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Famous Like Me > Composer > B > Ginger Baker

Profile of Ginger Baker on Famous Like Me

Name: Ginger Baker  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 19th August 1939
Place of Birth: Lewisham, London, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born August 19, 1939, Lewisham, London), British percussionist who gained fame as a member of Cream from 1966 until 1968 with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, and later joined Clapton and Steve Winwood in the 1969 group Blind Faith. In the early 1970s, Baker toured and recorded with a fusion rock group, Ginger Baker's Air Force.

Baker's drumming attracted notice for its virtuosity, showmanship, and use of tympani and other percussion instruments rarely heard before in rock music. While at times performing in a bombastic manner similar to that of Keith Moon of The Who, Baker was also capable of more restrained playing informed by years of work with British jazz groups during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and he established new standards of professionalism in rock percussion. Baker also performed lengthy improvisational drum solos (such as "Toad") on his elaborate drum kit; he was one of the first rock drummers to use two bass drums as part of his drum set, a practice inspired by jazz drummer Louie Bellson.

Baker was known for taking excessive amounts of speed during the 1960s; as a result many rumors have emerged throughout the years that he has died. In addition, Baker was addicted to heroin for over twenty years, kicking the habit in the early 1980s.

Since 1986, Ginger Baker has released several albums of ethnic fusion and jazz percussion, and has toured with various jazz, classical music, and rock ensembles, including a reunited Cream. He has collaborated often with Bill Laswell. As well as bands carrying his own name, such as Ginger Baker's Airforce, Baker Gurvitz Army (1974-1976), and Ginger Baker's Energy (1976), Baker has also at various times been a member of Hawkwind (1980), Atomic Rooster (1980), Public Image Ltd (1986), and Masters of Reality (1990). For a detailed chart of Ginger Baker's band membership, see this page.

Highlights of Ginger Baker's solo career include:

  • Horses and Trees (1986)
  • Middle Passage (1990)
  • Going Back Home (1994)
  • Coward of the County (1999)


  • Is the butt of a somewhat cruel joke: "What do 7-11 coffee and Ginger Baker have in common? They both suck without Cream."
  • He and Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton have all played together in other musical groups. Baker and Bruce played together in the Graham Bond Organisation, Bruce and Clapton played together briefly with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Clapton and Baker played together in the brief supergroup Blind Faith.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ginger Baker