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Thread: Whaddaya know? Ginger Baker made it to 80

  1. #1

    Whaddaya know? Ginger Baker made it to 80

    Happy birthday, Ginger. I never would have guessed you'd make it. Hat's off to ya!
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  2. #2
    Happy Birthday Mr. Happiness! I’m starting a Cream tribute band in short order. All personnel are aboard.


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  3. #3
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Pretty amazing considering the considerable doubt there was that he'd make it even until the end of '68.
    Happy Boithday!
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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Too ornery to die. Either that, or Beelzebub banned him.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Too ornery to die. Either that, or Beelzebub banned him.
    Yeah, I can picture St. Peter and Satan fighting over him..."He's not coming in here, you take him!" "No, you take him", "OK, fine, we'll just leave on Earth, since neither of us wants to deal with him in our version of the Hear After".

    I always loved the story about how he had the nerve to try getting Dave Brock to sack Harvey Bainbridge from Hawkwind, which in turn only got himself sacked instead. I think he said "I got sacked by the worst bass player in the world!".

    I also love the bit in that documentary that came out a few years ago, where he's talking about Alexis Koerner and Graham Bond, but he only says their first names. So the guy conducting the interview says "Just to clarify, tell us who you're talking about" and he gives that snotty, "Well, I just did, for fuck's sake!" response. Dude, guy's trying to do you a favor by making a documentary about you, why don't give him a break?!

  6. #6
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Too ornery to die. Either that, or Beelzebub banned him.
    The Grim Reaper came by and Baker whacked him in the nose with his cane.

  7. #7
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    God is punishing him for his wickedness, by keeping him alive....
    Steve F.

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  8. #8
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    The Grim Reaper came by and Baker whacked him in the nose with his cane.
    That really is a pretty amazing documentary. I love a lot of the music he’s done, but what an unlikable person.....
    Steve F.

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

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  9. #9
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    God is punishing him for his wickedness, by keeping him alive....
    Didn't you say the same thing about Cuneiform...?

  10. #10
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Didn't you say the same thing about Cuneiform...?
    BUSTED!
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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  11. #11
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    At this point I am certain that it the sheer flood of bile and venom running through his veins that keeps Ginger alive.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  12. #12
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Surprised he's made it this far. Seems like a guy who would've/should've gotten beaten up a lot.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  13. #13
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Happy birthday!
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Surprised he's made it this far. Seems like a guy who would've/should've gotten beaten up a lot.
    Apparently, Ginge can (or could, back in the day) hold his own in the fisticuffs department. Apparently, he and Jack Bruce used to go at it regularly during the Cream years, and as I understand, typically, any such altercation ended with Ginge handing Jack's ass to him. I read once that Ginge was fond of bouncing drumsticks off his cymbals, which sometimes hit Jack in the back of the head. One night, Jack decided he'd had enough, decided to tackle Ginge right there and then, and Ginge had no trouble kicking poor Jack's ass. And the audience loved it, because they thought it was "part of the show".

  15. #15
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Apparently, Ginge can (or could, back in the day) hold his own in the fisticuffs department. Apparently, he and Jack Bruce used to go at it regularly during the Cream years, and as I understand, typically, any such altercation ended with Ginge handing Jack's ass to him. I read once that Ginge was fond of bouncing drumsticks off his cymbals, which sometimes hit Jack in the back of the head. One night, Jack decided he'd had enough, decided to tackle Ginge right there and then, and Ginge had no trouble kicking poor Jack's ass. And the audience loved it, because they thought it was "part of the show".
    Interesting. Maybe Ginger was smart enough to behave around guys that were more capable fighters than himself.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Apparently, Ginge can (or could, back in the day) hold his own in the fisticuffs department. Apparently, he and Jack Bruce used to go at it regularly during the Cream years, and as I understand, typically, any such altercation ended with Ginge handing Jack's ass to him. I read once that Ginge was fond of bouncing drumsticks off his cymbals, which sometimes hit Jack in the back of the head. One night, Jack decided he'd had enough, decided to tackle Ginge right there and then, and Ginge had no trouble kicking poor Jack's ass. And the audience loved it, because they thought it was "part of the show".
    Was that with Cream or the Graham Bond Organization? I heard stories about the fighting during the GBO years, but can't say I've heard any about Cream. Not that it's implausible.
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  17. #17
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Ginger should have sat in with the Who. Daltrey would have cleaned his clock.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Was that with Cream or the Graham Bond Organization? I heard stories about the fighting during the GBO years, but can't say I've heard any about Cream. Not that it's implausible.
    Well, I remember hearing this story back in the 80's, but supposedly, this was one of the things about Cream that made Clapton think maybe he was in the wrong band.

  19. #19
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    The rift between Baker and Bruce was legendary, even back in the day.
    The group’s formation was set in motion by Baker, who reached out to Clapton and won him over with his grand vision of “becoming the biggest pop group in the world.”

    “I had always liked Ginger,” explained Clapton. “Ginger had come to see me play with John Mayall. After the gig, he drove me back to London in his Rover. I was very impressed with his car and his driving. He was telling me that he wanted to start a band, and I had been thinking about it too. It was a sort of coincidence— synchronicity, really. We were thinking the same thing at the same time.”

    Clapton agreed to join Baker’s new group, but he unwittingly threw a wrench into the drummer’s plans. Clapton made a special request that Jack Bruce be recruited as the group’s bassist. Clapton had briefly played with Bruce at the tail end of his tenure with John Mayall and came away impressed by the bassist’s skill. Unbeknownst to Clapton, Baker and Bruce were like oil and water. The relationship had proven to be so turbulent that Bruce, uncomfortable with Baker, had left the Graham Bond Organization even as their fortunes were rising.

    So eager was Baker to form a partnership with Clapton that, despite his misgivings, he agreed to have Bruce come aboard. Clapton, still unaware of the tension between his new bandmates, witnessed its volatile nature at the new group’s first get–together.

    “We had our first talk-through rehearsal at Ginger’s house in Neesden,” remembered Clapton. “Those two had an argument right away. Jack had done an interview and let the cat out of the bag about the band. Ginger was upset about that, and the [argument] went along the lines of, ‘There you go, you’ve done it again!’

    “I thought, Wait, there’s something going back here that I’m not aware of. The ‘you’ve done it again’ implied that this was sort of a pattern that existed before I knew either of them.”

    On the surface, Cream was one hot and happy band. Unfortunately, despite their staggering success, they routinely teetered on the edge of destruction. The clashes between Baker and Bruce worsened and soon ensnared Clapton. By the time Goodbye, their fourth album, was issued in 1969, the group had, in November 1968, already celebrated its farewell via a filmed finale at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Cream were finished, and neither Baker, Bruce nor Clapton could summon the energy to resolve their differences.

    As Clapton told Guitar World in 1994, “It was very intense; it actually seems like we were together for four or five years, but in fact it was very short. My overall feeling about it now is that it was a glorious mistake. I had a completely different idea of what it would be before I started it, and it ended up being a wonderful thing, but nothing like it was meant to be.

    “It was meant to be a blues trio. I just didn’t have the assertiveness to take control. Jack and Ginger were the powerful, dominant personalities in the band; they sort of ran the show and I just played. In the end, I just went with the flow and I enjoyed it greatly, but it wasn’t anything like I expected at all.”

  20. #20
    And yet Bruce and Baker managed to work together, with Gary Moore, long enough to record an album and do a short tour.

    I remember an interview with Jack Bruce where the interviewer is more than slightly incredulous when Jack professes his affection for Ginger.

  21. #21
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I think Jack Bruce completes Ginger Baker. Without him, there's nothing to rage against.

  22. #22
    I'm grateful that they put their differences aside and played together. They were born to be bandmates, despite their clashing personalities.
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  23. #23
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'm grateful that they put their differences aside and played together. They were born to be bandmates, despite their clashing personalities.
    They really were.
    Steve F.

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Halmyre View Post
    And yet Bruce and Baker managed to work together, with Gary Moore, long enough to record an album and do a short tour.

    I remember an interview with Jack Bruce where the interviewer is more than slightly incredulous when Jack professes his affection for Ginger.
    And apparently, what Ginge wanted Dave Brock to do, when he put forth the suggestion that Harvey Bainbridge be fired from Hawkwind, was to get Jack Bruce in as the replacement!

    And we also had that Cream reunion, as brief as it was, back in 2007 or whenever it was. I think I read after that one Ginge said he never wanted to play with Jack again, because he get tired of being deafened by his cranked amps!

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    And we also had that Cream reunion, as brief as it was, back in 2007 or whenever it was. I think I read after that one Ginge said he never wanted to play with Jack again, because he get tired of being deafened by his cranked amps!
    Ironically, they reformed to help Ginger make some money, from what I understand. Sure, there were other reasons, like they weren't getting any younger...

    You gotta admit, they sounded fantastic (especially Jack) and showed to the world that they could still bring it. I'm mesmerized every time I watch it.
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