Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker is “critically ill,” and has been hospitalized, his family announced on Wednesday afternoon. “Please keep him in your prayers tonight,” the Bakers asked, sharing no further details on the 80-year-old musician’s condition, except to confirm that, “Sadly yes,” the announcement is “for real.”
Paste has reached out to reps for Baker for more information, and will update this post with any further updates on his condition that we receive.
Update, 11:04 a.m. ET: Reached by Paste, a rep for Baker declined to comment further, save to say that they will update fans when necessary.
Baker first rose to prominence as a member of blues-jazz outfit Graham Bond Organization, later approaching Eric Clapton with the idea of starting a rock ‘n’ roll band: Cream, the power trio rounded out by Jack Bruce and generally credited as rock’s first “supergroup.” Baker performed with Cream until their dissolution in 1968, later forming short-lived supergroup Blind Faith with Clapton, touring and recording with Ginger Baker’s Air Force and Ginger Baker’s Energy, and performing with Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster, Masters of Reality and Public Image, among other acts.
Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Baker, still going strong, formed The Ginger Baker Trio in 1994, re-teaming with Bruce in BBM that same year.
Baker and the rest of Cream reunited for a series of 2005 shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Madison Square Garden—the former shows were recorded and released as a live album, Royal Albert Hall: London May 2-3-5-6 2005. A year later, Cream were presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ginger’s autobiography Hellraiser was published in 2009, and he was the subject of acclaimed 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker.
Listen to a 1968 Cream performance from the Paste archives below and stay tuned for further updates.