Concert Details

30 Jul 66 - Eric Clapton


Cream's First Public Performance (Unofficial Debut)


Venue: The Twisted Wheel Club

City: Manchester

Country: United Kingdom

Band Lineup:

Eric Clapton – Guitar / Vocals
Jack Bruce – Bass / Vocals
Ginger Baker – Drums

Show Notes:

EC, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker formally rehearsed 18-29 July at St. Anne’s Brondesbury Church Hall in West Kilburn, Northwest London after initial rehearsals at Ginger’s home in Neasden, Northwest London.

On 30 July, Cream had their first public performance with an evening slot at The Twisted Wheel in Manchester. 

Although many sources have listed 29 July 1966 as the date of the band’s unofficial debut, it is incorrect. In March 2006, the itinerary for the band’s first public performance, along with fee paid, came to light when it was listed for sale on the CooperOwen Auction website as part of the Janet Bruce Collection. The document was in the possession of Janet Bruce, Jack’s ex-wife, from 1966. Details of the CooperOwen sale can be found here

Ginger Baker has also recalled that the Twisted Wheel gig took place on the same day as the FIFA World Cup Final that pitted England against West Germany. He added that he watched the afternoon match prior to leaving for Manchester. 

This is also the date cited in Eric Clapton’s book, Six String Stories (Genesis Publications) and EC’s 2013 “Fifty Years Further On Up The Road” Tour Programme. Noted Clapton expert and music historian, Marc Roberty, also had access to this itinerary and many documents while researching the two-volume Eric Clapton Day By Day series (published 2013).

The typewritten intinerary indicates that Cream was scheduled to arrive by 6:45PM on 30 July 1966. Their fee was £75 cash and was given to the band that night. They played two thirty-minute sets (9:30-10PM and 1:00-1:30AM). Typed at the bottom are the words “Good Luck”. 

Additional information about the gig, including photos and a copy of the itinerary, can be found on Eddy’s Cream Page. Image of Itinerary (via URL) as hosted on Eddy’s Cream Page by Edward Uzenko:

Cream's 30 July 1966 Itinerary - image hosted on Eddy's Cream Page / Edward Uzenko

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