Beware of Mr. Baker

Duffy

Member
Just watched it. Yep, the guy is a train wreck. Clearly, the loss of his father is the source of his pain. Text book psychiatric case. Interesting how he left Kofi to experience the same.
Great summary. But a long and winding road the dude experienced, and still experiences.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Just watched it. Yep, the guy is a train wreck. Clearly, the loss of his father is the source of his pain. Text book psychiatric case. Interesting how he left Kofi to experience the same.
 

Duffy

Member
I was riveted to the film when I watched it a couple weeks ago.

Holy (blank), what (blank) this guy went thru!

Everyone has their personality and he definitely has his. I'm sure he doesn't want me telling him how to live.

I would say, however, that, from my perspective, he represents what I consider at truly "professional" type drummer; distinct from the semi-professional, and working drummers, even touring drummers, and drum playing sidemen. Evidently the guy was super talented and had a gift that is possessed by few. He still apparently has that gift and is still a super talented drummer in his old age.

I really enjoy watching this "Cream" reunion DVD from about 2005, at the Royal Albert Hall, that I have. He does some very impressive playing and doesn't ever seem to be in the way of the other guys. He is on top of his game during the whole concert and plays very well with the other two guys.

The guy is what he is and that's cool. No one that knew much about him expected him to be Mr. Personality.

I know a lot more obnoxious musicians than he is, and they are definitely not professionals, and somehow show up ubiquitously in the same local bands.

I recommend the show to any drummer interested in learning something about him, expressed largely in his own words and video footage of him over a very long period of time, and in greatly differing situations from rock superstar to his drumming endeavors in Africa, plus more.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I tend to seperate the man/woman,from the art.I can STILL appreciate guys like Buddy Rich,Baker and Jim Gordons contributions to music,no matter what they did in "real" life.

History will judge them,that's not my job.I need only to listen,and appreciate their work.

Steve B
Great post and well said, Steve.

The music is what we consume, not its maker. I liked some of what Cream did, but personally I was never big on Ginger Baker. His vibe on the drums just didnt speak to me. It didn't connect but I was very aware of his standing and reputation amongst some of the players who did influence me.

What did speak to me however was his obessive passion for the drums. It is child-like - you can see the joy and excitedment in his eyes when he sits behind his kit -- His over the top passion that drove him to Africa to chase the 6/8 polyrhythms, leaving his life and family behind in shambles.

Self obsessed monster or a free spirit, unfettered by societal norms........ who am I to judge..

For good or or bad,Ginger has left an indelible impression on the history of music, and you cant underplay that, regardless of how much of an a'hole he may be.

Also when we talk of times gone by, we often forget that those times had a different set of moralities, norms, circumstances and we tend to judge people out of context.

...
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
I just want to add,in relation to a recent thread about "drumming" movies.The only other drummer I can think of,who had a movie/documantary about just him was Gene Krupa,in "The Gene Krupa Story"

There's a book about Buddy Rich,written by Mel Torme,but no movie,about arguably the most famous drummer of all time(Excluding Ringo)

I've heard that there was a radio broad cast/bio, about John Bonham,but I haven't been able to confirm it's existance.And still,it wasn't a film.I know there are books written abot Bonzo,I have "A Thunder of Drums" which is not bad,but kind of light weight as far as bio's go.

So,here's to Mr. Peter Edward Baker ,film actor(not really),author, and cantankerous old dude,and professional drummer.Doing it professionally for over 45 years.

Steve B
 

CCdrummer

Senior Member
I agree with Steve. I know that he could be called egotistical and self centered, but he could back it up as well. He was a drug addict,a poor father and slept around on his wives, not really an uncommon thing for people of his profession.

I haven't read his book so I don't know much about the depths of his failings as a person, but from what I have seen so far of him as a player, musician and influence, I can't help but be impressed.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I think the very fact that we're still talking about him,over 45 after most drummers became aware of him,says a lot about how his playing, has influenced many of us,who may or may not,be aware of it.

Guys like Moonie,Bonham,Max Roach,Alex Van Halen,Cozy Powell,Carmine Appice,Vinny Appice,Liberty DeVitto and hundreds of others,all admit to coping some of Gingers stuff..

So in turn,if you were influenced by any of those guys,then you were,like it or not,indirectly influenced by Baker.

Granted,the guy will never win a humanitarian award,or parent of the year,but,he's STILL making a living playing drums.People are still going to see him play,even after the book"Hellraiser"(his auto bio) and movie "Beware of Mr Baker" came out.

Over 45 years of playing drums professionally,with some of the best ,and most creative musicians out there.I tend to seperate the man/woman,from the art.I can STILL appreciate guys like Buddy Rich,Baker and Jim Gordons contributions to music,no matter what they did in "real" life.

History will judge them,that's not my job.I need only to listen,and appreciate their work.

Steve B
 

wombat

Senior Member
Havent seen the docco...no real desire too..... enough self absorbed dickheads around without seeking out a film about one...talented or not.

As for self absorbed dickheads the Ginge and the filmaker are a match made in heaven. In the youtube Q&A clip the filmaker got very prick...ly when the issue of Gingers "generosity" came up....... he banged on forever, and then some more about staying at Gingers house, and told the questioner to get out....talk about having a sooky lala attack...methinks the filmaker doesnt take scrutiny too well.

Oh and he constantly answered questions directed at Ginger....some of which Ginger was in the process of answering before he got talked over the top of.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I understand the format of the film. I'm just saying, Jay Bulger and Ginger Baker did do interviews together on the subject of this documentary - actually it was probably Q&A with an audience after they showed the film, i don't remember exactly. That's what I'm referring to. its on youtube.

oh yeah....gotcha

that indeed did happen

I misunderstood.... apologies
 

wsabol

Gold Member
the interview is the film

before filming these interviews Jay Bulger lived with Ginger and wrote an article that eventually appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.....that is what sparked the idea for the film
I understand the format of the film. I'm just saying, Jay Bulger and Ginger Baker did do interviews together on the subject of this documentary - actually it was probably Q&A with an audience after they showed the film, i don't remember exactly. That's what I'm referring to. its on youtube.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
The maker of this film and Ginger Baker did interviews to go along with this documentary, and there is a very strong mutual respect between them. Sure the film may over dramatize and characterize Ginger as an exaggerated version of his real self, but I don't believe Ginger Baker has a problem with show casing that side of himself. Ginger Baker offered his home to this guy for the making of the film, and i think the intent by the end is to highlight his generosity and warmheartedness along side that bombastic crazy person. I haven't seen the film, but the interviews and trailer are very intriguing. I really really want to see it.

the interview is the film

before filming these interviews Jay Bulger lived with Ginger and wrote an article that eventually appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.....that is what sparked the idea for the film
 

wsabol

Gold Member
The maker of this film and Ginger Baker did interviews to go along with this documentary, and there is a very strong mutual respect between them. Sure the film may over dramatize and characterize Ginger as an exaggerated version of his real self, but I don't believe Ginger Baker has a problem with show casing that side of himself. Ginger Baker offered his home to this guy for the making of the film, and i think the intent by the end is to highlight his generosity and warmheartedness along side that bombastic crazy person. I haven't seen the film, but the interviews and trailer are very intriguing. I really really want to see it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Just got done watching it. What a colorful man. Many times, I felt like I needed to take a shower, I thought he was a scumbag. I also wanted to force feed my lungs fresh oxygen. Other times, I was in awe of his steeliness. What a tough screw that guy is. The man doesn't do goodbyes well. There's a lot I don't like about him. But Johnny Rotten was supremely intelligent when he said something to the effect of, when you have that kind of end result, it is required that he be the way he is, and you cannot question that. He had more compassion for animals than people. He's hard to look at. He's like a trainwreck, you can't not look. But through all that, there's a lot I admire about him. What a life.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I pulled it up with on demand and watched it last night after seeing this thread pop up ...been meaning to catch it for quite a while

...and aside from the part where the film maker told Ginger that he was going to interview people from his life for the film and he hit him with his cane, Ginger seemed to be a gentle , slightly bitter lonely old fellow

I thought he was quite pleasant ....dancing with his step children....loving the horses and dogs

from the horror stories I had read I was expecting some monster ...... but he seemed like someone I would love to hang with and chew the fat

I was shocked at how quickly Clapton dismissed the idea of comparing Ginger to Bonham and Moonie historically

I loved how he was such an ambitious artistic soul jetting to Africa and hooking up with Fela Kuti and his camp

my favorite part probably was the shots of him playing along with Elvin Jones, and Art Blakey.....and the shots of Max Roach hugging him....and those awesome shots of he and Elving laughing arm and arm..... priceless stuff


great flick
 
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Red Menace

Platinum Member
Bloody hell...perhaps he should have spent a few years 'working for the man' to get himself a bit of perspective.
His trade doesn't negate his horrible personality. Great drummer but he was a bit of a w**ker as a person. I know from my own experiences that my experiences in working with the most terrible bits of the general public have really improved my own communication abilities in a band. Especially in working with some pro musicians who are some real passive-aggressive types.

Maybe Gingey could have stood a couple of years at the local grocery store to knock the shine off his shoes. Hell, Bo Eder probably works for a bigger "man" than I ever did during my stint in retail.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I think he was/is probably mentally ill to begin with, "self-medicated" with smack, and from there there was never a way back. Makes you wonder if some people could be as brilliant as they are without all the self-destructive bits tho
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Great thread revive here, I caught this on TV the other day and decided to watch it after reading about it here.

Basically the story of Baker's life goes as such: Baker was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they kicked him out. Then he was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they threw him out. Fast forward to today where some hipster makes a movie about him as a bitter old man living in Africa.

8mile, tell me more about this Gadd documentary.
All the time doing something that he loved doing...and that people of our ilk would love to do...

Bloody hell...perhaps he should have spent a few years 'working for the man' to get himself a bit of perspective.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Basically the story of Baker's life goes as such: Baker was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they kicked him out. Then he was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they threw him out. Fast forward to today where some hipster makes a movie about him as a bitter old man living in Africa.
Yep, true, but in between this band and that, were trips for a 'script' (heroin).

Kinda sad really.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Great thread revive here, I caught this on TV the other day and decided to watch it after reading about it here.

Basically the story of Baker's life goes as such: Baker was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they kicked him out. Then he was in a band with so-and-so. He was an a**hole and they threw him out. Fast forward to today where some hipster makes a movie about him as a bitter old man living in Africa.

8mile, tell me more about this Gadd documentary.
 

rdb

Senior Member
I did see it and would recommend it. It's interesting and entertaining. But I have to say that it's hard to watch at times. Someone used the word "abrasive" to describe him, and I can't think of a better one.
 
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