Ginger Baker

Kg_lee

Senior Member
I can honestly say as a drummer of 33 years I had not a clue who Ginger Baker was til now. I'm amazed that this guy is a drumming icon! Maybe someone can enlighten me on his great drumming works?

What brought me to learn who he was a friend posted and comment on facebook about how great John Bonham was and some replied about Ginger Baker. I looked him up on youtube and I just don't hear it. Maybe I'm just into today's drummers and blown away by prodigy drummers like Royster who are just insane. I try to respect those who try and that it's not all about a killer solo but playing the song. I know Ginger Baker along with Charlie Watts made many more trips to the bank depositing money they made playing drums then I ever will!
 
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azarkiowa

Junior Member
This is the best I've heard Baker sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYo3w_SQTLw

When he was "on", he was really on. When he wasn't, he was a plodding, boring mess. I don't think his drums were miced properly for alot of the records either. They sound the best on White Room, but on other stuff like NSU they sound like cardboard boxes. Nevertheless, I think his straight, driving feel was very influential to the heavy rock drumming that was developing.
 

KingBeastie

Member
I seen him on the last day of the Glasgow Jazz Fest back in July.
Amazing player. He's so old now he had to be helped off his kit and back into it for the encore.

 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
What brought me to learn who he was a friend posted and comment on facebook about how great John Bonham was and some replied about Ginger Baker. I looked him up on youtube and I just don't hear it. Maybe I'm just into today's drummers and blown away by prodigy drummers like Royster who are just insane.
As with Bonzo people just enjoy his feel and groove. If you'd never heard of Joe Cocker and people talked him up you might not see the appeal if you were into hot singers like Freddie Mercury or Ronnie James Dio. A
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
Cream never interested me but Baker's playing on Hawkwind's visionary concept album "Levitation" is just sublime. The sound, the playing - absolutely integral to that record. One of the all-time top 20 albums IMO.
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
from a basement drummer's point of view, all drummers are good. Better drummers are the ones who bring the same feel that we hear on the record when they play live.

all good.. :)
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
He's an egotistical bellend.
The thing that interests me is the work. I am not so interested in judging the artist from everything external to the work. If I did I would very likely have stopped watching Polanski, certainly quit listening to U2 (your assertion can be made to fit Bono in an instant) and very likely put off Buddy Rich.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
Ginger Baker... ah, what can I say?

Ginger Baker Trio with Bill Frizzel and Charlie Haden
Ginger Baker, Coward of the County
Ginger Baker's latest... Why?

and of course all the Cream, Blind Faith, Air Force etc...

Opinionated arse or suffering from Asperger's syndrome?

He's not well, has terminal COPD, oxygen and morphine inhalers for the pain and spends a lot of time in his recliner, out of necessity.

Beware Mr. Baker and associated clips are up on YouTube.

So is an interesting interview conducted by Chad Smith (RHCP).

Jack Bruce aside, I think Baker probably has been ripped off a bit, by EMI, and Nigerian officialdom. And he feels bitter about it. But... is that the Asperger's talking, the rattled brain of a former junkie, the medication? You decide.

I honestly find him to be a fascinating musician. He's not my role model, but I do admire his quest and am saddened by his present health conditions.

All of his personal drum "hero's" have acknowledged his abilities, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, all gave Ginger kudos and I think that's what matters to Baker, not yours or my opinion but the respect of his peers.

He'll be gone soon. I think he may be looking forward to that journey as well.
 
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Hewitt2

Senior Member
No updates to this thread in quite some time. Interesting.

Anyone purchase his latest album, 'Why?' It's tough to listen to it without being keenly aware of his physical ailments; the tempo seems to drag in many places and the chops-fest days of Toad are long gone. Having said that, though, Ginger's a tasteful drummer and there is a sense of playfulness and joy which belies his public persona. The songs themselves are quite listenable and for a 74 year old with COPD and severe arthritis I have had to say I was impressed.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
My first major influence. I mean, Buddy was there, always inspirational but, as a kid big band was not my thing. Baker was so unique. His use of the toms. The thunder of the quads. Stacking cymbals. His jazz influence in such a heavy surrounding of Cream and then the soulfulness of Blind Faith. His use of various percussion on recordings. Different sized bass drums. Even the silver sparkle. His whole aura and presence was an experience. I believe Toad, from Wheels of Fire, holds its own against solos of today, simply because of the way Baker orchestrated it. It was brilliant.

Many players today do not realize the vast influence Baker had on drummers and drum set play in that era.

As he often said, he was not the fastest, nor the most technical, but no one played like him. His voice at the instrument is unmistakable.
 
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