The reason why Eric Clapton hated Led Zeppelin

Eric Clapton

Few bands in the history of music have had as much of an influence on the development of rock music as Cream. This British supergroup was formed in 1966. The band featured Ginger Baker on drums, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Eric Clapton on guitar. They paved the way for revolution by fusing the raw power of blues with the intricate improvisational complexity of jazz.

At the core of Cream’s sound was a profound respect for blues music. Already well-known for his mastery of the blues, Clapton instilled in the band his passion for the genre. Inspired by the likes of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, Clapton’s piercing solos and expressive playing style came to define Cream’s sound.

For a brief period of time, Cream shared the stage with another legendary band from rock history, Led Zeppelin. The summer of 1968 saw the dissolution of Cream, and Led Zeppelin was only in starting phase. But although both bands displayed extraordinarily strong rhythm sections backed by well-known leads, Cream soon disregarded any similarities.

Even though Clapton is the only band member still alive, he never expresses gratitude for any discussion, Cream or Zeppelin included. “Jazz and blues provided us with a very solid foundation”. Clapton told Nigel Williamson in 2004. “Led Zeppelin continued our tradition. However, they later took it in a different direction for which I had little regard.

But Clapton wasn’t the only band member with opinions regarding Led Zeppelin’s era. Before Bruce and Baker passed away in 2014 and 2019, they were vocal critics of the band. Whether it was because Bruce and Baker were naturally abrasive or because Led Zeppelin was becoming the next big thing in hard rock, both musicians were extremely harsh in their evaluations.

Bruce yelled, “Fu*k off, Zeppelin, you’re crap.” You’re not going to be anything other than the garbage you’ve always been. The worst thing is that people fall for the garbage that is being sold to them. Led Zeppelin is ten times smaller than Cream. Are you going to draw a comparison between Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page?

In an interview with director Jay Bulger for the 2012 film Beware of Mr. Baker, Baker vehemently criticised a number of his contemporaries in the rock and roll genre. Although Baker acknowledged his admiration for Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, he rejected comparisons to artists such as Keith Moon and John Bonham. While acknowledging Bonham’s skill, Baker held back on adding more praise.

“It’s just amazing that people can’t even recognise that [Bonham] was even close to the calibre of drummer I am,” asserted Baker. “Bonham could not swing a bag of shit, even with his technique. or Mooney, to put it that way. Ask them, if they were still with us today!


1 comment
  1. Moon and Bonham were animals on the drums…. Watts no so much. Baker couldn’t hold a candle to Keith or John period. The inventiveness of the two was historic!

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