Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger among musicians paying tribute to Cream drummer Ginger Baker

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(CNN)Rock legends Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger were just a few of the artists to pay tribute on social media to Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who died Sunday.

Baker was 80 when he died in the England.
Other tributes to Baker came from Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
    “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,” Jagger tweeted.
    In his tribute, McCartney highlighted that the 1973 “Band on the Run” album his band Paul McCartney and Wings was recorded in Baker’s ARC Studio in Lagos, Nigeria. “Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will. X Paul,” McCartney tweeted.
    McCartney’s fellow Beatle, drummer Ringo Starr, called Baker an “incredible musician” and a wild and inventive drummer in a tweet.
    Flea tweeted that Baker was a “wildman” who played the drums with “so much freedom.”
    Van Zandt said that Baker was “one of the greatest drummers of all time” and suggested that anyone unfamiliar with Cream’s music start by listening to the band’s second album, “Disraeli Gears.”
    “Sad to hear of the passing of a great drummer, Ginger Baker,” guitarist Steve Hackett tweeted.
    Mike Portnoy, a co-founder of Dream Theater, tweeted that it was a “very sad day in the drum world” as Baker took “rock drumming to a whole new level of expression.”
    Formed in 1966, the band consisted of Baker, bassist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton. Their hits include “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” “Crossroads,” and “Strange Brew.”
    Cream are considered to be the first rock supergroup as the band was formed by already established musicians. Cream also are one of the first examples of a rock power trio featuring only guitar, bass and drums with all three members contributing vocals.
    The band split in 1968 after two years and reunited for the first time in 1993 when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Twelve years later, Cream played their first full reunion shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
      Bruce died in October 2014 at age 71. Clapton, now 74, released his most recent solo album “I Still Do” in 2016.
      In 2006 the band received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. In 1968, the band was nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist.

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      Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker dies at 80

      dies at 80 - CNN

      London (CNN)Ginger Baker, notorious hellraiser and celebrated drummer in the supergroup Cream, has died at the age of 80 at a hospital in the United Kingdom.

      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 songwriter Gary Kemp and film director Edgar Wright also paid tribute to a musician who inspired countless others.
        Baker grew up in Lewisham, south London, son of a bricklayer. His father was killed in World War II when Baker was only four years old. Bullied at school, 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 Soho jazz scene.
        He learnt about African rhythms from his hero, another British jazz drummer Phil Seaman — who also introduced Baker to heroin, a habit that scourged much of his life.
        In 1962, Baker replaced Charlie 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 popular in the UK with Bond and bassist Jack Bruce with whom Baker had a legendary tumultuous relationship. 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 first rock supergroup formed by already established musicians was born.
        “He saw something about me that I never thought before, he would say it is about time,” said Clapton in the acclaimed 2012 documentary about Baker “Beware of Mr Baker.”
        “Ginger was pretty dismissive and anti-social, seriously anti-social but he had the gift, he had the spark, the flair, the panache … he had it in spades.”
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        Jazz was Baker’s first love

        After just two years Cream split, due largely to the tension between Bruce and Baker, having trail-blazed musical techniques that led many to call it the first ever heavy metal band. Baker also played the first ever long on-stage drum rock solos. Baker and Clapton continued with the group Blind Faith but only for a year.
        His next 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 Sahara Desert to Nigeria.
        There 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 there for several years.
        Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney 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 Lagos Polo Club were Kuti’s enemies.
        After he left Nigeria Baker moved to Italy where he ran a wine ranch and then he moved to the US. He continued to play with some of the great names of rock ‘n’ roll including Public Image Ltd, the band of former Sex Pistols front man Johnny Rotten.
        Ginger Baker
        Cream first reunited in 1993 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Twelve years later, they played their first full reunion shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and the London’s Royal Albert Hall. Jack Bruce died in 2014.
        Baker spent his last years on a ranch in South Africa with his polo horses.
          His daughter said he suffered “from many long term conditions” notably chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which “he spoke of in many more recent interviews,” she said in a statement Sunday.
          Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2006 the band received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. Baker was also nominated for a Grammy in 1968 as Best New Artist.

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