Last night we watched the documentary, Beware of Mr. Baker, about Ginger Baker the epochal drummer. He was the creative genius behind the iconic band Cream, and was he the drummer for Blind Faith.
His story is incredible, and disturbing. He was one of those people who never had a musical lesson, he just had perfect timing, when he heard the music, he could just play it, and play it really well.
One of his early inspirations was the jazz drummer Phillip Seamen. Not only did Phil Seamen introduce Ginger Baker to jazz drumming, he also introduced him to heroin. Ginger Baker was an addict for the better part of his life.
The documentary shows his life, his addiction, and his nasty, terrible personality. It was his personality that ruined his career, along with his prolific use of drugs. He amassed and lost fortunes a multitude of times.
Ginger Baker claims that Eric Clapton, his band-mate from both Cream and Blind Faith is one of his closest friends. They interview Eric throughout the documentary. I came away thinking that Eric Clapton was less a friend than a person who watched Ginger Baker implode from drug abuse, something that Eric Clapton had to distance himself from. During the course of the film, Eric Clapton admits that he hasn’t seen Ginger Baker in years because he couldn’t be around him due to his lifestyle choices.
I was never a big fan of Cream or Blind Faith, but Eric Clapton is one of my all time favorite musicians. He is an amazing guitar player, song writer, and musician. I have seen him live multiple times, and he never fails to be amazing.
Eric Clapton is in long term recovery, he was addicted to heroin and alcohol. He got sober in 1989, six years before he lost his son in a tragic accident. He is also a founding partner The Crossroads Center in Antigua, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
“Prior to the time that Clapton decided to get sober in 1987, he addicted to heroin and alcohol, crashed cars, attempted suicide more than once, survived growing up in a broken home and dealt with a litany of health problems.
As mentioned above, he attempted suicide many times…..”the only thing that stopped me was the realization that if I were dead I would not be able to drink anymore.”
Fast forward to 2013, Clapton is nearly 26 years clean and sober despite suffering the death of his child six years into sobriety. Clapton, speaking publicly, on several occasions has credited his sobriety with not only aiding him in surviving tragedy but aiding in his self-awareness.
Since getting clean and sober, not only has he penned the biggest song of his career, he has written a book and released several successful CDs.
Congratulations on 25 years of sobriety Clapton. We can’t wait to see what you will produce during the next 25 years.
To all the newly sober people out there, not that it has to be this way but let Clapton be an example of what you can face, overcome and remain clean and sober through.” Recovery Now, DeShawn McQueen.
The documentary is unwittingly a juxtaposition of addiction and recovery. Ginger Baker remained an addict, and continued to ruin his life. Eric Clapton got sober, and his world has continued to get better.