Still riding high on the Music Of Cream concert from last week, we couldn’t help but highlight some of Ginger Baker’s playing and rare interview segments in this 1968 BBC documentary. The film centers around the groups’ 1968 Royal Albert Hall performance in London, describing how Cream came to be and what propelled them to immediate superstardom. Specifically, the portion with Baker is quite revealing. He was reportedly the one who brought the trio together—and also its most chaotic, unpredictable force.
Though he sounds pretty out of it for much of the interview portions (drugs, perhaps?), he still makes perfect sense and his playing is stellar when asked to demonstrate some playing on the drum set.
One thing to notice: Check out Baker’s grip. When he starts playing jazz, he flips from a modified match grip to traditional, and he’s so fluid with it one can’t help but wonder why he switched it up at all. But then we see him playing in a rock style, with the power generated by all that downward force, and all becomes clear.
“You’ve got nine different kinds of cymbals, can you tell us what each is for?” the interviewer asks. How is this possible in the days before effects cymbals like stacks, trash crashes, etc.? Well, he has three ride cymbals, to start, and three crashes, all of which are on interesting stands. It’s worth a watch just to see his kit, let alone the fantastic demonstrations of his playing.