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Ginger Baker

On 19/08/1939: Ginger Baker was born. He was born in Lewisham, London, his full birth name was Peter Edward Baker. His mother worked in a tobacco shop; his father was a bricklayer and Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals. His father died in World War II in 1943. Baker began playing the drums at 15 years old. In the early 1960s, he took lessons from one of his idols, the leading jazz drummer Phil Seamen. Baker would first gain fame as a member of The Graham Bond Organisation. Also in the band was bassist Jack Bruce. The two of them would struggle at times to get along with each other and Jack was fired from the group.
In 1966 Baker teamed up with Eric Clapton to form a new band. Clapton wanted to have Jack Bruce join. Baker and Bruce agreed to be band mates again. The band was a huge success, releasing four albums in just over two years. They would be considered one of the best groups of all time. Bruce and Baker though were clashing often and the group was put under pressure from a tough schedule. In 1968 Cream disbanded.
Baker then joined Clapton again in their new group Blind Faith, with bassist Ric Grech and Stevie Winwood on vocals. They would only release one album before splitting up.
In late 1969 Ginger formed Ginger Baker's Air Force. They would release two albums in 1970: "Ginger Baker's Air Force" and "Ginger Baker's Air Force 2".
In 1970 Baker moved to Nigeria and lived there for six years. In 1971 he collaborated with Fela Kuti on two songs during the recording of "Live!". Fela also appeared on Baker's album "Stratavarious" along with Bobby Gass.
In 1974 Baker formed Baker Gurvitz Army, recording three albums with them before the band disbanded in 1976.
In the beginning of the eighties Baker joined Hawkwind for an album and for a tour. In the mid-eighties, he was a part of Public Image Ltd.
In 1992 Baker joined Masters of Reality for the album "Sunrise on the Sufferbus".
In 1993 he moved to Parker, Colorado, living there for six years. There he would participate in polo events at the Salisbury Equestrian Park.
In 1994 he formed The Ginger Baker Trio with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell. He would also join Jack Bruce briefly in the super group BBM, alongside Gary Moore on guitar. The band would only record one album before splitting up.
In 2005 Cream was reunited for a series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London and Madison Square Garden in New York.
In 2008 a bank clerk, Lindiwe Noko was convicted of defrauding Baker of half a million Rand. The clerk claimed they had become lovers, which Baker insisted could not be true as she was unaware of a scar he had. He offered to show the court the scar in question.
In 2013 and 2014 he toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion with saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.
In early 2016 Baker cancelled all of his future gigs with the announcement that he had a serious heart condition. He had already been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He died in 2019.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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