"AT 75 I SHOULD be sitting on a desert island in a deckchair," Ginger Baker tells writer Mark Paytress in the new issue of MOJO. "But I [still] have to work to keep going." Speaking about the millions he made from the 2005 Cream reunion gigs, the drumming legend explains that, "I blew it all, taking advice from the wrong people. I put a state-of-the-art polo field on my property [in South Africa]. It was beautiful, but all these people told me I’d get sponsorship and nothing happened."
Now living back in England in rented accommodation with his fourth wife, Kudzai, daughter Lisa and insane Dalmatian dog Jakey, a contrite Baker explains his delicate financial state to MOJO by admitting, “I’m gullible. People become my friends, give me advice but it usually works to their benefit and my deficit. But I still have this optimism…”
It’s just one of many heartfelt confessions made by the drummer in a surprisingly emotional interview that presents a fascinating flip-side to the volatile image offered in Jay Bulger’s 2012 documentary, Beware Of Mr. Baker.
“I’m gullible. People become my friends, give me advice but it usually works to their benefit and my deficit.”
Baker speaks to MOJO about his life as a jazz drummer in the early ’60s, his tenure in Cream and Blind Faith, the superiority of Eric Clapton to Jimi Hendrix, and hanging out with Fela Kuti in Lagos in the early ’70s.
Now weakened by serious illness he believes, “God is punishing me for my past by keeping me alive with these incredibly painful situations. I’ve just had a disaster with one of my royalty payments. I go forward. I don’t look backward, but these things keep happening to me. There’s a curse on me, I think.”
The new MOJO magazine also features an exclusive cover story interview with U2, the 50 Best Albums Of 2014, a 50th birthday celebration of The Who’s breakthrough and the inside story of the Buzzcocks’ punk-pop heyday. PLUS: an astonishingly definitive Best Of 2014 covermount CD, starring Beck, Jack White, Robert Plant, The War On Drugs, Caribou, Sharon Van Etten and more.
Plus you can order a copy online right now, just click here.
PHOTO: Tom Oldham.