Author Topic: RIP G1nger Baker  (Read 468 times)

Offline Barrett487

  • Jimmy Hill
  • *
  • Posts: 2381
RIP G1nger Baker
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:05:41 PM »
G1nger Baker: Legendary Cream drummer dies aged 80

G1nger Baker, one of the most innovative and influential drummers in rock music, has died at the age of 80.

A co-founder of Cream, he also played with Blind Faith, Hawkwind and Fela Kuti in a long and varied career.

His style combined the lyricism of jazz with the crude power of rock. One critic said watching him was like witnessing "a human combine harvester".

But he was also a temperamental and argumentative figure, whose behaviour frequently led to on-stage punch-ups.

Nicknamed G1nger for his flaming red hair, the musician was born Peter Edward Baker in Lewisham, south London, shortly before World War Two.

His bricklayer father was killed in action in 1943, and he was brought up in near poverty by his mother, step-father and aunt.

A troubled student, he joined a local gang in his teens and became involved in petty theft. When he tried to quit, gang-members attacked him with a razor.

'Natural time'
His early ambition was to ride in the Tour de France but he was forced to quit the sport when, aged 16, his bicycle got "caught up" with a taxi. Instead, he took up drumming.

"I was always banging on the desks at school," he recalled. "So all the kids kept saying, 'Go on, go and play the drums', and I just sat down and I could play.

"It's a gift from God. You've either got it or you haven't. And I've got it: time. Natural time."

The strong legs he'd developed on long bike rides helped him play the double bass drum set-up he favoured and Baker soon talked his way into his first gig.

He played with jazz acts like Terry Lightfoot and Acker Bilk but his style - fragmented and aggressive, but articulate and insistent - was often an odd fit.

Instead, he gravitated towards London's burgeoning blues scene and, in 1962, joined Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated on the recommendation of Charlie Watts - who was leaving to join the Rolling Stones.

He gained early fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation alongside bassist Jack Bruce - but it was their partnership with Eric Clapton in Cream that made all three superstars.

One of rock's first "supergroups", they fused blues and psychedelia to dazzling effect on songs like Strange Brew, Sunshine of Your Love, Badge and I Feel Free. They sold more than 35 million albums and were awarded the world's first ever platinum disc for their LP Wheels of Fire.

Along with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the band expanded the vocabulary of heavy rock, especially during their incendiary live shows, where the three musicians would stretch simple riffs into long, exploratory improvisations.

"It was as if something else had taken over," Baker once said of playing with Cream. "You're not conscious of playing. You're listening to this fantastic sound that you're a part of. And your part is just… happening. It was a gift, and we three had it in abundance."

But the volatility that fuelled their performances was rooted in animosity. Baker and Bruce's arguments were frequent and violent, even driving Clapton to tears on one occasion. Once, Baker attempted to end one of Bruce's solos by bouncing a stick off his snare drum, and into Bruce's head.

"So I grabbed my double bass," Bruce later recalled, "and demolished him and his kit."

He gained early fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation alongside bassist Jack Bruce - but it was their partnership with Eric Clapton in Cream that made all three superstars.

One of rock's first "supergroups", they fused blues and psychedelia to dazzling effect on songs like Strange Brew, Sunshine of Your Love, Badge and I Feel Free. They sold more than 35 million albums and were awarded the world's first ever platinum disc for their LP Wheels of Fire.

Along with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the band expanded the vocabulary of heavy rock, especially during their incendiary live shows, where the three musicians would stretch simple riffs into long, exploratory improvisations.

"It was as if something else had taken over," Baker once said of playing with Cream. "You're not conscious of playing. You're listening to this fantastic sound that you're a part of. And your part is just… happening. It was a gift, and we three had it in abundance."

But the volatility that fuelled their performances was rooted in animosity. Baker and Bruce's arguments were frequent and violent, even driving Clapton to tears on one occasion. Once, Baker attempted to end one of Bruce's solos by bouncing a stick off his snare drum, and into Bruce's head.

"So I grabbed my double bass," Bruce later recalled, "and demolished him and his kit."

The band eventually split after two years and four albums, with a farewell concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1968.

"Cream came and went almost in the blink of an eye, but left an indelible mark on rock music," wrote Colin Larkin in the Encyclopaedia of Popular Music.

Bands who built on their template included Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin - not that Baker was impressed.

"I don't think Led Zeppelin filled the void that Cream left, but they made a lot of money,"
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 02:08:27 PM by Barrett487 »

Offline Andy S

  • The Bard/Corked Hat
  • *
  • Posts: 3810
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 02:11:58 PM »
No comment

Offline jarv

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 6619
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 02:46:12 PM »
Cream were excellent. Thanks for posting, interesting background Baker had.


Offline RaySmith

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 5943
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 03:22:42 PM »
Thanks for posting  Barrett.

RIP a great musician, and real character, forged in childhood adversity - the conditions that  caused a love of the Blues for so many young people from that post -War generation, that irrevocably changed the previously staid pop music world and culture generally -

https://youtu.be/CgP7kfIwlE8

Offline Steeeeeeeeeed

  • Graham Leggat
  • **
  • Posts: 650
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 03:27:38 PM »
Sad News, he was a terrific musician.

The documentary Beware Of Mr Baker is very good, came out a few years ago now.

Offline WindyCity

  • Graham Leggat
  • **
  • Posts: 412
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 04:17:44 PM »
Terrific drummer, if not a hot head and a large head (ego).  Loved Cream and Blind Faith, though both efforts were short lived.  Sad to see his passing, as we all get a bit older, these great bands of the 60's and 70's see their troops passing on.  Lifes' circle....


Offline bog

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 5136
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 04:54:15 PM »
Thanks for the posting.


Offline Twig

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 6818
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 06:11:38 PM »
Great musician, unpleasant person. But R.I.P. another of that gifted 60’s generation. Saw the Cream farewell concert at the Albert Hall, fantastic band but I got the impression his heart wasn’t in it that evening. Subsequently saw his band Airforce and he really showed how good he was on that occasion.

Offline Jem

  • Graham Leggat
  • **
  • Posts: 879
  • I intend to live forever, or die trying.
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 09:32:36 PM »
Great musician, unpleasant person. But R.I.P. another of that gifted 60’s generation. Saw the Cream farewell concert at the Albert Hall, fantastic band but I got the impression his heart wasn’t in it that evening. Subsequently saw his band Airforce and he really showed how good he was on that occasion.
Glad someone mentioned Airorce. He
 was a big part of my youth. One hell of a drummer.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 09:36:41 PM by Jem »


Offline hovewhite

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 6014
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2019, 09:35:01 PM »
RIP special one another music legend passes to pastures beyond.

Offline Jem

  • Graham Leggat
  • **
  • Posts: 879
  • I intend to live forever, or die trying.
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2019, 09:38:39 PM »
For God sake why can't we write G1nger anymore? It's his rucking name!

Offline Fulham 442

  • Legend
  • ***
  • Posts: 1130
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2019, 09:45:36 PM »
Loved Cream and special one Baker. White Room always springs to mind.  Happy memories of my youth!


Offline Mince n Tatties

  • Mr Fayed
  • **
  • Posts: 11787
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 07:10:15 AM »
For God sake why can't we write G1nger anymore? It's his rucking name!

Correct,bleedin nonsense.
 :drums: :drums: :drums:

Offline grandad

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 8657
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 11:43:58 AM »
RIP GB. So pleased I saw the programme a few weeks ago about Cream. The rise & fall. Great interviews & music clips.

Offline Barrett487

  • Jimmy Hill
  • *
  • Posts: 2381
Re: RIP G1nger Baker
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 08:25:51 PM »
For God sake why can't we write G1nger anymore? It's his rucking name!

It was a rucking nuisance to edit, lol

Btw, his name was Peter Edward "G1nger" Baker
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 08:27:38 PM by Barrett487 »