Ginger Baker, Dead at 80
Ginger Baker, iconic drummer and co-founder of ’60s rock band Cream, has died.
Baker made headlines in September after he was hospitalized, with a spokesperson saying he was “critically ill.” The drummer founded Cream with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce in 1966 and, in the band’s short time together, helped them become an influence on a number of artists since with enduring hits like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” “Crossroads” and more.
Cream is sometimes known as the first supergroup ever created (along with Clapton’s previous success, Baker and Bruce collaborated in both Blues Incorporated as well as the Graham Bond Organisation). Baker also clocked in time with Clapton and Steve Winwood’s Blind Faith, and spent time in Africa worked with afro-beat icon Fela Kuti.
Baker learned to play drums as a teenager, using the instrument as a way to manage his rambunctious energy. He was one of the first mainstream drummers to use a double kick drum kit and is regularly named as one of the best rock drummers of all time.
Watch Baker perform a drum solo at Cream’s 1968 farewell concert below: