Ringo Starr on Ginger Baker: 'He Was Incredible' - Rolling Stone
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Ringo Starr Remembers ‘Incredible, Inventive’ Ginger Baker

Ex-Beatles drummer shares surreal story about Cream co-founder trying to become a fireman in Denver

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Ringo Starr paid tribute to late Cream co-founder Ginger Baker as an incredible and inventive drummer.

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Ringo Starr remembered late Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s innovative playing in an interview with Rolling Stone. Baker died Sunday after a lengthy hospital stay at the age of 80.

“Ginger Baker was incredible,” Starr said. “He was very inventive. If you listen to Cream, you can see there’s something else coming through.”

In the late Nineties, Baker periodically performed with Starr and his All-Starr band, jumping onstage to play a couple of Cream songs with the group. At the time, the All-Starr band also featured Cream bassist Jack Bruce, and Starr said he always got a kick out of his introduction when Baker came onstage: “Ladies and gentlemen, two percent Cream!”

Starr also shared a fittingly bizarre anecdote about Baker, whom he said briefly worked as a fireman while living in Denver, Colorado.  “He was a fireman in Denver, and Cream couldn’t back together because he was staying in Denver to get his fireman’s truck license!” Starr said with a laugh. “And I’m sticking with that because that’s what I’m told!”

Starr is the latest musician and peer of Baker’s to pay tribute to the late drummer. His fellow Beatle, Paul McCartney remembered working with Baker on Band on the Run and called him a “great drummer, [and a] wild and lovely guy.” Mick Jagger also recalled gigging with Baker once, saying, “He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer.”

Additional reporting by Hank Shteamer

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