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Ginger Baker: Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Drummer Paperback – July 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are not of that generation, you may not realize how highly esteemed Ginger Baker is/was musically. Recently Charlie Watts, the drummer with the Rolling Stones, presented him with a lifetime achievement award. High praise, indeed. His music is very exciting, quite complex, powerful, athletic, often ecstatic, always passionate. He's an inspiring and wonderful musician.
This book certainly tells the story of a young man from a modest London background, growing up as a competitive cyclist, and eventually getting into drumming. We learn about his early musical experiences and training from other great jazz drummers. So it's nice to get a feeling of his musical formation (as they say, "nobody comes from nothing" -- i.e., every musician has his influences).
The musician later branches off into polo. Interesting progression of competitive, driving, physical, rhythmic activity: cycling - drumming - polo. Unusual, but one can see the connection, and that's very interesting. Throughout the book his native intelligence and wit shine through.
What is much less interesting (indeed, I ultimately found it quite dreary and depressing) is the decades of drug abuse, the failed marriages, the endless confrontations, the promiscuous sex, the legal difficulties, and the general chaos that seems to have defined Baker's life.
Don't get me wrong: I truly love his playing and I deeply admire him as a musician. But it has to be said that he has led a very hard life, largely because of his own bad choices.Read more ›
The book was conversational in style and gave an interesting account of a great musician and his life. Albeit a bizarre life full of giant leaps forward and giant leaps backwards!
People talk a lot about how amazing it is that Keith Richard is still alive. I'd have to say the same for Ginger Baker but even moreso!
He's not charitable to many of his peers in the music world but I suspect a lot of that is tongue in cheek. That is apart from his ongoing issues with Jack Bruce. I suspect that this relationship falls well into the category of sibling rivalry. They have produced some great recorded music together over the years and in the end this is what they will be remembered for.
One final observation. Ginger mentioned at one point that he was annoyed by Gary Moore not being able to front up to some BBM gigs because he cut his finger and he blew his ears at rehearsal.I felt the same way in the early seventies when Ginger was "taken ill in the dressing rooms" at Manchester Free Trade Hall and the Air Force concert had to be cancelled after we were all in our seats!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. A peek into an amazing life. Glad youre still with us Ginger.Published 5 months ago by Paul Holland
Always one of my favorite musicians and personalities, this autobiographical exploration provided lots of enjoyment and insight into Mr. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Darrel G. Moreland
Really great book on one of the greatest drummers in music a must readPublished 11 months ago by Daniel O'Grady
Always a big hero of mine. But sadly his poor writing and self importance got in the way of his story. Read morePublished 16 months ago by speckled band
This was a Christmas gift for my father. He really liked it.Published 20 months ago by Laura Rounds