Legendary Cream Drummer Ginger Baker Dead at 80
Reports surfaced this past week that Cream drummer Ginger Baker was "critically ill," and now it has been revealed that Baker has passed away at the age of 80.
A brief statement on Baker's social media page Sunday (Oct. 6) revealed, "We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words to us all over the past weeks."
Ginger Baker had suffered a number of health setbacks over the years. He underwent open heart surgery in 2016, also suffering swollen legs and feet after a fall that same year. Baker also claimed in 2013 that smoking had given him chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while degenerative osteoarthritis saddled the drummer with chronic back pain.
Baker was born in Lewisham, South London in 1939. His big break as a musician came in 1966 when he founded the band Cream with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. Their union was brief but fruitful, as they issued four albums over a two year period, yielding such classic hits as "White Room" and "Sunshine of Your Love." Though their run was brief, their impact was massive, with the group gaining Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993. In 2006, the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
After Cream's run ended, Bruce was part of another well-known late '60s supergroup, continuing to play with Eric Clapton in Blind Faith. The group's other members included Traffic's Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. Together, Blind Faith released a 1969 self-titled album which generated the classic track "Can't Find My Way Home."
Post Blind Faith, Baker founded Ginger Baker's Air Force and issued a number of solo albums. He also appeared on albums from Fela Kuti, Hawkwind, Public Images LTD, Masters of Reality and others.
Cream, “Sunshine of Your Love”
Cream, “White Room”
Blind Faith, “Can’t Find My Way Home”
Ginger Baker Drum Solo
The tributes for Baker have started popping up on social media. See some of the comments below and we'll continue to update as more come in.
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