failure can be a triumph but fear of failure is always a disaster.” It was created by artist, designer, costumier and Royal Conservatoire alumna, Hazel Blue, who was commissioned by Royal Conservatoire Archives Officer, Stuart Harris-Logan.
The memorial was unveiled during a recent reception in the institution, with Bruce’s widow Margrit (pictured top, left, with designer Hazel Blue) and daughter Kyla among those in attendance. It was followed by a Blue Mondays concert featuring jazz students from Scotland’s national conservatoire, which recently cemented its place in the world’s top ten performing arts institutions for the third year in a row.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Jack Bruce was a prodigious talent, a natural musician whose art and legacy will inspire students for decades to come.
“From Eric Clapton to Manfred Mann and Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, Jack’s collaborators read like a who’s who of the music business, testament to his outstanding musicianship and versatility. We are delighted to be remembering his musical legacy with this artwork here at the Royal Conservatoire.”
Born in Glasgow, Jack’s love of music was stimulated by his parents’ love of Scottish folk music and jazz. At 16, he won a scholarship in cello and composition to what was then the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, from where he later received an Honorary Doctorate of Music.
Jack settled in London and played with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, The Graham Bond Organization, John Mayall and Manfred Mann before forming the world’s first supergroup, Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. He composed most of Cream’s hits, including I Feel Free, Sunshine of Your Love, White Room and many others during the band’s meteoric career. After the demise of Cream, he began his dream of pursuing his personal goal of forging his own musical language and playing with many of the finest musicians in the world in his own bands.