Saturday, August 1, 2009

Black and White: White Room

Cream: White Room


I'm still in overwhelmed/numb/mourning/introspective mode... and this song certainly fits the bill - "lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves" indeed...


After bassist Jack Bruce wrote the guitar pieces, Cream’s lyricist, poet Pete Brown, grouped colorful four-syllable phrases, loosely organized around images of waiting in an English railway station influenced by the drugs he was taking. “White Room” is further noted for its unusual time signature of 5/4 in the introduction and bridge, with triplets played on toms by Ginger Baker, his thunderous bass drum part also lacing the verses. Finally, “White Room” is notable for showcasing guitarist Eric Clapton’s best known use of the Vox Clyde McCoy Picture Wah (a device used to turn off bass and treble as the pedal is rocked) in the bridge and extended solo.

Along with “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Crossroads”, White Room is one of Cream’s most notable songs, reaching number 6 on the U.S. pop charts.

A most vivid memory of my childhood is when the History of Eric Clapton album came out in March 1972 (my senior year of high school) and, since I didn't yet have my driver's license (long story there), I pitched a total tantrum until my dad gave in and took me up to the mall where I could purchase it on the release date - I still have the 2-LP set... and every snap, crackle and pop is accounted for from endless rotations in the white room of my angst-ridden teen years (is that a redundancy?)...

P.S. In researching this album to post for the purchase link, I note that White Room isn't even on it - I'd have bet money that it was...

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