Eric Clapton will honor Ginger Baker with a special tribute show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on February 17th, 2020. No artists have been announced yet besides Clapton himself, but proceeds will benefit Leonard Cheshire, a charity close to the Baker family. Tickets will go on sale Friday November 29th on Eventim.
Ginger Baker died on October 6th, 2019 after years of illness. “Dad passed away peacefully,” his daughter Nettie Baker said in a statement. “He was in no pain and had recently been able to see and speak to his children, close family and special friends.”
A rep for the family tells Rolling Stone that were consulted for the upcoming show and are “delighted” that it will occur.
Baker had a tumultuous relationship with his son Kofi for decades, but they made peace right at the end. “Underneath all that temper and stuff I thought he was a really loving person,” Kofi told Rolling Stone days after his dad died. “I did say it to him in the hospital, ‘Dad, I love you.’ And he acknowledged it. And I’ve never been able to say that to him and I just felt that I had to.”
Clapton last played with Baker at Cream’s brief reunion tour in 2005, which lasted just long enough for them to play four nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall and three nights at Madison Square Garden. The guitarist has slowed down his touring in recent years, although he played 17 gigs this year that wrapped up with the Crossroads Guitar Festival at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, where he appeared alongside John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmie Vaughan, Jeff Beck and many others. He’s playing arenas all over Europe in the summer of 2020.
Steve Winwood is Clapton’s only living bandmate from Blind Faith, but it’s unclear if he’ll appear with him at the Ginger Baker tribute.