Beware of Mr. Baker

92 minutes 2013

Another pop music idol is exhumed from relative obscurity by a zealous fan with a camera, as first-time documentary maker Jay Bulger journeys to Tulbagh, South Africa, and visits the fortified compound of former Cream drummer Ginger Baker. This notoriously irascible character transformed rock drumming in the 60s with his heavy bass and tom-tom sound inspired by African players, though his talent was so idiosyncratic and so heavily indebted to jazz that he quickly moved off the rock radar into giant supergroups and hyped-up duels with other virtuosos like Art Blakey and Elvin Jones. His private life as portrayed here is a junkyard of failed marriages and money problems, exacerbated by his deep and incongruous passion for polo. This 2012 release is fairly clumsy as documentary, but Bulger has succeeded in cornering a rare and wonderful beast.

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Beware of Mr. Baker

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