An Unconventional Eulogy: Ginger Baker
Ginger Baker passed away a few days back, probably about 50 years after he should have died.....
In 1970, Ginger Baker had already burned through 2 great rock bands, Cream and Blind Faith. On top of the world and already considered one of the greatest drummers of all-time, Ginger Baker decided to create Ginger Baker's Air Force. A jazz-rock fusion group, I think that the Air Force was Baker's true musical vision. The problem with the Air Force was that it was unwieldy leading a team of nearly a dozen musicians, as the drummer, in both touring and recording. When Baker could have cashed in, he decided to forge new ground. New ground that was unpractical and unsustainable.
So in honor of the late Ginger Baker, please LISTEN to the Air Force's debut effort and appreciate a musical genius.
After Air Force 1 & 2, Ginger Baker released another 18 solo albums and collaborated with multiple artists. But he also turned down piles and piles of money in order to cultivate his hate of Jack Bruce, upended conventional wisdom, and repeatedly showed contempt for civilized society.
There were the 2 (or 3) DOZEN relapses into heroin addiction, the losing business ventures, a string of messy divorces, and, of course, one of the best documentaries ever made: Beware of Mr. Baker.
Beware of Mr. Baker was an unflinching view of the controversial musician from all angles. Even though the project was made with Ginger's permission, it didn't stop him from attacking the director of the film. On camera.
Which was a fitting synopsis of his life.
The Tales of Brave Ulysses