Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker dies at 80

dies at 80 - CNN

(), notorious and celebrated drummer in the supergroup Cream, has died at the of 80 at a in the .

Psychedelic rock band Hawkwind, which worked with Baker, tweeted their condolences on his death Sunday.
“Fly high Ginger! You were a one off and and a true legend…We were honoured to work with you…RIP,” the band’s Twitter page said.
    Spandau Ballet Gary Kemp and Edgar Wright also paid to a who inspired countless others.
    Baker grew up in Lewisham, south London, son of a bricklayer. His father was killed in II when Baker was only four years . at , he began playing drums at the age of 16, and, and was earning a living as a professional musician a year later, becoming a fixture of London’s 1950s jazz scene.
    He learnt about rhythms from his hero, another jazz drummer Phil Seaman — who also introduced Baker to , a habit that scourged much of his .
    In 1962, Baker replaced Watts as drummer in the blues band Alexis Corner’s Blues Incorporated when the latter left to join the Rolling Stones.
    Baker then joined the Graham Bond Organization, a blues band that quickly became in the with Bond and bassist Jack Bruce with whom Baker had a legendary tumultuous . The Graham Bond Organization ended when Baker fired Bruce at knifepoint.
    Baker decided to form his own band and invited guitarist Eric Clapton to join him. Clapton agreed to join with Baker to form Cream in 1966 — if Bruce came too — and the world’s rock supergroup formed by already established was born.
    “He saw something about me that I never before, he would say it is about ,” said Clapton in the acclaimed 2012 about Baker “ of Mr Baker.”
    “Ginger was pretty dismissive and anti-, seriously anti- but he had , he had the spark, the flair, the panache … he had it in spades.”

    Jazz was Baker’s first

    After just two years Cream split, due largely to the tension between Bruce and Baker, having trail-blazed techniques that led many to call it the first ever band. Baker also played the first ever on- drum rock solos. Baker and Clapton continued with the group but only for a year.
    His venture was Ginger Baker’s Airforce — band that fused rock with jazz and African influences. Again, that only lasted just a year.
    But jazz was always Baker’s first love, and during this period he also played alongside some of jazz’s greatest drummers such as Max Roach and Elvin Jones before deciding to put his drumsticks where his heart was and drove his Range Rover across the to .
    he hooked up with the father of Afro-beat, the legendary Fela Kuti, and for a while the two men were inseparable. Baker set up Nigeria’s first 16-track studio and stayed for several years.
    Ex-Beatle recorded his classic 1973 album “Band On The Run” there with his band Wings. Baker also learnt to play polo in Nigeria, a passion that remained with him forever, but led to a fall-out with Kuti as many of the members of the Polo Club were Kuti’s enemies.
    After he left Nigeria Baker moved to where he ran a ranch and then he moved to the US. He continued to play with some of the names of rock ‘n’ roll including Ltd, the band of former Pistols front man Rotten.
    Ginger Baker
    Cream first reunited in 1993 at the in Cleveland, Ohio. Twelve years later, they played their first full reunion shows at ’s Madison Garden and the London’s Royal Hall. Jack Bruce died in 2014.
    Baker spent his last years on a ranch in with his polo horses.
      His said he suffered “from many long term conditions” notably chronic obstructive pulmonary , which “he spoke of in many more recent interviews,” she said in a statement Sunday.
      Cream was inducted into the Hall of in 1993. In 2006 the band received a for achievement. Baker was also nominated for a Grammy in 1968 as Best New .

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