News Keypoints about Ginger Baker
Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive British musician who was best known for his time with the power trio Cream, died Sunday at age 80, his family said.
Ginger Baker Wikipedia
Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker (19 August 1939 – 6 October 2019) was an English drummer and a co-founder of the rock band Cream.His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of “rock’s first superstar drummer”, while his individual style melded a jazz background with African rhythms. He is credited as having been a pioneer of drumming in such genres as jazz fusion and world music.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 6, 2019
Baker began playing drums at age 15, and later took lessons from English jazz drummer Phil Seamen. In the 1960s he joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist Jack Bruce. The two clashed often, but would be rhythm section partners again in the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, the latter of which Baker co-founded with Eric Clapton in 1966. Cream achieved worldwide success but lasted only until 1968, in part due to Baker’s and Bruce’s volatile relationship. After briefly working with Clapton in Blind Faith and leading Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music Among Baker’s other collaborations are his work with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality, Public Image Ltd, Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and Ginger Baker’s Energy.
Baker’s drumming is regarded for its style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song “Toad”, one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Baker was an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cream, of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008, and of the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2016
Ginger Baker Biography
Ginger Baker was born in Lewisham, South London; he was nicknamed “Ginger” for his shock of flaming red hair. His mother worked in a tobacco shop; his father, Frederick Louvain Formidable Baker, was a bricklayer employed by his own father, who owned a building business,and a lance corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War; he died in the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign.
An athletic child, Baker began playing drums at about 15 years old as an outlet for his restless energy. In the early 1960s he took lessons from Phil Seamen, one of the leading British jazz drummers of the post-war era. He gained early fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation with future Cream bandmate Jack Bruce. The Graham Bond Organisation was an R&B/blues group with strong jazz leanings.
Ginger Baker, Hall of Famer, Cream co-founder and one of rock’s most influential drummers, has died at age 80 https://t.co/k6yTgPJ8ao
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 6, 2019
Ginger Baker Perosonal Life
Baker was infamous for his violent temper and for confrontations with musicians and fans. Rolling Stone reporter David Fricke wrote in 2012 that even in old age, “you get close to Baker at your peril.” His relationship with Jack Bruce was so volatile that during a Graham Bond Organization concert he once attacked him with a knife.
Baker was married four times and fathered three children, Nettie, Leda, and Kofi. Baker and his first wife, Liz Finch, had their first child, Ginette Karen, on 20 December 1960. Baker’s second daughter, Leda, was born 20 February 1968. Baker’s son, Kofi Streatfield Baker, was born in March 1969 and named after a friend of Baker’s, Ghanaian drummer Kofi Ghanaba. In February 2013, Baker said he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from years of heavy smoking, and chronic back pain from degenerative osteoarthritis. In June 2016, it was reported he was recovering from open heart surgery, but had also suffered a bad fall which caused swollen legs and feet. In September 2019, his family announced he was critically ill and asked fans to keep him in their prayers. While it was announced Baker was holding his own three days later; he eventually died on 6 October 2019 at the age of 80.
Ginger Baker Career
In November 1971, Baker decided to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. Baker was one of the first rock musicians to realize the potential of African music. He also decided that it would be an interesting experience to travel to Nigeria overland across the Sahara Desert. Baker invited documentary filmmaker Tony Palmer to join him and the film Ginger Baker in Africa follows his odyssey as he makes his journey and finally arrives in Nigeria to set up his studio. After many frustrating set-backs and technical hitches, Batakota (ARC) studios opened at the end of January 1973, and operated successfully through the seventies as a facility for both local and western musicians. Paul McCartney and Wings recorded for Band on the Run at the studio.
Baker sat in for Fela Kuti during recording sessions in 1971 released by Regal Zonophone as Live! Fela also appeared with Baker on Stratavarious (1972) alongside Bobby Gass, a pseudonym for Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group. Stratavarious was later re-issued as part of the compilation Do What You Like (1998). Baker formed Baker Gurvitz Army with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz in 1974 (encouraged by manager Bill Fehilly). The band recorded three albums, Baker Gurvitz Army (1974), Elysian Encounter (1975) and Hearts on Fire (1976), and the band toured through England and Europe in 1975. The band broke up in 1976, not long after the death of Fehilly in a plane crash.
Mr. Baker drew worldwide attention for his approach to the drums, as sophisticated as it was forceful, when he teamed with the guitarist Eric Clapton and the bassist Jack Bruce in the hugely successful British band Cream in 1966 https://t.co/SVdLZ4C5P0
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) October 6, 2019
After the failure of the recording studio in Lagos, Baker spent most of the early 1980s on an olive farm in a small town in Italy. During this period, he played little music and managed to break his addiction to heroin.
In 1980, Baker joined Hawkwind after initially playing as a session musician on the album Levitation. He left in 1981, after a tour. Live material and studio demos from that period feature on a further two Hawkind albums, released later in the 80s. In 1985, producer Bill Laswell talked him into doing some session work on John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd. album Album.
Baker moved to Los Angeles in the late 80s intending to become an actor. He appeared in the 1990 TV series Nasty Boys as Ginger.
In 1992 Baker played with the hard rock group Masters of Reality with bassist Googe and singer/guitarist Chris Goss on the album Sunrise on the Sufferbus. The album received critical acclaim but sold fewer than 10,000 copies.
Baker lived in Parker, Colorado between 1993 and 1999, in part due to his passion for polo. Baker not only participated in polo events at the Salisbury Equestrian Park, but he also sponsored an ongoing series of jam sessions and concerts at the equestrian centre on weekends.
In 1994, he formed The Ginger Baker Trio with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell. He also joined BBM, a short-lived power trio with the line-up of Baker, Jack Bruce and Irish blues rock guitarist Gary Moore.
2000s and 2010s
On 3 May 2005, Baker reunited with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce for a series of Cream concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden. The London concerts were recorded and released as Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005 (2005). In a Rolling Stone article written in 2009, Bruce is quoted as saying, “It’s a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger. Nowadays, we’re happily co-existing in different continents [Bruce, who died in 2014, lived in Britain, while Baker lived in South Africa] … although I was thinking of asking him to move. He’s still a bit too close”.
In 2008 a bank clerk, Lindiwe Noko, was charged with defrauding Baker of almost half a million Rand ($60,000).Baker said he had hired Noko as a personal assistant, paying her £7 per day (about 100 Rand) for performing various errands, and alleged she used this position to uncover his private banking information and make unauthorized withdrawals. Noko claimed that the money was a gift after she and Baker became lovers. Baker replied, “I’ve a scar that only a woman who had a thing with me would know. It’s there and she doesn’t know it’s there”.Noko pleaded not guilty but was convicted of fraud. In October 2010 she was sentenced to three years of “correctional supervision”, a type of community service. Baker called the sentence “a travesty”
The Bruce family would like to extend their sincere condolences to Ginger Baker’s family, friends and fans. Surviving a love hate relationship, Ginger was like an older brother to Jack, their chemistry was truly spectacular. RIP Ginger, one of the greatest drummers of all time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/G9Pl4Qecdp
— Jack Bruce (@jackbrucemusic) October 6, 2019
His autobiography Hellraiser was published in 2009.Throughout 2013 and 2014, he toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth, and percussionist Abass Dodoo. In 2014 Baker signed with Motéma Music to release the album Why?
In February 2016, Baker announced he had been diagnosed with “serious heart issues” and cancelled all future gigs until further notice.Writing on his blog, he said, “Just seen doctor… big shock… no more gigs for this old drummer… everything is off… of all things I never thought it would be my heart…”In late March 2016, it was revealed that Baker was set for pioneering treatment. “There are two options for surgery and, depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both.” He added, “Cardiologist is brilliant. Yesterday he inserted a tube into the artery at my right wrist and fed it all the way to my heart – quite an experience. He was taking pictures of my heart from inside – amazing technology… He says he’s going to get me playing again! Thanks all for your support.”
On 25 September 2019, Baker’s family reported that he was critically ill in hospital, and asked fans to keep him in their prayers. Baker died on 6 October, at the age of 80.