Cream, not the climb, the band (OT)

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 28, 2012 - 11:43pm PT
Anyone see the documentary on Ginger Baker?... ok, not just Cream but also Blind Faith, Baker Gurvitz Army, Ginger Baker's Air Force, Hawkwind, Public Image Ltd., Atomic Rooster, Masters of Reality, Ginger Baker Trio, BBM, Fela Kuti... &c.

The title: Beware of Mr. Baker, the topic of two NYTimes articles in the past week:
http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/movies/beware-of-mr-baker-traces-the-rock-drummer-ginger-baker.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/movies/a-documentary-looks-at-the-drummer-ginger-baker.html

Actually, this is a job for Roger Breedlove, who is quite a fan of Cream... hopefully he can post up a review here...

Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Nov 29, 2012 - 02:52am PT
Hi Ed!

Could you perhaps recommend something from Cream? I have listened to quite a few of their "hits", have went out and bought the Weels of Fire LP (yeah, I'm one of those vinyl guys), but somehow feel that White Room stands out a lot, the rest being a bit... lacking something?

Any recommendations are welcome.

Lasti
QITNL

climber
Nov 29, 2012 - 03:10am PT
Leading with Cream and going straight to Ginger Baker? The weakest link. When working with various drummers, we'd shout "Yo Ginger Baker!" in the talkback as an insult.

"Yo Ginger Baker!" as a climber's call would mean get on the beat, stop futzing around, take up the slack.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 29, 2012 - 05:13am PT
I can relate to that. Could you say that Ginger Baker is to Mitch Mitchell what Eric Clapton is to Jimi Hendrix?
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 29, 2012 - 05:19am PT

I didn't, but I loved Badge!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 29, 2012 - 05:51am PT
That's BADGE

(the chords of the song; B A D G E)
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 29, 2012 - 06:27am PT
Ginger baker played with Public Image lmtd? Ginger & Johhny psyche!

Lasti,
The politician
White Room
I'm so glad
Crossroads
And of course, Pressed Rat & warthog

For starters...
Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:09am PT
Aye aye Jaybro, will do.

An specific recommendations to hum (or shriek) to myself during OW climbing?

Lasti
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2012 - 07:30am PT
Maybe Roger has some recommendations...

I Feel Free a good one to hum while pressing the flesh in the wide

Find a copy of Disraeli Gears (I think I have two vinyl copies around here)

Strange Brew
Sunshine of Your Love
Tales of Brave Ulysses
Take It Back another hummer

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:34am PT
Lasti, if you can keep your heart pumping to the beat of a Ginger Baker Drum solo, you can climb anything!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 29, 2012 - 08:54am PT
Do What You Like, the kick drum drum-roll, quite amaZing.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2012 - 09:00am PT
it seems that there is the (predictable) disagreement about good drumming and the composition of a good performance...

the punk rebellion against long song performances, and extended instrumental solo improvisations would be fully realized if one pursued the activity:

rank the best drummers

but in a really odd twist, bands like Cream took the practice from early performances in jazz and the like... a more classical approach to performance when they thought they were being progressive... and punk, well, maybe atavistic to even early performance practice of fitting the song onto a single side of a 78 rpm sized platter...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 29, 2012 - 09:51am PT
White Room was the name Roger and I chose for the scariest climb I ever did.
"The route name refers to the climactic inside corner, with overtones of madness and electric guitar."

zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 29, 2012 - 11:00am PT
Good hummer Spoonful from Fresh Cream. The riff anyway.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-lRmVOGw3M


or live jam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf2tJkkYpmg





nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 11:05am PT
There are a few bands/musicians that stay at the top of my favorite list, and Cream is always on it.

Crossroads (from the live part of Wheels of Fire) is like an encyclopedia of electric blues licks. Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, Tales of Brave Ulysses, Spoonful.... And then you have the more plaintive/haunting side with stuff on Disraeli Gears like World of Pain, Dance the Night Away.

I really like their open-ended jamming approach to songs, merging the jazz notion of a song head and rounds of improvisation, with straight up rock. Cool that 3 people can make so much sound!


For interesting comparison, Eric Clapton's "24 Nights" (live album produced during concerts at Royal Albert Hall ~ 1990 or so) are excellent updates of many of the Cream classics. The originals have their special irreplaceable sound, but the 24 Nights versions come pretty close to being my favorites too.

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:21pm PT

Um, gulp, Larry! (I ran into Roger a week or so ago on
the West Ridge). . .
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
"rank the best drummers"
I won't rank them but in the rock genre a few of my favs are:
Keith Moon- The Who
John Bonham- Led Zep
Neil Peart- Rush

Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Nov 30, 2012 - 05:35am PT
Jaybro wrote:

Lasti, if you can keep your heart pumping to the beat of a Ginger Baker Drum solo, you can climb anything!

And here I was thinking that it only counts if your heart skips a beat. Or stops altogether.

That, and throwing up at the end of the route.

Good recommendations y'all, seems like another trip to the record store is in order.

Lasti
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 30, 2012 - 05:41am PT
"Ging-ah Bake-ah! ging-ah Bake-ah, please!"
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Nov 30, 2012 - 07:31am PT
Why is Ginger Baker like 711 coffee?
They both suck without cream!

Actually Ginger is a good drummer and did some interesting stuff with Bill Laswell in the 90's. Plus check out his trio album with Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden, really good stuff
QITNL

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
Yo Ed, just came across your trailer. Beware of Mr. Baker. Pretty funny.

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:00pm PT
Cool, got to see that film.
It was Bill Laswell who put Ginger and Jonny Rotten together. Johnny and Bill were doing an album and were trying to figure out which drummer to get. JR snarled "Ginger Baker" as a joke. Laswell said "That's the first good idea you had" So Bill talked Ginger out of retirement. Bill and Ginger did quite a bit of work together. These may have been the best albums of his post Cream career.
MisterE

Social climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:17pm PT
The original power trio.
QITNL

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
Totally eclipsed by Hendrix within a matter of months.


In a particularly over confident gesture Hendrix asked if he could jam with Cream at their gig at Central London Polytechnic. Hendrix took the stage and tore through a version of 'Killing Floor' in double time. Cream soon regretted allowing him to join them. Hendrix's outrageous stage antics and dazzling guitar playing caused Clapton to leave the stage in a state of shock. He asked Chas Chandler afterwards "Is he always that f***ing good?"
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:33pm PT
Cream had a significant jump in popularity after the release of Disraeli
Gears, when Sunshine of Your Love became a hit single.
On their first U.S. tour, they were still known mainly to the FM/hippy
crowd, while the vast majority of youthful listeners were in the AM/top 40
mode.
I saw them at the Fillmore Auditorium in August 67. The bill was
Electric Flag
Cream
Gary Burton Quartet

The crowd was so skimpy and mellow that I could walk up to the stage and
watch Clapton from within touching distance. Aside from the intangibles of
his musical performance, one thing that really struck me was the way he
made it look like he really wasn't doing anything. Like anybody could do it.

The ballroom scene in those days, opposed to the arena scene (which Cream
hit after their 2nd U.S. tour) was 3-night or 4-night stands.
Cream played two weeks at the Fillmore their first time through. My cousin,
a guitarist, saw them 5 of the 6 nights they played.
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:24pm PT
Check out "Cream: Classic Artists" on Netflix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUzawh055WM
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 08:27pm PT


Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
Ginger Baker was in Hawkwind?
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Dec 9, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtWzR5RkB3U
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 9, 2012 - 08:40pm PT
A mother's lament.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX06inW2hK4
At least he likes Cream better than Zepp...His father, though. What did I ever...?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2012 - 09:41pm PT
Blind Faith


Baker Gurvitz Army


Ginger Baker's Air Force


Public Image Ltd.


Masters of Reality


Ginger Baker Trio


BBM



films Fela Kuti

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 25, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
I read the NYTimes article that Ed opens with and would like to see the movie.

Ed asked my opinion on Cream songs. The hits are really very good, even today, but the rest are strung out in quality from okay to poor. I have tried to put my finger on why Cream was so good and why it sounded, and still sounds, so unique. Part of it is that Baker, Bruce, and Clapton could play at such a high standard that the music could transcend difficulty. However, nowadays there are many drummers, bass players and guitarist who can play at the same level, so this does not really get at why they sounded the way they did.

Earlier this year, I heard a three piece band play at Severance Hall after a classical concert featuring Bela Fleck playing his banjo concerto. As an encore Fleck played a long improvisation with snippets of famous banjo tunes, all in a more-or-less classical style. The orchestra members seemed to be as mesmerized as the audience. Friday nights at the Orchestra are followed by a band playing in the rotunda with bar service (an effort to draw younger listeners). On this night the group was a pickup band from New Orleans. I don’t think they had spent much time practicing together—there were a lot of solos. The audience were all folks who had just attended the orchestra but we were all pretty much blown away by how well the bass player (six string unfretted electric bass) and the drummer played. Fleck jammed with them for about ½ hour, with his wife singing a few ancient Southern folksongs. The drummer reminded me of Baker, and I overheard several middle-aged guys make the same comment.

After that performance, I listened to some old Cream tunes online and read a bit about them. One funny item I read occurred in one of their extended improvisations. Clapton was not a big fan of those longwinded affairs; he thought that Baker and Bruce were just showing off. So one night he just stopped playing—neither of them noticed.

I also think I know part of why Cream’s music is so unique. The hit tunes were written by Baker and Bruce. Musically, the best Cream tunes are very much structured by the drums and the bass—just listen to the first few bars of the hit tunes. In an analogous way the Rolling Stones tunes are structured by Keith Richards’ style of guitar. I don’t think it is surprising that neither Baker nor Bruce ever did anything after Cream that was as interesting.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2013 - 01:09am PT
I have the mp3s for the 4-CD set Those Were The Days on my iPod (I apparently have the UK release version)



anybody see it? I apparently missed it at the Roxie in SF...
only playing at the Green Mountain Film Festival in VT, but that was March and April...


Tobia

Social climber
Denial
May 26, 2013 - 02:39am PT
Cream. Some of the music is experimental and does not stand up to the test of time. A composite of two jazz oriented musicians (who had been in numerous groups together; but couldn't get along) and a guitar virtuoso.

Ginger Baker, who set a high bar for rock drummers early on with the jazz oriented double bass drum kit, combined with the classically trained bassist and cellist, Jack Bruce (but favored jazz), formed a rhythm section that when combined with Clapton's agility on the guitar created a sound centered on psychedelia and power blues.

Jack Bruce's bass lines and vocals have always impressed me; but the interplay between Baker and Bruce is masterful. Clapton's guitar speaks for itself. He developed his vocal confidence with this band.

Disraeli Gears is my favorite album; it is the only one recorded in the U.S.. The influence of Felix Pappalardi and Tom Dowd's can't be overlooked for the success of that recording.

Not sure if it is mentioned above; but Ginger Baker was the original drummer for the Rolling Stones, giving his seat up to play jazz.

PocoL, put up a link to the 2005 reunion at Royal Albert Hall; which is a good look into the trio's prowess.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
May 26, 2013 - 02:47am PT
Sunshine of Your Love was not working in the studio,

Tom Dowd had them turn the beat around so that it sounds like a Hamms beer commercial and the tune went down on tape after that.

Felix got all shot up by his ol lady for being a tramp,
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
May 26, 2013 - 07:38am PT
Anyone seen Beware Mr Baker?
As the Brits say he is a "ard cu*t"
o-man

Social climber
Paia,Maui,HI
May 26, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
In the early 90's Ginger retired to his horse ranch in eastern Colorado to raise polo ponies and to play polo.
Every Sunday afternoon/evening in the summer time he would have a flat bed trailer pulled in to the town square(for a stage) in the very small town of Elizabeth,Colorado. He and his trio would play for free well into the evening after the polo match. It was very low key and hardly advertised.
I attended several of his gatherings and always had a delightful time.
From what I understand he had some issues with immigration,IRS,or something of that nature and needed to move away from the area.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 12, 2013 - 05:54am PT
"Please, may I have some Cream with me Ging-ah Bake-ah?"

http://bakeinblack.co.uk/ginger-baker-creams/

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ginger-baker-verbally-abuses-reporter/

Is pressed rat really a better entree than, say, dead dog lying in the middle of the road, yellow matter custard, or honey pie?

And who besides Paul is a wallruss?

Ringo's mother should know.

Go straight round that corner and climb that wide crack.

Climb the doglegs with yer four feet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWxAahRJgYE

Don't try to make me nervous.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Nov 12, 2013 - 07:05am PT
Saw Beware Mr Baker recently. A very interesting film. After the film was made he went back to playing jazz in the US again. There is some footage from a New York club on Youtube.
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