On the 'tube

Beware: Mr. Baker (NSFW)

1

I mentioned this documentary in the Crosby thread.
For anyone curious, I highly recommend sitting with this 2012 eye-opener covering the life and adventures of drummer; Ginger Baker.

Fascinating, informative, entertaining, often hilarious.
Baker pulls no punches and does not suffer anyone lightly. Least of all, the filmmaker; Jay Bulger.

Enjoy.

2

One of my favorite moments ever.

Baker's reaction to this incredibly stupid question is so on point. No words, just this tidal wave of 'WTF?!!'

Perfect.

3

I think I might admire him, but I don't like him, you know?

I respect his talent and the single-mindedness that allowed him to develop it, but the man leaves a lot of casualties in his wake, including his children, wives and some of his collaborators. I wouldn't be in a hurry to work with him (don't worry, I don't think anyone's asking).

Great film, though.

4

it's been out about 4 years, I think. He's 80 now and just about done -- but what a life and quite a few demented solo albums. I thought he did well 14 yrs ago at the 2005 Cream reunion.

5

Clapton touched on Baker's seriously anti-social streak. He does seem to be a life-long misanthrope. Especially when you witness how much compassionate he shows towards horses. He clearly loves animals, and seems to generally dislike people.

6

I can relate to the misanthropic tendency, especially as I age a bit (turned 51 today). When I was younger, I sought out social contact, crowds, events. As I age, I seek solitude more and more. Just find myself often getting annoyed when surrounded by humanity. Having said that, Ginger's temper really gives that streak of misanthropy an edge. It was really sad when he ditched his son after playing those gigs together later in his life--not only does he leave, but he has to lash out at the kid, too, insulting the boy's talents and efforts. Not cool.

7

I'm not sure what's admirable about being an unconstrained asshole to people. Most of us make the effort to not be dicks to people we don't like or care about, not for gain, but because we have a sense that it's best for all. Or, maybe a lack of desire to inflict pain in others. His personality is entertaining, but nothing to admire.

8

.. Sadly, it appears the end may be near for Ginger;

Link

9

"Love and appreciate, no matter how awkward, this character may appear to you." ~ John Lydon

As much as the filmmaker Jay Bulger adores Baker (warts and all), the documentary itself is careful not to mythologize him. He's no paragon of virtue. We get repeated reminders throughout, specifically from those who know him best. He's a damaged person, and a lack of self-awareness causes him to damage those around him.

It's clear he did not make a good husband, and was a terrible father in most ways. He could be very abusive. Obviously that is not to be admired.

All that being said, when contrasted with Baker's genuine compassion for animals, specifically horses and dogs, and his deep love for jazz and drumming, we do get a glimpse of his humanity beneath all the contempt he displays, however crippled.

Ultimately I hope Baker is remembered for his inspiration, innovation, and influencing a generation of drummers (many notable in their own right).

..warts and all.


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