Ginger Baker

~ Person

Legal name: Peter Edward Baker


Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer, best known as the founder of the rock band Cream. Baker's work in the 1960s earned him praise as "rock's first superstar drummer", although his individual style melded a jazz background with his personal interest in African rhythms. Baker is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cream and is widely considered one of the most influential drummers of all time, recognised by his induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2016, he was ranked 3rd on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time". Baker is credited as a pioneer of drumming in genres like jazz fusion, heavy metal and world music.

Baker began playing drums at age 15 around 1954, and later took lessons from Phil Seamen. In the 1960s, he joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist Jack Bruce. The two clashed often, but would be rhythm section partners again in the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, the latter of which Baker co-founded with Eric Clapton in 1966. Cream achieved worldwide success but only lasted until 1968, Cream's two-year lifespan was in part due to Baker's and Bruce's volatile relationship. After briefly working with Clapton in Blind Faith and leading Ginger Baker's Air Force, Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music. Among Baker's other collaborations are his work with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality, Public Image Ltd, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and another personally led effort, Ginger Baker's Energy.

Baker's drumming attracted attention for his style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song "Toad", one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Baker is noted for his eccentric, often self-destructive lifestyle; he struggled with heroin addiction for many years, moved around the world often after making enemies, and has been beset with financial and tax troubles, partially as a result of his polo hobby. He has been married four times and has fathered three children.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1971 Why Black Man Dey Suffer Fela & The Africa 70 with Ginger Baker 2
1972 Stratavarious Ginger Baker 1
1976 Eleven Sides of Baker Ginger Baker & Friends 1
1982 From Humble Oranges Baker and Band 2
1986 Horses & Trees Ginger Baker 2
1987 African Force Ginger Baker 3
1990 Middle Passage Ginger Baker 1
1992 Unseen Rain Ginger Baker with Jens Johansson and Jonas Hellborg 1
1999 Coward of the County Ginger Baker and The DJQ2O 1
2014 Why? Ginger Baker 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1972 Ginger Baker at His Best Ginger Baker 1
1978 The Early Cream of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker 1
1991 The Album Ginger Baker 1
1998 Do What You Like Ginger Baker 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1971 Live! Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa '70 with Ginger Baker 3 7
1989 No Material Ginger Baker 2
2010 Live in Milan Italy 1980 Ginger Baker's Energy 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2014 Why? Sampler Ginger Baker 1

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