James Gang's Jimmy Fox Recalls Opening for Ginger Baker

TheElectricCompany

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Pretty funny that the article opens with him wanting to befriend Ginger, and Ginger giving him no more than a head nod of acknowledgment. Good article about what Baker's playing meant at the time and his influence today.
 

Nacci

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Very touching. I think that if Ward has called Baker and told him this, this is how the conversation would have gone.

Ward with is spiel....

Baker: “Feck you Ward you sissy, you can’t swing for shite, I’m a Jazz drummer man, your just a basher with a mismatched kit. Now p*** off.”

This whole Baker passing thing reminds me of an uncle I had that passed when I was in my mid teens, he was about the meanest son of a biscuit you’d ever meet and just as likely to rap you in the teeth with the back of his knuckles as not. I only went to the funeral because my father made me.

There, was assembled a group of people who now canonized the man and a widow who told me that I was one of his favorites and that he loved me. I thought they were insane.

My cousin Shane, two years older, came up to me and said something to the effect of “Well he was a miserable son of a b%#!?” wasn’t he.” I probably said something like “For sure” but do remember thinking how grateful I was for that one person with naked, unchecked honesty.

The saying is that if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all, I think it should be, if you can’t say something true, don’t say anything at all.

Case in point, when Clapton said in “Beware Mr. Baker” that Bonham was no where near The drummer Baker was. That is ludicrous and Baker likely threatens Clapton’s life to get him to say that. Bonham would take Baker to the woodshed any day of the week.
 

Nacci

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Geez Nacci, You're such a turd........
....and you Bun, are a simpleton. Pitiful really to watch a top tier drummer hanging out on a drum forum calling people turds like a forth grader.

I wonder what type of Eulogy you’d give Baker if you were the one huddled up in the back seat of a car getting your teeth smashed with the but end of a cane.

How’s that drum sale going? Bennett’s prices seem reasonable.
 

Radio King

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Very touching. I think that if Ward has called Baker and told him this, this is how the conversation would have gone.

Ward with is spiel....

Baker: “Feck you Ward you sissy, you can’t swing for shite, I’m a Jazz drummer man, your just a basher with a mismatched kit. Now p*** off.”

This whole Baker passing thing reminds me of an uncle I had that passed when I was in my mid teens, he was about the meanest son of a biscuit you’d ever meet and just as likely to rap you in the teeth with the back of his knuckles as not. I only went to the funeral because my father made me.

There, was assembled a group of people who now canonized the man and a widow who told me that I was one of his favorites and that he loved me. I thought they were insane.

My cousin Shane, two years older, came up to me and said something to the effect of “Well he was a miserable son of a b%#!?” wasn’t he.” I probably said something like “For sure” but do remember thinking how grateful I was for that one person with naked, unchecked honesty.

The saying is that if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all, I think it should be, if you can’t say something true, don’t say anything at all.

Case in point, when Clapton said in “Beware Mr. Baker” that Bonham was no where near The drummer Baker was. That is ludicrous and Baker likely threatens Clapton’s life to get him to say that. Bonham would take Baker to the woodshed any day of the week.
I don't think that's necessarily true. I suspect he would have greatly appreciated Bill Ward's thoughtful words. Further, I believe Ginger respected those that respected him. Take Charlie Watts, for example... I don't think there's any disagreement that Baker could play circles around Watts, but he always spoke highly of Charlie. And Charlie of him.

This is what Watts said of Baker back in 1994:

If you had a child who wanted to become a professional rock drummer, would you suggest . . .

CW: No. I would say be a drummer, not a rock drummer. What the fuck’s a rock drummer? I mean, I don’t know what a rock drummer is.

Bonham, for one.

CW: Well, that’s John Bonham playing with Led Zeppelin. Is that rock and roll?

It’s part of it, sure.

CW: What would I say to him? I wouldn’t say anything.

Would you suggest a course of study, people he or she should hear?

CW: Yeah. I would say learn to read music and listen to other people other than John Bonham. Now you’ve got totally the wrong impression about what I just said – I can see it in your face. [Leans forward and speaks carefully.] John Bonham is the best at being John Bonham and doing what he does. Or did – unfortunately, he’s dead. He was the best. There wasn’t anyone better than John like that, and thank goodness we’ve got some records so that you can hear it. But there are a lot of other people.

Ginger Baker was a much better drummer than John Bonham, if you really want to know about drumming. Ginger Baker is the best drummer to emigrate out of England. Really, Ginger is. And the guy who Ginger idolized – whatever the word was – we all did – was a guy called Phil Seaman. And Ginger learned everything off Phil. But Ginger can read, you know. Ginger’s not a foal. He can read music, he has wonderful chops, he has rudiments down. Having said all that, I don’t. So I would say to anyone – not only my offspring, but anyone – that’s what you should do, really. Otherwise, you’re locked into doing what I do. Which is fine. It worked for me.

The most important thing of all of it is to be you. There’s a load of people who play brilliant drums, but there’s only one Billy Higgins. There is only one Elvin Jones. There’s only one . . . And the reason there’s only one of them is their personality. Elvin is a huge black dynamo, you know. Naturally when you listen to him go, that’s what he sounds like. And it doesn’t have to be fast. It is this machine going. It’s not a machine that’s clicking regular; it’s what Miles used to call “between the beats.” It’s African. It’s what he is, man. Ginger is the same. Ginger is this skinny, huge white man who plays monstrous. But Ginger played like that when he was 20. I used to see him play.

Before Cream.

CW: Yeah! God, he took over for me with a band in England, Alexis [Korner’s Blues Incorporated], but I used to know him before that – 1960. I first heard Ginger playin’ in 59, I think. And he was bloody good then. Don’t mean good – I mean bloody good. Him and Jack Bruce used to play in one of the best – well, the most exciting, if it wasn’t the best – jazz groups in London. And you don’t get in those bands by being half good. They were very good. ’Cause there’s a lot of guys who are very good.

47f8b248124f207db6ce6a9a9d6bba62.gif
 

RIDDIM

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Very touching. I think that if Ward has called Baker and told him this, this is how the conversation would have gone.

Ward with is spiel....

Baker: “Feck you Ward you sissy, you can’t swing for shite, I’m a Jazz drummer man, your just a basher with a mismatched kit. Now p*** off.”

This whole Baker passing thing reminds me of an uncle I had that passed when I was in my mid teens, he was about the meanest son of a biscuit you’d ever meet and just as likely to rap you in the teeth with the back of his knuckles as not. I only went to the funeral because my father made me.

There, was assembled a group of people who now canonized the man and a widow who told me that I was one of his favorites and that he loved me. I thought they were insane.

My cousin Shane, two years older, came up to me and said something to the effect of “Well he was a miserable son of a b%#!?” wasn’t he.” I probably said something like “For sure” but do remember thinking how grateful I was for that one person with naked, unchecked honesty.

The saying is that if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all, I think it should be, if you can’t say something true, don’t say anything at all.

Case in point, when Clapton said in “Beware Mr. Baker” that Bonham was no where near The drummer Baker was. That is ludicrous and Baker likely threatens Clapton’s life to get him to say that. Bonham would take Baker to the woodshed any day of the week.
- I'm not so sure about your last sentence.

And your comments toward Bun are totally uncalled for.
 

supershifter2

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The only song i ever heard that Baker played on was White Room and that was only a few times many years ago. I do remember wondering why he didnt hit any crash cymbals. I did recently listen to white room on mytube and the beat Baker played was a perferct groove for that song. I will listen to some more Cream songs to hear Baker. Now I must go play patty cake with my sticks.

RIP Ginger Baker
 

REF

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Case in point, when Clapton said in “Beware Mr. Baker” that Bonham was no where near The drummer Baker was. That is ludicrous and Baker likely threatens Clapton’s life to get him to say that. Bonham would take Baker to the woodshed any day of the week.
[/QUOTE]

Not so. The simple fact is, Baker changed the way the drums were thought of and played. His approach of both Jazz, Blues, and Tribal, along with the use of Classical percussion items on Cream's recordings was ground breaking. He channeled Jazzers he loved, as well as the organic nature of ancient rhythms.

Bonham did not change the way drums were played. He played them in his own voice and style for sure but, he had contemporaries with more facility and knowledge of the instrument, like Ian Paice or Mitch Mitchell.

Baker changed the entire world of drumming. He said over and over, others may play faster, others may have more technique but, nobody plays like him, and that is a fact. His voice at the instrument was unique and easily recognizable, in Rock or Jazz.

It is unfortunate Bonham did not live to see where his life and playing would have gone. Just Zeppelin? Other projects? We can't know.

Ginger Baker was a serious musician with a disastrous drug habit. He will not be remembered because he did a lot of drugs, or that he had a volatile temper at times. Those will be side remarks. He will be remembered as the first superstar of the Rock era on the drum set that changed the way a generation played the instrument.
 

Paradiddle

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....and you Bun, are a simpleton. Pitiful really to watch a top tier drummer hanging out on a drum forum calling people turds like a forth grader.

I wonder what type of Eulogy you’d give Baker if you were the one huddled up in the back seat of a car getting your teeth smashed with the but end of a cane.

How’s that drum sale going? Bennett’s prices seem reasonable.
Why are you even on this forum?
 

SteveB

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Ginger was Ginger..no getting around that. As for style I don't think he was really a rock or jazz drummer...maybe in between. I listened to him when he first came on the world scene and I enjoyed some of what he played, but that's true of a lot of drummers I listen too. I liked the band a lot, especially the shorter material. They wrote some great "tunes"..looking back. My favorite was probably I Feel Free...the bridge and all.

One thing I will say about him is that he always had his own style...and no one could budge him from the position. He definitely wasn't one to change because of who was in the room playing with him. RIP Ginger. I wonder what happened to that cane of his. :cool: He had a wonderful speaking voice also...loved his accent..."Pressed Rat and Warthog"
 

zipper_j_jeters_III

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Re: "...Geez Nacci, You're such a turd........"
"....and you Bun, are a simpleton. Pitiful really to watch a top tier drummer hanging out on a drum forum calling people turds like a forth grader.

"I wonder what type of Eulogy you’d give Baker if you were the one huddled up in the back seat of a car getting your teeth smashed with the but end of a cane.

How’s that drum sale going? Bennett’s prices seem reasonable..."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING UGLY ABOUT YOU
SAY SOMETHING REALLY NICE ABOUT THEM...
THAT WAY, YOU'RE BOTH LIARS!
 

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