Cream's Ginger Baker is 80 Today

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker, the ornery drummer best known for his work with Cream, is 80 years young today (Monday).

Often cited as one of the world's best drummers, he is known for playing many styles, but at the heart of it he says he is a jazz drummer.

Ginger Baker on being a jazz drummer:

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He began playing at 15, and prior to Cream he was a member of Blues Incorporated with future Cream bassist Jack Bruce. Despite the two of them always locking horns, they also went on to play together in the Graham Bond Organisation.

After Cream, which was rounded out by Eric Clapton, Baker joined Clapton and Steve Winwood in Blind Faith.

Ginger Baker's Air Force followed before he moved to Africa in the '70s where he set up a recording studio and worked with Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat genre and human rights activist. 

In the '80s Baker moved to Italy where he had an olive farm. It was at this time that he also kicked his longtime addiction to heroin.

After Italy it was off to Los Angeles, followed by Colorado where he raised polo ponies. After a tax dispute with the IRS he took his horses and moved to South Africa.

Along the way he has had numerous bands, but struggling financially, his Cream bandmates bailed him out when they reunited for shows in London and New York in 2005.

In 2012, his life was documented in the film,Beware of Mr. Baker.

In early 2016 he announced he had heart problems and underwent heart surgery later in the year.

A series of Ginger Baker outbursts from the 2012 documentary,Beware of Mr. Baker:

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