November 1, 2005

Cream finishes with a bang in New York

By Ray Waddell

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The Cream reunion last week at New
York's Madison Square Garden was a monster hit.

The October 24-26 shows, the '60s rock trio's only North
American appearances and first here in 37 years, grossed more
than $10.6 million and drew 56,151 people, according to Garden

The Garden shows followed an equally successful, though
smaller-scale, spring reunion at London's Royal Albert Hall,
which grossed $3.6 million and drew more than 18,000 people to
four sell-outs. Prior to those, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and
Jack Bruce had last appeared onstage together at Cream's 1993
induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And now it appears that the Cream reunion is over, as
sources say the trio has passed on lucrative tour offers. With
such exclusivity, more than 60% of those attending the MSG
shows came from outside the New York area.

"Hosting Cream's only North American performances at MSG
was a milestone event for what has already been a banner year,"
Jay Marciano, president of Radio City Entertainment, which
oversees the Garden, told "To be host, or
witness to, one of music's most influential rock groups as they
reunited on our stage was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Producers declined to release merchandise revenues from the
Garden shows, but Billboard estimates put the gross at more
than $11 million, likely a Garden record.

A triple-vinyl edition of Cream's recent Reprise Records
live album culled from the Albert Hall shows will be released
December 13.