|The mad Ginger Bastard|
I really had no idea how difficult, awful, and talented Mr Baker was. I really loved what Charlie Watts said about Baker's groups, That you always loved them, and that you expected they would last forever, but they would always break up within a week. The Graham Bond Organization lasted about three years, Cream about two, Blind Faith less than that, and Ginger Baker's Air Force (which looked like a truly smashing band) even less than that.
I love Baker's dedication and passion, and I understand how that type of compulsion can wreck a person's personal life, or his family's. One of his sons said it best, "Dad would have been a whole lot better off if he had never had any kids." Ouch. That is a kid who has finally come through to the other side, and accepts his father's "role" in his life.
And, Baker truly is a jerk. Make no mistake about it. But an amazingly talented jerk who was one of the finest band organizers and leaders (even if he could not always keep them together) and player who refuses to play music you can put in to boxes, and plays Music full stop, instead.
My fave parts of the film, Johnny Rotten's introduction ... the fact that the filmmaker posed as a Rolling Stone writer to gain access to Baker, and then later sold the story to Rolling Stone ... the Graham Bond Organization, I had never heard of them before ... the Stevie Winwood interviews ... the video of Ginger Baker's Air Force ... the badass drum battles that Baker had w/ some of jazz's biggest drumming heavyweights ... learning about Fela Kuti. Baker lived in Nigeria, playing with Fela for a number of years ...and Baker socking the filmmaker in the nose with his cane.
Beware of Mr Baker comes recommended by me, it is available to rent or buy on iTunes. For serious fans of Cream or Blind Faith, the film is essential.