Ginger Baker, Drummer Cream, Dies at 80

Ginger Baker, Drummer Cream, Dies at 80

Ginger Baker, the drummer of supergroup Cream and other popular psychadelic bands, died Sunday at age 80, his family said. “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning,” Baker’s family tweeted.

His daughter Nettie confirmed Baker died in Britain, but gave no other details. The family had said September 25 that Baker was critically ill in the hospital.

Pulling on his passion for blues and jazz, Baker broke many typical rock boudndries in the world of drumming. He popularized a double bass drum, which we later learned, intimidated many musicians. Baker

Baker teamed up with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton to form the mid-1960s super-group Cream — one of the first power trios. All three were known individually in the London blues scene and together they helped make rock history by elevating instrumental prowess above the songs themselves, even as they had hits with “Sunshine of Your Love,” “I Feel Free” and “White Room.”

Cream was among the most successful acts of its time, selling more than 10 million records. But by 1968 Baker and Bruce had worn each other out and even Clapton had tired of their deafening, marathon jams, including the Baker showcase “Toad,” one of rock’s first extended drum solos. Cream split up at the end of the year, departing with two sold-out shows at London’s Albert Hall.

Clapton is the lone surviving member of Cream. He has yet to issue a statement on Baker’s death. The family of Bruce called Baker “one of the greatest drummers of all time” and issued their condolences.

Kristina Killingsworth

October 7th, 2019

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