Ginger Baker is one of rock's most legendary wild men.
Drummer with Cream, his explosive style was matched to an explosive personality - one that has not dimmed with age.
Son Kofi Baker is also a drummer, and recently helped piece together a Cream tribute tour alongside Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm and Eric Clapton’s nephew Will Johns.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, the picture Kofi paints of his father is resolutely negative and wholly unflattering.
Receiving drum lessons from his father, Kofi claims to have been put through physical and verbal abuse:
"If I didn’t get something right immediately he’d shout and swear at me and smack me around a little bit. I was only there for about three months, so I had to get a crash course."
"I didn’t really care," he continues. "It’s never really bothered me because my dad is such an asshole anyway that it’s not like I was stressed about making him proud or anything. So, no, it wasn’t really stressful."
It seems that Ginger Baker has been a largely absent figure in the lives of his family, leaving them to endure financial hardship in the process.
"Well, I didn’t really know him," Kofi recalls. "It wasn’t an issue. I just played drums and stayed alive. It didn’t really dawn on me until I was a bit older what an asshole (he was) and what he’d done."
"I’d think: He had all this money! Once he did that 2005 reunion and made a whole bunch of money again I was like, wow, he’s made five million dollars. Things are going to change now. I said: Dad, why don’t you buy property with this money? The best thing you can do is buy real estate and I’ll rent it from you. That way I’ll pay money to you rather than someone I don’t know. And he was like: Fuck off, no. I’m buying my horses."
"That’s when I realised this guy doesn’t give a shit," he says. That was when I realized he doesn’t really care. None of us are speaking to him, me or (my sisters) Nettie and Leda. It’s kind of a shame. I emailed him a couple of days ago to just say, “Dad, what the hell? Why don’t you support me or say something nice?” No response. I just thought I’d try one more time. He’s getting old."
Read the full piece HERE.
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