The reason why Cream bassist Jack Bruce hated Led Zeppelin

Jack Bruce

Led Zeppelin, a rock institution, has faced both adoration and criticism over the years. Jack Bruce, the bassist for Cream, openly expressed his disdain for the legendary band, especially targeting Jimmy Page’s guitar playing. This critique surfaced just before Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion gig at London’s O2 Arena.

In 2008, Jack Bruce didn’t hold back, asserting that Led Zeppelin was “crap” and boldly stating that Cream surpassed them by tenfold. His frustration stemmed from Zeppelin’s Celebration Day concert at the O2 Arena, which, according to Bruce, fell short compared to the extensive weeks of gigs Cream had performed. He criticized Zeppelin for playing a “lame gig” with altered keys and firmly declared Cream’s superiority.

While Bruce later noted that his comments were partly tongue-in-cheek, he insisted there was truth behind them. Cream had initially been slated to play a tribute show for rock industry figure Ahmet Ertegun at the O2 Arena, but Zeppelin took over, turning it into their gig. Bruce admitted to feeling a sense of jealousy, believing that Cream and Jimi Hendrix had laid the foundations for Zeppelin’s success.

Despite his pointed criticism, Bruce expressed respect for Zeppelin’s vocalist, Robert Plant, acknowledging him as one of the all-time great rock singers. However, he maintained that Eric Clapton was a superior guitarist to Jimmy Page. Bruce playfully suggested that Zeppelin could benefit from a different vocalist, injecting humor by stating, “Robert is one of the all-time, if not the all-time, great rock singers.” In the end, Bruce acknowledged the potential controversy of criticizing established figures like Led Zeppelin.

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