The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

23-may-1967 Cream

DATE: Thursday, 23rd, May, 1967
LOCATION: 90 Wardour Street
BAND MEMBERS: Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), Jack Bruce (bass, vocals), Ginger Baker (drums)

Cream premiered on this night their second album "Disraeli Gears", which featured all time classics such as "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Strange Brew" and reached the number 5 in the US top charts placing the band the band in the status of one of biggest rock bands. This night though is widely known as one of the worst live shows in the history of the band and they were reported for being notiaceable under-rehearshed, despite Eric Clapton had said to the audience that they had been working hard to prepare the performance. The audience reacted hesitantly during the show and only became responsive when the band played their former repertoire. Witnesses have said that Jack Bruce failed to remember the lyrics to "Tales of Brave Ulysses" while his amplifier was blowing out. Of course, the other side of the coin was what the audience didn't know was happening in the background. The story is that the P.A. designer and technician Chalie Watkins of the companny W.E.M. was working for the club in a new model of cabinets with sport jack sockets which were beaing tested that night as a try for a future use in the forthcomming 7th National Jazz and Blues Festival in July. Apparently at some point of the show during the performance of "Tales of Brave Ulysses" the sound went off and Jack Bruce's amplifier got fried. Chalie Watkins related the moment this way: "Many cabinets sport jack sockets which allow the input plug to protrude like a sore thumb - just waiting for some raver to walk across the stage and snap it off - quieting your sound and probably burning up your amplifier. Such a thing happened to me when W.E.M.was doing sound for the great "Cream" at the Marquee in 1969. Imagine Jack Bruce's reaction when this happened. My name was mud at the Marquee for 6 months after! I remember coming home that night and designing my "Deep Jack plug escutcheon". It never happened since. You can only buy them from W.E.M. Strange to say, this is STILL the only safeguarded connection escutcheon on the market to this day. Amazing?"

A few months later, on the 13th of July, the band also headlined the 7th National Jazz and Blues Festival of 1967, which was organized by the National Jazz Federation and the Marquee club. Chalie Watkins equipment was used for the event causing serious problems. The sound system was the first 1,000 watts P.A. System with Hi Fi quality ever built in the UK and it worked so good that after numerous complain calls to the police from the nearby villages because of the high volume of the music, the city council imposed a decibel limit and arrested Chalie Watkins. From this moment on the organization was forced to cut the sound low for the dissapointment of the audience. After the festival the Windsor council banned the festival from returning to the site and both WEM and the organizers, Marquee Promotions, were issued and taken to court at Reading County Court in September and the case was finally dismissed.

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