Cream drummer Ginger Baker dies aged 80
Ginger Baker, one of the most brilliant, versatile and turbulent drummers in the history of British music, has died aged 80.
His family had previously made it public that he was critically ill and asked fans to “please keep him in your prayers”. His Facebook page said he “passed away peacefully” on Sunday morning.
Also in Twitter his family said:
"We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words over the past weeks"
Ginger Baker, one of the most innovative and influential drummers in rock music, has died at the age of 80. A co-founder of Cream, he also played with Blind Faith, BBM, Hawkwind and Fela Kuti in a long and varied career. His style combined the lyricism of jazz with the crude power of rock. One critic said watching him was like witnessing "a human combine harvester".
Baker was born in 1939 in Lewisham, south London, and grew up amid the blitz; his father was killed in action in 1943. He began drumming in his mid-teens, remembering in 2009: “I’d never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down – and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, ‘Bloody hell, we’ve got a drummer’, and I thought, ‘Bloody hell, I’m a drummer!’”
In February 2016, Baker announced he had been diagnosed with "serious heart issues" and cancelled all future gigs until further notice. Writing on his blog, he said, "Just seen doctor... big shock... no more gigs for this old drummer... everything is off... of all things I never thought it would be my heart..." In late March 2016, it was revealed that Baker was set for pioneering treatment. "There are two options for surgery and, depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both." He added, "Cardiologist is brilliant. Yesterday he inserted a tube into the artery at my right wrist and fed it all the way to my heart – quite an experience. He was taking pictures of my heart from inside – amazing technology... He says he's going to get me playing again! Thanks all for your support." The heart operation was done in July 2016, with Baker afterward reported to be recovering.
On 25 September 2019, Baker's family reported that he was critically ill in hospital, and asked fans to keep him in their prayers.
Baker died on 6 October 2019, at the age of 80.
Rest In Peace Ginger Baker.