Ginger Baker

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (August 19, 1939 – October 6, 2019) was an English drummer and a co-founder of the rock band Cream. He was known for his unique style that combined jazz, blues, and African rhythms. Baker was one of the most influential drummers in rock history, pioneering the use of double bass drums and extended solos in rock music.

Timeline of Career Highlights

1956 Begins his career as a jazz drummer in London.

1960 was part of the British blues Boom of the 1960's

1966 Co-founds Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce.

1968 Cream disbands; Baker forms Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech.

1970 Forms Ginger Baker's Air Force, blending rock, jazz, and African music.

1971 Moves to Nigeria to work with Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

1993 Cream is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2005 Reunites with Cream for a series of concerts in London and New York.

2012 Releases autobiography "Hellraiser."

2016 Suffers health issues that limit his ability to perform.

Bands He Has Played With

  1. Cream: Co-founder, drummer (1966-1968, 2005 reunion).
  2. Blind Faith: Drummer (1968-1969).
  3. Ginger Baker's Air Force: Founder, drummer (1970-1971).
  4. Hawkwind: Drummer (1980-1981).
  5. Fela Kuti: Collaborator in the early 1970s.
  6. Baker Gurvitz Army: Drummer (1974-1976).

Albums With Cream

Ginger Baker logo

1. Fresh Cream (1966)

2. Disraeli Gears (1967)

3. Wheels of Fire (1968)

4. Goodbye (1969)

Albums With Blind Faith

1. Blind Faith (1969)

Albums With Ginger Baker's Air Force

1. Ginger Baker's Air Force (1970)

2. Ginger Baker's Air Force 2 (1970)

Albums With Baker Gurvitz Army

1. Baker Gurvitz Army (1974)

2. Elysian Encounter (1975)

3. Hearts on Fire (1976)

Solo Albums

1. Horses and Trees (1986)

2. Middle Passage (1990)

3. Coward of the County (1999)

Drumkit

Drums Ludwig drums in the early years; later used DW and custom kits.

Cymbals Zildjian and later Bosphorus.

Heads Remo.

Sticks Custom-made sticks.

Sound

Ginger Baker was known for his powerful, polyrhythmic drumming style, which was heavily influenced by jazz and African music. He was one of the first rock drummers to use two bass drums, creating a fuller and more complex sound. Baker's drumming was characterized by its fluidity, technical precision, and the ability to blend seamlessly with both rock and jazz idioms.

Grammy Awards

While Ginger Baker did not win a Grammy Award during his lifetime, his work with Cream has been critically acclaimed and he remains a significant figure in the history of rock music.

Famous Songs or Compositions

"White Room" (Cream)

"Sunshine of Your Love" (Cream)

"Crossroads" (Cream)

"Toad" (Cream)

"Do What You Like" (Blind Faith)

~Collaborations and Cover Versions

Collaborated with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Fela Kuti, and many more.

Covered by Numerous bands and artists have covered Cream songs, particularly "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room."

Quotes

You can’t just go in there and bash away; you’ve got to have some idea of what you’re doing.

Eric Clapton

Ginger was a one-off and a music pioneer.

Gossip and Trivia

Fiery Temperament Baker was known for his volatile personality and frequent clashes with bandmates.

Documentary The 2012 documentary "Beware of Mr. Baker" highlights his life and career, including his complex personality.

Health Issues Suffered from severe health problems later in life, which limited his ability to perform.

Legacy

Ginger Baker's contributions to music, particularly through his work with Cream and his innovative drumming techniques, have left an indelible mark on rock and jazz music. His unique style and pioneering spirit continue to inspire drummers and musicians around the world.

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