The Events Behind Cream’s Legendary First Live Performance

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Important British rock trio whose short career greatly influenced later music by establishing the so-called “power trio”, helping to establish the sound of blues-rock, broadening its psychedelic roots, and establishing hard rock foundations without losing pop perspective.

Cream consisted of three exceptional musicians, the vocalist and guitarist Eric Clapton (born March 30, 1945, in Surrey), the singer and bassist Jack Bruce (born May 4, 1943, in Bishopbriggs, Lancashire, Scotland) and the drummer Ginger Baker (born August 19, 1939, in London), three well-known figures in the English record industry, as they had belonged to important bands of the time.

The band first performed in public in July 1966 at the Twisted Wheel Club, just a few weeks after their formation when their manager Robert Stigwood landed a booking. In October of the same year, they played with Jimi Hendrix, who was visiting the British capital.

Stigwood announced a press release informing the music industry to Cream, a note immediately had captured the festival bookers’ attentively. He instantly sold the group as: “The first is last and the last is first, but the first, the second and the last are Cream,” he said. “They will be called Cream.”

Despite doing one show, Cream was caught in a surprise in the limelight at one of Britain’s biggest music festivals with 15,000 people in attendance who had no idea that they are about to witness a legendary band.

“It’s funny to think of now, but we were all so nervous,” he wrote in Clapton: The Autobiography.

“We were an unknown band topping the bill, closing the last night’s session. After playing mostly in clubs, we were now performing outside to 15,000 people. We had a tiny amount of equipment, and being only a trio, we didn’t seem to have any power. It all sounded so small, especially playing after the group then known as the world’s loudest rock band, the Who.”

Listen to the bootleg of the show below: