Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let there be drums

We've not read Ginger Baker's 2009 autobiography but we really need to jump on it soon. It's not easy to resist a title like Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Drummer.

Rolling Stone actually has Baker No. 3 on its greatest drummers list (behind Neil Peart of Rush and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham), but that's a small quibble.  We'll take Baker when we're assembling our next supergroup.

Which is more than Jack Bruce is willing to do.  What worked magically for Baker, Bruce and Eric Clapton in Cream -- if but for a flashing moment -- is not an easy chemistry to duplicate or repeat.  Especially if you have no interest in getting it back in the bottle. We quote Bruce from a 2009 RS article:  "It's a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger. Nowadays, we're happily co-existing in different continents (Bruce lives in Britain, Baker in South Africa) ... although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close."

It doesn't sound like Bruce will be dialing Baker today on the drummer's 71st birthday.  And that's a shame. Maybe we'll just skip over Wheels of Fire and play some Blind Faith instead.  As Lou Reed used to sing, it takes a busload of faith to get by ...

Ladies and gentlemen, get a load of today's Birthday Band:

Ginger Baker (1939): Drums, Cream/Blind Faith
Toad, Sunshine of Your Love, White Room

Johnny Nash (1940): Singer
I Can See Clearly Now, Stir It Up, Hold Me Tight

Billy J. Kramer (1943): Singer, the Dakotas
Little Children, Bad to Me

Ian Gillan (1945): Singer, Deep Purple
Black Night, LPs: Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, Machine Head

John Deacon (1951): Bass, Queen
Another One Bites the Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody


  1. Gotta say I'm surprised RS didn't have Keith Moon at the top of its list. RS judges so many things by fame and units sold ... I've long thought Johnny "B" From Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels oughtta be on such lists. And as for Ginger Baker on his 71st ... he's too dang ornery to not have a mess more birthdays!

  2. I'll take Al Jackson or Charlie any day for their groove, or if in mood for something more complex, Tony Williams.