Eric Clapton & Friends Play Tribute to Ginger Baker: Recap

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Nile Rodgers (at L) with Eric Clapton and Ronnie Wood at A Tribute to Ginger Baker, Feb. 17, 2020

A gathering of British classic rock legends took the stage in London on Monday night (Feb. 17) to give Ginger Baker a proper sendoff. The drummer’s two-time bandmate, Eric Clapton, had announced the benefit concert to celebrate the musical life of his “dear friend” who died at 80 on October 6, 2019. The charity event, billed as Eric Clapton & Friends: A Tribute to Ginger Baker, was held at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in London, U.K. Some friends! Joining EC were such legends as Steve Winwood (who formed Blind Faith with Baker, Clapton and Ric Grech), Ronnie Wood, Roger Waters and Nile Rodgers.

Want more? Also playing in the tribute to Baker were Kenney Jones, Paul Carrack and Chris Stainton on keys, Steve Gadd, Willie Weeks, Baker’s son, Kofi Baker, himself a drummer, singers Katie Kissoon and Sharon White, Sonny Emory, Henry Spinetti, and Clapton’s nephew, Will Johns.

The evening’s 15-song setlist honored Baker’s lifetime in music, which naturally include Clapton and Baker’s work together in Cream and Blind Faith. The evening’s final number, “Cross Road Blues” (a.k.a. “Crossroads”), allowed many of the guitar legends the opportunity to solo. (See the setlist below.)

Before any music was played, a filmed tribute to Baker, with plenty of performance clips, was shown on the big screen behind the stage. Clapton then spoke. “Some of that stuff was 50 years ago, but it feels like yesterday. I used to call him Peter Edward… and I think he’s here… somewhere.”

Watch that tribute and the opening number, “Sunshine of Your Love,” with Waters on bass

Watch them perform Cream’s “White Room”

Watch a great combo of “I Feel Free” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses”

Watch “Badge” with a killer guitar solo from Clapton

When tickets went on sale last Nov. 29, the event sold-out almost instantly.

Naturally, Winwood sang “Can’t Find My Way Home”

Watch the evening’s encore performance of “Cross Road Blues”

A Tribute to Ginger Baker, Feb. 17, 2020, Setlist

Sunshine of Your Love
Strange Brew
White Room
I Feel Free
Tales of Brave Ulysses
We’re Going Wrong
Badge
Blue Condition
Outside Woman Blues
Had to Cry Today
Presence of the Lord
Can’t Find My Way Home
Well All Right
Do What You Like

Encore:
Cross Road Blues (Crossroads)

Thanks to banfibill for the great videos.

Clapton, who turns 75 on March 30, continues to perform but is touring for the first time in years, with 15 European concerts already scheduled. [Tickets are available here.]

The event was held in aid of Leonard Cheshire, a charity identified as being close to the Baker family. It’s described as “supporting individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability, at the heart of local life–opening doors to opportunity, choice and support in communities around the globe.”

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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  1. JoeCon
    #1 JoeCon 18 February, 2020, 07:44

    Nice tribute but really missing Jack Bruce’s voice on some of those Cream sings…

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