Ginger Baker, 80, a legendary English drummer in the rock world, sadly died on Oct. 6 after an illness his family confirmed on his Twitter page. “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,” they tweeted. The former member of the band Cream, who gained fame in the 1960s, passed away less than two weeks after his family initially asked his social media followers for prayers on Sept. 25. “The Baker family are sad to announce that Ginger is critically ill in hospital. Please keep him in your prayers tonight,” the tweet read.
Members of Cream issued separate statements about the passing of Ginger; son Kofi Baker said: “The other day I had a beautiful visit with my dad…we talked about memories and music and he’s happy that I’m keeping his legacy alive. Our relationship was mended and he was in a peaceful place. Thank you all for the kind messages and thoughts. I love my dad and will miss him always.”
Eric Clapton’s nephew, Will Johns, said: “I have really fond memories of Ginger. When I was a kid, he would play games with me and was always a lot of fun when I would see him at Eric’s house. I can remember always asking Pattie, ‘where’s Ginger, where’s Ginger??’ He was cool and I loved him.” Here are five things you should know about Ginger and his successful career.
1.) He co-founded Cream with singer Eric Clapton. The musicians put the band together in London in 1966 and his bassist and friend Jack Bruce, who died in 2014, also joined. They went on to rocket to fame with four albums, which contained hits like “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room”, before disbanding in 1968.
2.) In addition to going solo, he worked with other bands. Ginger released various solo albums starting from the early 1970s up until the 2000s. The bands he worked with include the “supergroup” Blind Faith, which he joined in 1969, and the fusion rock group Ginger Baker’s Air Force, which he created in 1970.
3.) He’s considered one of the best drummers of the 1960s. Ginger was “one of classic rock’s first influential drumming superstars of the 1960s” and “one of classic rock’s true drum gods,” Modern Drummer magazine wrote.
4.) He was married four times and is a father to three children. His first child, Ginette Karen, who he shared with first wife Liz Finch, was born in 1960. His second daughter, Leda, was born in 1968, and his son, Kofi, was born in 1969.
5.) He was open about suffering with his health in his last years. In 2013, the musician admitted to having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after smoking for many years, and chronic back pain from degenerative osteoarthritis. A few years later, in 2016, he had open heart surgery and suffered from a bad fall that caused both his legs and feet to swell.
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
The Baker family are sad to announce that Ginger is critically ill in hospital. Please keep him in your prayers tonight
— Ginger Baker (@GingerBDrums) September 25, 2019
Our comfort and healing wishes go out to all those affected by Ginger’s passing.