Ginger Baker RIP

Not to be a Clapton apologist, but he’s talked about all the dodgy racist stuff and made it very clear he was off his head on drugs and basically about two decades worth of his life are a complete blank. I’m not excusing it, but he seems deeply regretful and embarrassed about it.

There was a really good (and quite sad) BBC doc on him last year that’s probably lurking on youtube somewhere.

Good grief

Not the South Bank Show in 2007 when he repeated his support for Enoch Powell? Following the Uncut interview in 2004 where he described him as ‘outrageously brave’? Was he still too drunk 30 years after this concert to see the error of his ways?

He’s a shit.


What’s Ginger Baker done?

Except died. As in what makes her a dickhead?

I don’t know much about him tbh but I did watch maybe half of that documentary about him that came out a few years ago. By all accounts he was vile, obnoxious, and violent throughout his life. He was old by the time of that documentary but still came across as a truly awful person with no self awareness or sense of redemption.

Tbf maybe that comes across by the end of the documentary but I gave up because I didn’t find anything he’d done musically of enough interest to understand why I should care about him.

He was a ludicrously talented drummer, a once in a generation talent. Trouble is he alienated pretty much everyone he came into contact with sooner or later so his recorded output isn’t half as good as it could have been. A virtuoso drummer without a decent band around him isn’t anything anyone needs in their life.

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I’m no expert, but from what you read about him he was simply impossible for anyone to collaborate with or even co-exist with over any period at all - almost psychopathic in his unpleasantness. He seems to have paid the price over his career - he should have more work than he could cope with but apparently ended up placing ads in the papers desperately seeking session work.

Yeah he just seemed to be an incredibly talented but toxic individual. That’s why I like that Masters of Reality abum I mentioned so much: they seem to have caught him at a time in his life when, as he put it, “I just fancy a boogie,” and you get a glimpse at just how good he could be behind a solid rock band. But by that point he’d burned down every bridge he’d ever come across.

He’s flip-flopped between saying he was off his head when he said it, and that he agreed with it.

I think the most recent statement was that he agreed with it.

I think (maybe naively, given some of the things that the director has been saying) that it’s a mixture of Glitter’s crimes being not really known about in the States, and also that the song in question is played at loads and loads of sporting events and has become something of a standard.

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Yet another tribute thread that descends into the moral police getting their batons out. How refreshing.

As a musician, and his musicianship, which I’m basing my evaluation of the man on, he was incredible. A real force of nature. His footwork, epesically, really set him apart from his peers. Just a really great drummer. One of the best I’ve ever heard on record/seen live.

Seems like the only person getting in a tiz is you here pal. Don’t think anyone’s had anything but good things to say about his musical legacy, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with contextualising it against him as a person because art and expression doesn’t exist in a vacuum. That being said if you don’t care, cool, but if other people do, that’s up to them.


When I was growing up it was common protocol for my Dad to get pissed up on a Friday night and at some point he’d just hit the ‘sweet spot’ where he’d rattle on enthusiastically about the music of his youth. Then the records would start coming out and it’d always end up at ‘Wheels of Fire’ or ‘Best of Cream’ (we couldn’t play the first tracks on each side as the dog had chewed the disc…) and the saga of his going from Rochdale down to London in 1968 to watch the Albert Hall farewell gig. Have fucking loved Cream (and that much maligned genre ‘classic rock’) ever since.

I’m curious what your thoughts on this are

Like David Bowie , who once told an interviewer that Britain would benefit from a Fascist dictator

not trying to stir anything, just interested

It was appalling thing he said, explained (although certainly not excused) by the ridiculously wasted state he was in at the time but he apologised for it repeatedly and abjectly afterwards, in contrast to Clapton who doubled down on his pro- Powell comments for years. I’m content to judge Bowie on his life as a whole, and I’m not aware of any racism from him - on the contrary he was well known as an anti-racism campaigner (witness his famous MTV interview when he turned on the interviewer and challenged him about why no black music was played on the station).

What he said in that interview (although stupid and dangerous) was nowhere near as bad as what Clapton said anyway- especially when you consider that Clapton said it on stage, in Birmingham (close to the constituency where Powell was running a racially charged campaign) at a time of massively raised racial tensions. You only have to read the transcript of what Clapton said on stage to see that it was a whole different level of appalling from one stupid comment in a coked up interview.

Fair enough. I’m not from the UK but I grew up on Cream, my Dad idolised Clapton so I’m pretty shocked to hear all of this.

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It was Clapton’s behaviour that led directly to the founding of Rock Against Racism, so some good came out of it anyway.