Cream – Anyone For Tennis

It was my senior year in high school and I was listening to Cream’s greatest hits on a spring day. I had the greatest hits cassette in my car…I heard this song with the windows down and at first, I thought…no this can’t be Cream. It grew on me and I love the song. I like when a band does something different. After blitzing audiences with Crossroads, Whiteroom, Sunshine of Your Love, and Strange Brew…out comes this song. It’s not my favorite Cream song…that would be Badge but this one always makes me smile.

The song was recorded during the Wheels On Fire album sessions but not released on that album. Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp wrote the song for the film  The Savage Seven released in 1968. It peaked at #64 on the Billboard 100, #37 in Canada, and #40 in the UK and was released on that soundtrack and a single.

Cream released four albums in four years and called it a day in 1969. They would split with Clapton having the most successful career. They would reunite in 1993 for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They had a proper reunion in 2005 with four shows at Royal Albert Hall and three shows at Madison Square Gardens.

I remember the 40th Atlantic Anniversary concert held on May 11, 1988. It was rumored that Led Zeppelin and Cream were going to reunite. Led Zeppelin did, probably to their regret, but Cream didn’t attend. I watched it hoping that Cream would play.

Cream appeared on the Smothers Brothers and mimed this song. Who the hell knows what it means but when I heard “And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice. Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?” I was hooked. It’s hard to get it out of your head once you listen to it.

Anyone For Tennis

Twice upon a time in the valley of the tears
The auctioneer is bidding for a box of fading years
And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

And the ice creams are all melting on the streets of bloody beer
While the beggars stain the pavements with fluorescent Christmas cheer
And the Bentley driving guru is putting up his price.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

And the prophets in the boutiques give out messages of hope
With jingle bells and fairy tales and blind colliding scopes
And you can tell they’re all the same underneath the pretty lies.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

The yellow Buddhist monk is burning brightly at the zoo
You can bring a bowl of rice and then a glass of water too
And fate is setting up the chessboard while death rolls out the dice.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Cream – Anyone For Tennis”

  1. The Savage Seven was an extremely bizarre flick where a motorcycle gang terrorizes a Native American reservation. Rock n roll legend Duane Eddy stars in a savage biker film and Penny Marshall made her acting debut in this film.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What??? That sounds awesome. Never heard of it before. Who knew that Duane Eddy starred in a movie. I sure hope he has a scene with a musical number. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks!! I always did want to see more bikesploitation movies but I’ve only seen a couple. This looks crazy . I’ve been to the reservation at night and it does get a little wild sometimes.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I missed this on the morning look at the ‘reader’. Anyway…odd little tune & video. I wouldn’t have ever guessed it was Cream to hear it…I wouldn’t even recognize Clapton in the video if I didn’t know it was him. Too bad tennis players don’t have ‘walk up’ music…wouldn’t it be cool to see Federer jog onto the court while it played?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. with that video + George’s connection with George Harrison and his interests, it seems more like it should have come from a Monty Python one.

        Like

    1. I do think Jack was short…Clapton I’m pretty sure is normal height. It is an odd video…what were the frogs for?

      Like

  3. While based on the short clip of the movie I’m not it would be my cup of tea, that strange brew of a Cream tune does sound intriguing. Gotta love that quote from Ginger Baker they were a jazz band but didn’t tell Eric. As is vividly illustrated in “Beware of Mr. Baker”, Ginger was shall we say a complex character? BTW, like Dave, your post didn’t show in my WordPress reader either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol…complex is like saying the sun is kinda warm. That is odd about the post not showing up…I better check to see if it vanished from the reader…they do that once in a while…
      I love this song though…a different side of them

      Like

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