Cream drummer and co-founder Ginger Baker dies aged 80
Ginger Baker, the drummer and co-founder of rock band Cream, has died at the age of 80.
His daughter confirmed that the musician, real name Peter Baker, passed away peacefully.
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 (@GingerBDrums) October 6, 2019
On behalf of his family, a tweet from Baker’s official Twitter account 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.”
Baker was a much-revered percussionist who founded the influential band Cream with Eric Clapton in 1966, and also performed with Hawkwind, Blind Faith and Fela Kuti.
He began playing the drums aged 15 and became noted for his groundbreaking technique, as well as his showmanship.
The rocker earned a reputation as “rock’s first superstar drummer” during the 1960s and is credited as a pioneer of drumming in genres including jazz fusion and world music.
Cream, which also included Jack Bruce, drove a change in rock music which later influenced the likes of Led Zeppelin and other artists.
Baker performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song Toad, which was one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music.
The news of his death comes after the family informed fans that he was critically ill in September.
The musician had suffered from a number of health issues in recent years.
In 2013, Baker revealed he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from years of heavy smoking, and chronic back pain from degenerative osteoarthritis.
In 2016, it was reported he was recovering from open heart surgery, but had also suffered a bad fall which caused swollen legs and feet.
RIP the music giant that was Ginger Baker. The beat behind too many favourite songs from Cream, The Graham Bond Organisation and Alexis Corner’s Blues Incorporated. (If you haven’t seen the great doc ‘Beware Of Mr Baker’ do check it out) pic.twitter.com/2ZaJcbcmK2
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) October 6, 2019
Fans have paid tribute to Baker on social media following the news of his death.
One person tweeted: “RIP #gingerbaker an incredible drummer with a notorious temper, presumed indestructible..”
Another said: “Rest well and thank you for all the incredible pioneering drumming #GingerBaker.”