April 10 marks the fortieth anniversary of one of the more memorable events of my life. On that Wednesday evening in 1968 my rock band opened for Eric Clapton's Cream at Yale's venerable Woolsey Hall in New Haven.
Cream, the hottest supergroup on the scene, featuring the most critically acclaimed rock guitarist on the planet, was the envy of every pop musician I knew. Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Ginger Baker on drums were considered, well, the cream of the crop.
To add to their reputation, their latest single, "Sunshine of Your Love," had become a top forty hit. (It was one of those propitious moments when quality musicianship was rewarded with commercial success.)
My own band, The Morning—a local psych-folk-rock band composed of four Yale students and legendary Greenwich Village singer Randy Burns—was given the opportunity to open for these British demigods and we jumped at the chance.