Cream Drummer Ginger Baker Recovering From Heart Surgery

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Ginger Baker (crop)

Photo: Ginger Baker Facebook

Former Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker is said to be recovering well from heart surgery, which took place in June 2016 as well as a bad fall that lead to swelling in his legs. According to Britain’s Mirror, the classic rock legend’s daughter Leda said: “Ginger is on the road to recovery. After open heart surgery and a bad fall he is miraculously recovering well.”

Back in February 2016, Baker announced on Facebook he would no longer play drums under doctors orders and cancelled all his upcoming tour dates. At the time, he wrote: “just seen doctor… big shock…. no more gigs for this old drummer…. everything is off…. of all things i never thought it would be my heart…..”

UPDATE: On September 25, 2019, Baker’s social media pages noted that the now- 80-year-old musician is “critically ill.” Details here.

The famed drummer has lived as hard as he played, most notably a long history of heroin addiction that he finally overcame in 1981 after what he says was some 19 tries. He suffers from degenerative osteoarthritis and COPD, but despite pain and challenges the feisty musician continued to gig. But it looked as if his heart problems had ended his career… until he posted on March 24th:

Ginger Baker heart FB

Don’t expect the 76-year-old to get behind the drum kit just yet, though. As his daughter noted to the Mirror: “Although he is recovering any performance in the near future seems over ambitious.”

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Baker played in the seminal 1960s British R&B bands Blues Incorporated and the Graham Bond Organization before joining forces in 1966 with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in Cream – arguably the first classic rock supergroup. He and Clapton went on to form the short-lived Blind Faith. He then formed Ginger Baker’s Air Force, and spent much of the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti. His collaborations include work with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality and Public Image Ltd, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. He has been an avid polo player and had numerous financial and tax problems over the years. Baker currently lives in South Africa. He is the subject of a 2012 documentary film, Beware of Mr. Baker.

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  1. JohnnyCNote
    #1 JohnnyCNote 10 July, 2016, 23:37

    He’s a tough old coot! The first rock concert I attended was Ginger Baker and Buddy Miles. Nazareth opened and they didn’t even turn down the house lights! Oh yeah, my leg was in a cast…

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  2. Litttle Wing, Chicago
    #2 Litttle Wing, Chicago 2 October, 2019, 15:37

    Always the greatest drummer. Take it easy..we need you around to stir the Rock and roll Pot. Tel some tales. Reveal some secrets..just enjoy your life..
    Its So great that You have a cardio that has You too.

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