11/9/17: Cream “Badge”
I’ve got a fun one for you today! This song’s been in my head on repeat for the last 24 hours, and it isn’t the first time this has happened! “Badge” is one of my old favorites from “Cream,” and there’s an interesting story behind it.
First of all, this song was co-written by Eric Clapton and one of his best friends, George Harrison. George actually played rhythm guitar on the track, while Clapton sang lead. Nowhere in the song is the word “badge” mentioned, and there’s a good reason for that. The song isn’t about a badge, it’s probably not really about anything if we’re being perfectly honest. It feels like just a bunch of crazy lyrics strung together, random thoughts from the artists.
The song title “Badge” is actually rooted in a misunderstanding… Eric was reading over George’s notes, misread “bridge” as “badge,” and thought that’s what his friend wanted to name the song. A lot of the lyrics are pulled from drunken conversations George had with his Beatles bandmate, Ringo Starr!
Cream recorded the song a couple of weeks after playing their last live shows. In fact, by the time the song was released as a single, Cream has broken up. Clapton was already playing with his new supergroup, Blind Faith, and the song released on Cream’s posthumous behalf did a lot better in the UK than it did here in the United States. Here, it reached #60 on the charts, but it reached the top ten across the pond. Interestingly enough, the Beatles’ quintessential jam, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – featuring none other than Clapton on lead guitar – came out around the same time as “Badge.”
Eric Clapton and George Harrison have a fascinating history, one that I’ve explored a little bit before here, writing about the music in my head. They were both stellar guitar players, best friends, and in love with the same woman: the famous Patty Boyd. George was married to the well-known British model, and Eric fell in love with her. Eventually, George and Patty broke up, and Eric found himself in a relationship with his best friend’s ex-wife, but the relationship between Clapton and Harrison seemed to never miss a beat. Go figure.
Aside from all that drama, “Badge” is a great song, and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. So, I thought I’d share it with you, and maybe inspire you do learn a little more about the crazy lives of your favorite musicians!
To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!
After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July, at Local 506 in August, The Carrboro Music Festival in September; and The Southern Village Green in November, the School of Rock students’ next BIG public LIVE performance will be Saturday January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse.
At 1pm, its “Rock Goddesses” with Music from Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and More. This is followed at 3pm with the songs of Led Zeppelin I and II. January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse, put it on your calendar now!
The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate, in the Blue Hill District!
Why should the kids have all of the rock and roll fun? The School of Rock Offers adult programs as well. It is never too late to learn how to rock!
Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!
You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!
Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!
AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!
Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.
Open for Rocking!
‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com