Cream, not the climb, the band (OT)


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Dec 7, 2012 - 07:26pm PT
Yo Ed, just came across your trailer. Beware of Mr. Baker. Pretty funny.


Trad climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:00pm 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.

Social climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
The original power trio.

Dec 7, 2012 - 08:30pm 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

heading slowly NNW
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:33pm 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
I saw them at the Fillmore Auditorium in August 67. The bill was
Electric Flag
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.

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Dec 7, 2012 - 11:24pm PT
Check out "Cream: Classic Artists" on Netflix
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 11:27pm PT


Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 7, 2012 - 11:56pm PT
Ginger Baker was in Hawkwind?

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 9, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
A mother's lament.
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 10, 2012 - 12:41am PT
Blind Faith

Baker Gurvitz Army

Ginger Baker's Air Force

Public Image Ltd.

Masters of Reality

Ginger Baker Trio


films Fela Kuti

Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 25, 2013 - 10:25pm 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 - 04:09am 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...


Social climber
May 26, 2013 - 05:39am 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.

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
May 26, 2013 - 05:47am 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,

Trad climber
May 26, 2013 - 10:38am PT
Anyone seen Beware Mr Baker?
As the Brits say he is a "ard cu*t"

Social climber
May 26, 2013 - 03:19pm 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 - 08:54am PT
"Please, may I have some Cream with me Ging-ah Bake-ah?"

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.

Don't try to make me nervous.

Trad climber
Nov 12, 2013 - 10:05am 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.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2016 - 11:13pm PT
just viewed "Beware of Mr. Baker" on Yahoo! View last weekend...

what was impressive was the accolades from other musicians about his musical abilities, and the equally impressive repulsion of his personal life, he seemed to have a been a heroin addict for quite a long time... though he was lucky enough to survive it.

I also found Fela Kuti, Ginger Baker recordings on Bandcamp which I bought and am listening too...

with so much tragedy heaped on those two, the music is magical.
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