Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger and more rock stars pay tribute to late Cream drummer Ginge
Following the sad news that Cream drummer Ginger Baker died today at the age of 80, a variety of famous artists offered up tributes to the influential musician.
In a message posted on his Twitter feed, Paul McCartney recalls collaborating with Baker during the 1970s. "Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy," writes Sir Paul. "We worked together on the 'Band on the Run' album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will."
McCartney's Beatles band mate Ringo Starr writes in his own Twitter message, "God bless Ginger Baker incredible musician wild [and] inventive drummer Peace and love to his family."
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, meanwhile, tweeted, "Sad news hearing that Ginger Baker has died, I remember playing with him very early on in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer."
In addition, the family of late Cream bassist Jack Bruce, who died in 2014, posted a Twitter messageextending their "sincere condolences to Ginger Baker's family, friends and fans." The Bruce family added, "Surviving a love hate relationship, Ginger was like an older brother to Jack, their chemistry was truly spectacular. RIP Ginger, one of the greatest drummers of all time."
Here are more tributes to Baker by some other famous rock artists:
Steve Winwood: "He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on, and later managed to combine this with African and rock music to create his own inimitable style of playing...I was lucky to play with him in Ginger Baker's Air Force...And also in Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Rick Grech. Although his appointment was very unorthodox (he showed up on the doorstep and said, 'Here I am') - he made a great contribution to the Blind Faith album which has withstood the test of time...Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold...He'll be missed."
Queen's Brian May: "RIP Ginger Baker - who thrilled us all with his massively innovative drumming in CREAM. When I advertised on my (Imperial) College notice board for a drummer to form a group with (1969, I think), I put 'Wanted : a drummer who can play like Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell and GINGER BAKER'....Guess who replied ?? A certain Mr [Roger] Taylor. And he could ! So you could say Ginger Baker is inextricably woven into our history, as well conquering the world with CREAM, and his other projects.
Brian Wilson: "I'm sorry to hear that Ginger Baker passed. He was a great drummer and we all were fans of Cream back then. 'Sunshine of Your Love' was a great one. Love & Mercy, Brian."
Rush's Geddy Lee: "As a young musician few drummers stood taller or were a bigger musical influence than Ginger Baker...I will never forget the awesomeness of seeing him perform with Cream at Massey Hall on June 5 1968 along side the late great Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton…He was one of Rock's first virtuoso drummers and his incredible legacy lives on."
Rush's Neil Peart: "He was really at the forefront of a complete revolution of rock. It is hard to find fault with the notion he was the pioneer of a rock drummer. There was no context for him, there was no archetype. He is the archetype…Ginger Baker is most notable achievement that should be recognized is the first rock drum solo…And me as a 15-year-old kid at the time was, 'yeah, yeah, that's the rock drummer I want to be!'"
The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt: "RIP Ginger Baker. One of the greatest drummers of all time. Begin with Cream's Disraeli Gears."
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea: "So much freedom in his playing. What a wildman. Rhythms we've heard all our lives he plucked them out of the sky. Rest In Peace Ginger Baker."
The Kinks' Dave Davies: "Ginger Baker was a great and unique musician and an innovator as well - he will be sorely missed - I met him many years ago in the old days and saw him a couple years ago in New York and he still sounded great - he always had nice things to say about the Kinks."
Stone Temple Pilots: "Rest well Ginger. Thank you for all that you gave us."