Saw him at the Cream reunion concert back in '05 at the Royal Albert Hall. He hadn't lost any of his chops and still had a great voice.
Oh what a loss. What a tremendous bass player & all-around musician. Oh man, sad. RIP Jack.
This just in from his website-
Some back round information on his medical conditions published in The Daily Record and Sunday Mail 1/28/2012
He’s survived heroin addiction, cancer and a liver transplant – but Scots rock legend Jack Bruce has admitted he didn’t want to live beyond 30.
And the world famous rocker admits he’s saddened by the “tragedy” of the generations in his homeland ravaged by the drug that nearly ruined his life.
The Glasgow-born star has lived a life of rock excess during his career as the bass player and singer in Cream, touring the world and selling tens of millions of records with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
But at 68, the man regarded by some as the best bass player in modern history can’t believe he’s still here, having lived nearly40 years longer than he thought he would.
Jack fought addictions and grappled with a massive long-term heroin problem, developing cancer of the liver in 2003. He was given a transplant, which his body initially rejected, leaving him gravely ill.
But he made a full recovery, going on to reform Cream in 2005 and tour the world with other projects.
Returning to Glasgow this week to play a solo show and a tribute to Gerry Rafferty at Celtic Connections, the former user spoke of his sadness to see how the city he knew as a boy is still struggling with a major heroin problem, unable to do what he did – beat it.
He said: “It’s a total tragedy.
“The 70s were a particularly bad time in Glasgow for heroin, it was a tragedy then, too.
“But you can see how a generation has been destroyed by drugs and it’s such a huge problem. I’d love to do something about it – anything at all.
“But it’s hard for me to talk about it. I’m nearly 70 and I survived all that and came out the other end.
“I’m lucky and, because of that, it’s hard for me to say much to some young guy hooked on heroin. But it really is terrible.
“The only way to stop using is to actually just stop. Only you can do it. You can go to a thousand clinics, but you have to want to do it.
“I went to the clinics, I wasn’t proud, but I’m proof it can be done.”
The twice married father-of-five (one of his sons, Jo, died of an asthma attack in 1997) got hooked on the class A drug while living the rock and roll lifestyle in the 60s and 70s, when Cream were one of the biggest bands in the world.
It has been described variously by former musical collaborators as one of the biggest, most consuming addictions in rock ‘n’ roll.
Surviving an era strewn with casualties of the industry’s excesses could be considered an achievement.
But Jack admits he’s not proud to be called a “former addict”.
“Everyone who has done it regrets it,” he said. “If you said you didn’t regret the wasted years and the money you denied yourself through addiction, then you’d be a fool.
“Of course you regret it. If I had the chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t do it like that.
“But that’s the way it turned out and you have to live with the hand you’ve been dealt and get on with it.
“The only piece of advice I’m comfortable with on that front is, ‘Don’t ever try drugs because if you try it, you’ll like it’.
“And if you get in trouble with addiction, you have to get as much help as you can and get out of it.”
Jack was born and brought up in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, moving with his family to Toronto for several years before returning home, where he studied music at the former RSAMD. He was booted out before finishing his course for deviating from a then-strict norm and playing jazz.
It didn’t exactly dent his potential and he went on to massive international success with Cream, getting caught up in the decadence of the era.
“We made more money than all the other bands around at one time. It was incredible.
“When I was in my early 20s, I don’t think any of us expected, or even wanted, to live beyond 30.
“We used to always say ‘never trust anyone over 30’.
“Then when you reach 30, you change your tune a bit and call it 40.
“I certainly never expected I’d grow up or anything like that. It’s amazing, I’m a grandfather and I really didn’t expect to even be here.
“Actually, I’d still highly recommend that – not trusting anyone over 30.”
Jack’s life is the subject of a forthcoming Artworks documentary on BBC Scotland. He has endured enough drama for three lives, and knows he’s lucky to have had at least two, given his organ transplant.
He doesn’t know anything about his donor but says he’s proof you can win the battle with cancer.
“It is very serious,” he said. “But I’m living proof it can be beaten. It’s truly terrifying, but there’s something in humans that we have this inner strength, which seems to come when we most need it.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you get that strength. But a lot of people have suffered more than me and I try not to dwell on it. But every day I am grateful to be alive because of that transplant. I’m so grateful to that donor.
“It’s strange, though. Since I got my new liver, some of my tastes have changed. There are certain things I don’t like anymore. I loved Indian food before but not now.
“I would have loved to have known more about the donor and the family, but they don’t encourage that at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where I had the surgery.
“The donor family don’t know either. But I think everyone should register to become an organ donor.
“People like me survive through such generosity. It’s so worthwhile.”
Ironically, given the ravages of age and drug abuse, the singer feels his voice has improved.
“I had a lot of vocal problems when I was younger. I don’t know if it’s down to leading a healthier lifestyle or what but my range has increased. It’s the opposite of the things that are supposed to happen.
“I have no idea why. I just keep hoping it will last, I keep waiting for it not to be there.
“I did say a couple of years ago that I might retire and I got all these offers of work.
“I suppose it’s what I’m here for. We all have roles in life. I’m a dad, a husband, this and that, but basically I only feel justified in being alive when I’m on the stage.”