For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: Cream at the Crossroads (OK, Memorial Auditorium)
But the time the band played Dallas, the trio was on the outs and well fed up -- months earlier, it had decided to call it quits. Said Clapton, those were dark days: "I went under and blamed everybody." Reviewing the recording years ago, Ray Mulesky wrote that "the Dallas concert has been panned as long and boring," but he disagrees -- and the recording, an audience keepsake that has aged extraordinarily well, bears him out. Writes Mulesky, it suffers only one fatal flaw -- the 20-minute Fresh Cream Willie Dixon-penned offering "Spoonful" that closes out the set, extended to more than three times the studio recording's run time and a song that suffers from following 'a long and powerful 'Toad'" that had clearly wiped out the band.
That said, writes Mulesky:
"Looking at Dallas, in its own context and relative to other farewell tour concerts, one finds a very professional and entertaining performance with some very fine musical passages. If the ponderous 'Spoonful' is excluded, the performance may be considered above average in absolute Cream terms. ... The Dallas bootleg is lowly rated because there are so many 'superior' performances available. But we aren't going to get any more Cream concerts to enjoy. ... I recommend you relisten to Dallas as a whole, but feel free to skip the last 'Spoonful.'"