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Hall of Fame

In October of '92 Jack received a telegram informing him that Cream was about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He wasn't sure if he'd even attend the January
induction. "I didn't think it would happen. I didn't think all three of us would get together" Jack says. "Then I got a call from Ginger, who'd gotten a call from Eric: If you'll go, Eric
will go. I said, 'If you'll go, I'll go.'"
Eric was not really sold on the idea.
"I must be honest and say that, until very recently, I just didn't believe in this institution at all. I don't believe in institutions, I suppose".
Robbie Robertson, of The Band, convinced Eric that the event would indeed be worthwhile. In the end, Eric conceded; "I was reunited with two people I love very dearly. It was
very moving".

"It was fantastic," Ginger says."It was as if we had just taken a holiday. The magic was still there after all these years."

Jack said,"This is what rock'n'roll is all about. It brings people together. And if the three of us can be together again, anybody can be together again, I'll tell you".

Cream were inducted into the Hall of Fame on the night of January 12, 1993.


Eric and Jack at the Bottom Line Club. (Photo; Michael Pawlyk)

The moment many of the 1,300 guests at the Century Plaza Hotel were waiting for took place well after midnight when Eric, Jack and Ginger shuffled on stage to cheers and
launched into the familiar melody from Sunshine of Your Love.
Music-industry executives, artists and rock fans who could afford ticket prices of $750 and up stood on seats in the hotel ballroom and craned to see the group. Hearing them wasn't a
Cream followed Sunshine of Your Love with renditions of Born Under a Bad Sign and Crossroads.
It's interesting that Cream would play Born Under a Bad Sign. As far as I've been able to determine, Cream never played this song live. Maybe Jack was uncomfortable with his
vocals in those days. Maybe the Rolling Stone review of Wheels of Fire (which was critical of Jack's vocals) affected Jack more than he was willing to admit at the time. Or maybe
the lads were just trying to give us something "new".

Earlier in the evening members of the blues-rock trio ZZ Top had inducted Cream into the Hall of Fame, calling them one of the most important bands in rock history.
"Every musician loved Cream and they still do," said bassist Dusty Hill. "When we started out, three or four Cream songs were in everybody's repertoire".


Photo; Kevin Mazur.


Photo; Kevork Djansezian/The Associated Press

Before Cream took to the stage, Hall of Fame chairman Ahmet Ertegun recalled the first time he heard Clapton play. It was at a London club, during a mid-sixties party for Wilson
Pickett. While the band warmed up, he turned to Pickett and said,"Man, your guitar player sure can play the blues".
Pickett replied that his guitar player was having a drink at the bar.
"So, I turned around and that was the first time I ever saw Eric Clapton" Ertegun said.
Ertegun still seemed to be in his "Cream is Clapton's band" mode. Shamefully, he barely even acknowledged Jack and Ginger.

Cream Hall of Fame

Still Cream, after all these years: Photographer unknown.


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Tom Dowd 1925-2002