Happy Birthday Ginger Baker: ‘Beware Of Mr. Baker’ Documentary

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Legendary drummer Ginger Baker was born in London on this date in 1939. The 80-year-old drummer helped invent the rock drum solo and was a member of Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame trio Cream. Ginger’s life and contributions to music were documented in the 2012 film Beware Of Mr. Baker.

Ginger first started playing drums as a teenager and went on to join Blues Incorporated. It was as a member of Blues Incorporated where he initially teamed with bassist Jack Bruce. The pair would go on to become the rhythm section of the Graham Bond Organization and in 1966 formed Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton. While Cream only lasted three years, their influence can be heard in the sound of many bands that followed in their footsteps including Gov’t Mule, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police, Primus and Rush.

After Cream broke up, Baker was behind the kit for Clapton’s next band, short-lived supergroup Blind Faith. Ginger then formed his own group, Ginger Baker’s Air Force and then the drummer moved to Africa where he forged a relationship with legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. More recently, Baker took part in Cream’s 2005 reunion and put together more bands of his own including Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion. He toured up until 2016, when he underwent surgery for heart issues.

Filmmaker Jay Bulger directed the 92-minute Beware Mr. Baker and spoke extensively with Ginger at his compound in South Africa about his career, reputation for his bad behavior and some decisions that led to the loss of his fortune. Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, Clapton, Bonnie Bramlett, Mickey Hart, Femi Kuti, Carlos Santana, Chad Smith and Bernie Worrell are among those who appear in the film.

Watch Beware Mr. Baker below:

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