John Symon Asher Bruce Bruce
was born on 14 May 1943 in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire, Scotland, to Betty
(Asher) and Charlie Bruce, musical parents who moved frequently, resulting
in the young Bruce attending 14 different schools, ending up at Bellahouston
Academy. He began playing jazz bass in his teens and won a scholarship
to study cello and musical composition at the Royal Scottish Academy
of Music and Drama
In the early 1960s,
Jack joined the Graham Bond Organisation (GBO), where he met his
future bandmate Ginger Baker. After leaving the GBO, he joined
with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, where he met Eric Clapton,
who also became his future bandmate. His time with the band was
brief. In 1966, he formed Cream with lead guitarist Clapton and
drummer Baker; he co-wrote many of their songs (including "Sunshine
of Your Love", "White Room" and "I Feel Free")
with poet/lyricist Pete Brown.
After the group disbanded
in the late 1968 and he began recording solo albums. His first
solo album, "Songs for a Tailor", released in 1969,
was a worldwide hit. Jack then formed his own band to perform
the material live, and subsequently formed a blues-rock band West,
Bruce and Laing in 1972
Jack played at the
Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990, and was invited by the Irish blues
rock performer Rory Gallagher (who had a long-standing relationship
with Bruce, having supported Cream's farewell concert in the band
Taste in 1968) to perform a couple of songs together on stage
In May 2005, he reunited
with former Cream bandmates Clapton and Baker for a series of
well-received concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's
Madison Square Garden.
Jack at his home at Alphamstone
He was also a regular customer
at a variety of local Public Houses, including the Kings Head
in Pebmarsh, the Fox at Bulmer and the Swan Public in Bures.
A Facebook comment reads: Most
Saturday mornings he could be found sitting at the bar in the
White Horse in Sudbury and hardly anybody ever recognised him,
which is probably why he kept on drinking there.
There is mention that
Jack lived at Le Motte Hall in Pebmarsh during the 1970`s.
Sudbury Facebook comments reads:
"I know they had some pretty wild parties there back in
the day with the likes of Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
Another "we used to have our annual Primary summer school
fete at Le Motte in the 1970s when Jack lived there, I recall
the stalls and remember doing country dancing there
Left:- Jacks final
home was in Goulds Rd, Alphamstone where he was well known amongs`t
the local community.
He sadly died of liver disease at his home on 25 October 2014,
aged 71. He was survived by his wife Margarit and four children.
His funeral was held
in London at Golders Green Crematorium on 5 November 2014, which
was attended by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and a host of other
Writing in The Sunday Times,,
Dan Cairns had suggested: "many consider him to be one of the
greatest bass players of all time."
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Neil McCormick said, "There
was a time when Jack Bruce was synonymous with the bass guitar in rock
history, when he was widely revered as the best there was on four strings."
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd described Bruce as "probably the
most musically gifted bass player who's ever been."
A tribute concert in memory of Jack, took place at the London Roundhouse
on 24 October 2015 - the first anniversary of his death.
Artists playing include ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker, Roxy Music's
Phil Manzanera, Joss Stone to name just a few.
Proceeds were divided equally towards Jack`s Special Charity, the three
(East Anglian) Childrens Hospices in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Jack Bruce Web Site
Published by Alan Beales
Special thanks to Jeanne Quintile in New Jersey, USA for bringing this
story to my attention