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Cream’s Ginger Baker dies aged 80

Ginger Baker
Ginger Baker at BB King’s in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)

Cream founding member, drum god, and all-around awesome icon Ginger Baker has sadly passed away. He was 80. It had previously been reported a few weeks ago that he was “critically ill in hospital.”

The news broke with a post on the Ginger Baker Facebook, which reads, “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words to us all over the past weeks.”

Ginger Baker formed Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce (the latter of whom Ginger had previously played with in The Graham Bond Organisation and Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, and who passed away in 2014), and they went on to become a definitive band of the psychedelic rock era. After Cream dissolved in 1968, Ginger once again joined Clapton in the short-lived Blind Faith alongside Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. He then had various other projects over the years (including albums with Fela Kuti, Hawkwind, Public Image Ltd, and more), briefly reunited Cream in the mid 2000s, and was recently touring as a solo artist behind his 2014 album Why?, which was his first solo album in 16 years. In 2012, he was subject of the documentary Beware of Mr. Baker.

Rest in peace, Ginger. You were a true legend and you’ll always live on through the music.

Fellow musicians have begun paying tribute, including Paul McCartney, Flea, Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), and more. See their tributes here. and watch some classic Cream videos, below…

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