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A Tribute to the Best Drummer Ginger Baker

Updated on July 5, 2013
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Gary has a great interest in music, especially in classic rock and roll. He likes making lists and bringing his experience with music to you

Ginger Baker Had a Special Gift of Rhythm

There are a lot of great drummers. But Ginger Baker is an inspiration because of a certain almost relaxing quality that he brings to the drums. While a lot of drummers are putting speed and power first, Baker put rhythm first. I saw him in the '60s at UCSB before they banned rock concerts because of the political riots. He was with Cream at the time. Of course the most famous member of Cream was Eric Clapton, and for good reason. But Ginger Baker has a certain quality that stands out in a rock and roll setting. It is almost like the belligerence comes from the singer and guitars, and the calmness comes from Baker's drums. I think he is, for that reason, the greatest drummer ever.

I have been a fan of the drums since I was a kid and saw Buddy Rich on TV. And wonderful drummers have come along since Ginger Baker, especially Jacob Armen and Thomas Lang. But again, they are flashes of brilliance to be sure.

But I think what inspired me as to what drums can do to your soul is Baker's backup in the Cream song White Room. I am sure this song inspired drummers everywhere. It was almost that the drum backup took over the whole song. You can't say that about most drum accompaniment. The video is preserved below, and I hope you take time to view and listen to this great drummer, with and without his great band Cream.

Cream and Ginger Baker: White Room

Ginger Baker Bio

Ginger Baker was born in 1939 in Lewisham, South London, UK. Many have described him as the most influential drummer of the 1960's, and the first great rock and roll drummer. He prefers to be known as a Jazz Drummer, but his contribution to Rock is immeasurable. His lengthy drum solos and his capacity to restrain his drumming led to a certain flow of rhythm that others find hard to duplicate. Cream and Blind Faith were the two most famous bands which have Baker's sound wide distribution.

While Baker was great at the flam, he also had an amazing power and rhythm through the base drums and through his Jazz influence, that made his drum sound flow. That he came to rock and roll with a foundation of Jazz is like Slash bringing a Jazz guitar to Guns and Roses. This is a powerful background that gives an added legitimacy to the rock sound.

Cream and Baker: Sunshine of Your Love

Cream: I Feel Free

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    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      Love Ginger Baker, never got to see him. While I totally agree that he was a great drummer (really one of my favorites too) I really liked Keith Moon and Carl Palmer just as well. Those two just come quickly to mind and I'm sure there are others. Ah, I guess I'm just not good at the who's best thing. Ginger Baker is very special though!! Peace!! Tom *** Nice hub, it's good to see that you too can put aside politics for some good soul music!!

    • bgamall profile image
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      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I think Justom, that it is difficult to tell who is really the best, but for me Baker was. It was a question of stye, and also of influence in the rock world. Jazz has a small audience and the best musicians generally. Ginger Baker brought a Jazz ability to the rock stage, which is the world's biggest stage.

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      I can't argue with that!

    • bgamall profile image
      Author

      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Ha, Justom, thanks for seeing it my way. :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Beautiful bgamall! I love the Cream. They were the "cream". Thanks for the tribute! Spot on!

    • bgamall profile image
      Author

      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Spot on. I love that English phrase. Thanks, Micky.

    • Joyus Crynoid profile image

      Joyus Crynoid 6 years ago from Eden

      Nice tribute to one of my favorite rock drummers. He also made some really fine music with his band Air Force. I love this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gypX7uicZLs

    • bgamall profile image
      Author

      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks for the link Joyus.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great hub. Flag up!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Great tribute to a fantastic drummer.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

      Ginger Baker a great talent, thanks for the hub.

    • bgamall profile image
      Author

      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Glad you guys discovered the site!

    • profile image

      ed77burns 6 years ago

      Great tribute to him.

    • bgamall profile image
      Author

      Gary Anderson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks Ed, always have been a fan.

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