Influential rock drummer Ginger Baker dies at age 80
Monday, October 7, 2019
Yesterday morning, English drummer died in a hospital at the age of 80. The news came from the Twitter account in his name and was independently confirmed by Associated Press with his daughter Nettie Baker. On September 25, it was reported Baker was hospitalized in critical condition. Baker was widely known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band , an early .
Baker, a life-long smoker and former heroin addict, suffered from health problems for years. The list of ailments included hearing loss, , and , as well as heart problems for which he had surgery in 2016. Although known to have lived his latter years in South Africa, his daughter said he died in Britain without elaborating.
Ginger Baker was born Peter Edward Baker in London, in 1939. His father was killed in combat in 1943 during World War II. Baker — who was reportedly nicknamed due to his red hair — began playing drums in his teens. In a story he sometimes told, he had a habit of tapping on school desks. When an opportunity arose at a party, his classmates encouraged him to sit down at a drum set. "I'd never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down — and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, 'Bloody hell, we've got a drummer', and I thought, 'Bloody hell, I'm a drummer' ", he recalled in a 2009 retelling of the story to the .,
Baker began his career as a drummer in jazz bands. He played withand . In 1962, when fellow drummer was leaving for , Watts recommended Baker to be his replacement. Later, Baker found early success with band where he met bassist .
In 1966, Baker, Bruce and singer/guitarist, who was known from , formed Cream. The rock trio was a massive success, selling tens of millions of records, including the first ever album . Cream recorded four albums, then in 1968 disbanded with Baker and Bruce having developed a volatile relationship. Clapton and Baker were subsequently in another supergroup with and . Blind Faith recorded only one studio album but notably played before a crowd of a hundred thousand at a in London's .
Cream was inducted in 1993 into the New York concerts. Afterwards he moved to South Africa, and still lived there when the 2012 documentary was filmed. Baker's last recording was 2014's solo album. Baker retired from live performances in 2016 due to his ill health.. The band reunited in 2005 for several London and
Paul McCartney wrote on Twitter, "Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy. We worked together on the 'Band on the Run' album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will."
"A very sad loss, and my condolences to his family and friends. A loss also for his contribution to music. He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on," wrote Steve Winwood in a statement. "Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold. He’ll be missed."
of The Rolling Stones also reacted on Twitter, "Sad news hearing that Ginger Baker has died, I remember playing with him very early on in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer."
- AP. "Ginger Baker, legendary Cream drummer, dead at 80" — , October 6, 2019
- Mark Savage. "Ginger Baker: Legendary Cream drummer dies aged 80" — , October 6, 2019
- Randy Lewis. "Ginger Baker, virtuosic rock drummer for Cream, dies at 80" — , October 6, 2019
- @MickJagger" — , October 6, 2019. "
- Statement On The Passing Of Ginger Baker" — , October 6, 2019. "
- @PaulMcCartney" — , October 6, 2019. "
- @GingerBDrums" — , October 6, 2019. "