Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker, born Peter Edward Baker on August 19, 1939 in Lewisham, South London, England, is an British drummer, best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. His other collaborations included working with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality, Public Image Ltd, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and another personally led effort, Ginger Baker's Energy.

Baker first began playing the drums on his own at the age of 15 then later took private lessons with Phil Seamen.

In the 1960s, Baker met bassist Jack Bruce after joining Blues Incorporated. Baker and Bruce were often times at odds with each other, yet they continued to work together in the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, the latter of which Baker co-founded in 1966 with Eric Clapton. Although Cream achieved worldwide success, the group only lasted until 1968 largely due volatile relationship between Baker and Bruce. 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 — working with Fela Kuti and others in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music.

Ginger Baker's drumming style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums attracted a lot of attention. 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.

Another Baker attention getter is his eccentric, self-destructive lifestyle — years of heroin addiction, financial and tax troubles, and his mouth. He has been married four times and fathered three children.

Ginger Baker died on October 6, 2019; he was 80 years old.

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