Ginger Baker, best known as the drummer for ’60’s Rock trio Cream, has passed away at the age of 80. Baker was a highly influential musician who also performed with Blind Faith, Fela Kuti, Public Image Ltd and Hawkwind, among others.
A statement on Baker’s official Facebook page this morning simply read, “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.” It was known that Baker had been in ill health for some time.
Born Peter Edward Baker, he began his career drumming in jazz and blues bands in England before co-founding Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. The trio pioneered heavier rock sounds and influenced countless bands, despite only lasting under three years. During that time, they released four albums and had hits such as “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room” and others. Baker gained a reputation as cranky and difficult throughout his career, in part due to the differences between the three musicians. Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and played a short reunion tour in 2005. Bruce passed away in 2014.
Baker struggled with drug problems for years and played in a wide variety of groups, as well as his own projects, throughout his life. He had been struggling with multiple health problems publicly since 2013, when he told Rolling Stone he was battling degenerative osteoarthritis as well as heart troubles and stopped touring in 2016.