Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, and Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea are leading tributes to Cream drummer Ginger Baker following his death on Sunday morning.
The former Beatles star has taken to Twitter to offer up his thoughts shortly after the news of the rocker’s death broke, calling Baker a “great drummer” and a “wild and lovely guy”.
“We worked together on the Band on the Run album (Wings) in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will.”
Winwood, who joined Baker in rock supergroup Blind Faith, has released a statement, which reads: “A very sad loss, and my condolences to his family and friends. A loss also for his contribution to music. He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on, and later managed to combine this with African and rock music to create his own inimitable style of playing.
“I was lucky to play with him in Ginger Baker’s Air Force, and to meet and work with such luminaries as Phil Seamen, Harold McNair and Graham Bond. And also in Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Rick Grech. Although his appointment was very unorthodox (he showed up on the doorstep and said, ‘Here I am’) – he made a great contribution to the Blind Faith album which has withstood the test of time.
“Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold. He’ll be missed.”
Bassist Flea adds: “So much freedom in his playing. What a wildman. Rhythms we’ve hear all our lives he plucked them out of the sky (sic). Rest In Peace Ginger Baker.”
There were also tributes posted by Steven Van Zandt, David Coverdale, The Kinks’ Dave Davies, Sebastian Bach, Mike Portnoy, Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg, Questlove, Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, and the family of Baker’s late Cream bandmate Jack Bruce, which read: “The Bruce family would like to extend their sincere condolences to Ginger Baker’s family, friends and fans. Surviving a love hate relationship, Ginger was like an older brother to Jack, their chemistry was truly spectacular. RIP Ginger, one of the greatest drummers of all time.”
The 80 year old died at a London hospital almost two weeks after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s family announced he was “critically ill”.