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Gus Mears

2019 Daisy-Pushing Thread

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What an amazing drummer Ginger Baker was, one of the pioneers of the double bass kick drum for rock music.

His documentary from a few years ago is a good watch. Such a cantankerous old fucker, you can see why his time in bands was always short-lived.

 

 

 

 

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Ginger Baker was superb.

There's a joke an old editor I worked for used to tell; "What have instant coffee and Ginger Baker got in common? They both suck without Cream".

I like it, but it's absolutely untrue. Some of his work collaborating with Afrobeat musicians is, for my money, light years ahead of what he did with Cream, and arguably more influential within its sphere.

I had the opportunity to meet him once, at a screening of Beware of Mr Baker. I had to turn it down, as I had promised to meet a friend that night, who's also now no longer with us. So sadly I can't reflect on how funny or surprisingly down to earth he was.

 

Anyway, here's some superb non-Cream Baker performances;

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, he collaborated a fair bit with Fela Kuti and Tony Allen - apparently knew Kuti from back in their London jazz scene days, and he ended up moving to Lagos in the '70s because of how deeply he got into the burgeoning Afrobeat scene. He plays on a couple of Fela Kuti records, and Fela plays on one of Baker's solo albums. 

I don't think Afrobeat would have caught on in the UK when it did, without Baker's involvement. 

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A friend of my dad, who is sadly no longer with us, was a roadie for some top acts, including Cream way back.  Said that Ginger was as nice with the backstage guys as he was a complete cunt with the "suits" as he called them.  Generous, funny and a complete gent with him and the other guys.

Rip Taylor cracked me up.  Remember seeing him in stuff in the 70's and 80's and finding him very different in a good way from the usual US comics.

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Don't know if it's when you're my age, but he was one of those who played a dad, and usually excellent.  Adrian Mole, Kevin The Teenager, The Queens Nose.  And of course, the colliery boss in the oft overlooked Brassed Off.  There was a warm, comforting familiarity whenever he was on screen.

 

 

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It was discussed in the Breaking Bad thread, but Robert Forster died today at 78. Twin Peaks, Jackie Brown, The Black Hole. One of those guys you’d recognise his face, if not know his name. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/entertainment-arts-50025723

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