Today: Ginger Baker is 73

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Peter Edward Baker
Born 19 August 1939 (age 73)
London, England
Genres Jazz, blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, jazz fusion
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1958–present
Labels Polydor, Warner Bros., Island, Universal,Atlantic
Associated acts Blues Incorporated, Ginger Baker and Friends, CreamBlind FaithBaker Gurvitz ArmyGinger Baker’s Air ForceHawkwind,Public Image Ltd.Atomic RoosterMasters of Reality, Ginger Baker Trio, BBMFela Kuti

Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker (born 19 August 1939, Lewisham, South London) is an English drummer, best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. He is also known for his numerous associations with World music, mainly the use of African influences. He has also had other collaborations such as with Gary MooreHawkwind and Public Image Ltd.

Baker’s drumming attracted attention for its flamboyance, showmanship and his use of two bass drums instead of the conventional single bass kick drum (following a similar set-up used by Louie Bellson during his days with Duke Ellington). Although a firmly established rock drummer and praised as “Rock’s first superstar drummer”, he prefers being called a jazz drummer. Baker’s influence has extended to drummers of both genres, including Billy CobhamPeter CrissBill WardIan PaiceNick Mason,  and John BonhamAllMusic has described him as “the most influential percussionist of the 1960s” and stated that “virtually every drummer of every heavy metal band that has followed since that time has sought to emulate some aspect of Baker’s playing.”

While at times performing in a similar way to Keith Moon from The Who, Baker also employs a more restrained style influenced by the British jazz groups he heard during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In his early days as a drummer, he performed lengthy drum solos, the best known being the five minute drum solo “Toad” from Cream‘s debut album Fresh Cream (1966). He is also noted for using a variety of other percussion instruments and for his application of African rhythms. He would often emphasize the flam, a drum rudiment in which both sticks attack the drumhead at almost the same time, giving a heavy thunderous sound.

From Allmusic (Bruce Eder):

Ginger Baker was rock’s first superstar drummer and the most influential percussionist of the 1960s. There were other drummers who were well-known to the public before him, including the Beatles‘ Ringo Starr and, in England at the end of the 1950s, the Shadows’ Tony Meehan, but they were famous primarily for the groups in which they played and for attributes beyond their musicianship. Baker made his name entirely on his playing, initially as showcased in Cream, but far transcending even that trio’s relatively brief existence. Though he only cut top-selling records for a period of about three years at the end of the 1960s, virtually every drummer of every heavy metal band that has followed since that time has sought to emulate some aspect of Baker‘s playing.

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“Toad” (Cream) – live at Royal Albert Hall, London. November 26th, 1968:

June 7, 1969 at Hyde Park.

Album of the day – Disraeli Gears (1967):

Other August-19:

  •  Ian Gillan (born 19 August 1945 in Hounslow, London) is an English rock music vocalist and songwriter, who originally found success with, and is best known as, the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple. Gillan has been the subject of debate among commentators in the music industry and fans whether or not he was the highest screamer in rock music in his prime. It is said in certain live performances he marked the A6 note.


  • John Richard Deacon (born 19 August 1951) is a retired English musician, best known as the bassist for the rock band Queen. Of the four members of the band, he was the last to join and also the youngest, being only 19 years old when he was recruited by the other members of the band. Deacon wrote a number of Queen’s hit singles, including “You’re My Best Friend“, “Spread Your Wings“, “Back Chat“, “I Want to Break Free“, and the band’s biggest selling single in the United States, “Another One Bites the Dust“, as well as a number of album tracks. He also played electric and acoustic guitars on several albums and, to a lesser extent, keyboards, synthesizers, programming and drums. He occasionally provided backing vocals during live shows.


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