Recorded March 10, 1968 at Winterland (early show) – San Francisco, CA.
Released off the album “Wheels Of Fire” in August 68′.
Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker took this Willie Dixon song to the most explosive level a band could take it. And it was this Winterland Ballroom performance which also included “Crossroads” that would forever set in stone as being the group’s best ever live recordings.
The reality of the album is that the only song off of it to literally be recorded at The Fillmore was “Toad”.
The Fillmore Auditorium was originally at 1805 Geary Boulevard and in July 1968 because of the building falling apart moved the venue to the Carousel Ballroom at 10 South Van Ness Avenue, at the corner of Market Street and was renamed Fillmore West to coincide with the Fillmore East in N.Y.
To me Baker’s drums honestly stood the backbone of “Cream”. They enhanced both Clapton and Bruce and Baker’s arrangements of the songs with a perfect fused Rock/Jazz/Blues base furthered the elite sound of all three members. Prior to joining Cream not many in the U.S. ever really noticed Clapton. It was Jimi Hendrix’s awe of him that got him the exposure then Hendrix blew everybody off the stage.
Sadly this absolutely elite grand trio fell apart mainly because of their spiraling out of control drug use, any animosities between Clapton & Baker in retrospective had honestly came from drug and alcohol fueled not thinking clearly arguments.
It was nice to see them all reunite in 2005 to perform in a series of concerts in both London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Madison Square Garden.
But the Cream of this Crop was in the heyday of the psychedelic bliss of the 60s. And “Spoonful” never got any better than your hearing.