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The music press has a habit of glamourising the '60s and '70s as an untouchable, golden period. What do you think of that mythologising of your life? Is it an accurate reflection?
"I don't think it's completely accurate, no. We were just making it up as we went along. It was completely unprofessional. We had no idea how to do a big gig. We were playing these baseball stadiums and we'd go up with a little PA and plug in and play.
"I think it was two guys to look after the equipment and one guy to look after the band! Then, when we did the Cream reunion [in 2005], I think it was 45 people in the crew. We used to just fly from one place to the next, rent a station wagon and drive to the gig - and the gigs were great.
"We were a little bit early - I think the '70s was when the real rock 'n' roll party happened. And I did take part in some of that with West, Bruce and Laing. But with the original thing, we were just on the road and if we had a couple of days, we'd go in and make an album. There were some very glamorous times - hanging out in Sausalito, the hippy summer and all of that, but it gets a bit overblown, I think."
Finally, given your achievements - artistic and commercial - and your many diverse collaborations, what keeps you motivated as a musician?
"That's a good question. I just love playing and I love music. Making an album like Silver Rails, it's a real team effort and I like being part of a team. It's not just me saying, 'You do this and you do that'. You get swept up in it. So I think it's partly that, but it's also the end product that I'm going for. If I can make a good album, then it makes it worthwhile. I'm not claiming to be anything except what I am. And what I love is to play and record and perform."