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Ginger Baker - Hellraiser: The Autobiography of The World's Greatest Drummer [Kindle Edition]

Ginger Baker
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Instant classic memoir." --"Mojo"

Product Description

Peter 'Ginger' Baker is a legend. A pioneering drummer who transcends genre, he's done much to popularise world music with his fierce passion for the rhythms of Africa. He is that rare thing - both critically acclaimed and globally successful. He has also lived a life more rock'n'roll than most.Ginger tells his story for the first time. It's often harrowing but outrageously honest as he journey's from war-torn south London to his adopted home in South Africa's beautiful Western Cape - where he has his own polo club. Along the way he tells of his life-long love of jazz, how he discovered the drums, life on the road and reveals the heroin use that should have killed him. He talks candidly of his three marriages, his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Cream in 1993, their 2005 reunion and his own plans for the future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 533 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B008B9L0X8
  • Publisher: John Blake (7 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072HV0YE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,877 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warts & All, however... 29 Sept. 2009
This is a great read and tells it as it was for Ginger Baker, however, it must be read with some caution. The long running animosity that he feels for Jack Bruce requires to be taken into consideration. He has often gone on & on & on..... about how he hated the Bruce/Brown writing partnership, but this seems a little like sour grapes to me. Pete Brown was originally brought in as Baker's intended writing partner but it did not take off. The reason why there were so many Bruce/Brown songs on the Cream albums and not many Baker song is because they wrote a lot and he did not. I have never seen any examples of piles of fine Ginger Baker songs that were inexplicably left off any of the Cream albums. Indeed Pete Brown, in a letter to the Mojo Magazine 197, defends himeself against the accusation, made by Ginger Baker, that he somehow stole royalities. He makes a pretty convincing argument that the Bruce/Brown writing partnership was central to the success of Cream and that Ginger has in fact been made considerably richer, particularly through the recent Reunion. He also states that had anyone suggested a four-way split of royalties for the Cream songs at the time he would have agreed to it.

Having said all that I must say again that this is a fine book and I would recommend it
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The best drummer ever but.... 3 Oct. 2009
This is an easy book to read and if one imagine's Ginger's voice reading it to you then it adds to it! Obviously the best parts are from 1960-70 (even though it's covered much better in Dick Heckstall-Smith's overall superior autobiography),but the book has too much on drugs (like Noel Redding's book) and the parts about Nigeria and polo I found tedious - reading pages after pages about horses being used for a sport isn't for me. The biggest problem with the book is the lack of info regarding the music for example he recorded 3 studio albums with the Gurvitz brothers - not a mention. I guess that's why there's no discography, Ginger's the best drummer ever therefore his drumming on all studio recordings is great - the songs are irrelevant (maybe from a drummers point of view there might be some truth in that!). There are mistakes of course e.g. he writes that at the Madison Square gigs by Cream in 10/2005 Jack Bruce shouted at him during "We're going wrong" that he was playing to loud - I've heard the 3 gigs many times - no evidence of this happening etc. Finally the bits about Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon and John Bonham dying are sadly amusing, but none of this changes my respect for Ginger as the best drummer ever.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The drum god who lost the plot 19 July 2010
As a drummer myself, Ginger was my hero in the 60s and still was until I read this. He comes across as conceited, egotistical and practically proud of his Junkie status. In fact the "Junkie vocabulary" becomes very tedious as did his constant womanising.

I wanted to read how he developed his unique and brilliant style of playing but it was pretty much glossed over in favour of obsessive rants about jack Bruce and where the next fix would come from.

Ironically he sacked a potential biographer for wanting to write about his sex and drugs episodes. Well that's the prime theme here along with Polo - drumming is very much secondary
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars When will they get it? 20 Feb. 2010
I am a huge Clapton, Bruce and Baker fan - the music they made in the sixties is one of the eternal joys of my life - I never get tired of listening to those amazing improvised live performances as well as the studio stuff and all three were truly extraordinary. I read Clapton's biography and was disappointed - Baker's is worse. True, it is an easy read but he comes across as an agressive, amazingly selfish, self obsessed thug. When will these so called 'stars' realise that we are interested in them because of their increadible musical talent - that is why we go to see them time and again and pay handsomely for their performances and music. Why cant we hear about their talent and not the long endlessly boring stories of drugs, women and generally appalling behaviour? We can all do that. What we cant do is play the drums like Baker and that is why we are in awe of him. So sadly this book was another lost opportunity, like Clapton's, and really rather dull - Baker's agression, appalling treatment of his wives and other people generally and his various financial disasters, not to mention the huge drugs issues, just serve to diminish him in our eyes. Please tell us how you became so astonishingly brilliant at drumming and we will appreciate you far more. a little bit of acknowledgement to your millions of fans who have allowed you to pursue this outrageously self indulgent lifestlye might not go amiss either!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Enough Hell Raised 22 Sept. 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have to say I was a little disappointed reading this book. I guess, like most potential readers, we are really interested in the Bond, Cream and Blind Faith years, and not quite so bothered about polo! However, the latter forms a long and important part of Ginger's life, whereas those 3 bands combined covered only about 7 years! Having said that, I would still have liked to read much more about those times - I suspect there could have been rather more to come out of that period than actually appears in the book!
Ginger is very honest about the ups and downs of his life, and his long running feud with Jack Bruce. I shall be interested to read Jack's side of the story when his biography is released next year.
Nevertheless, this book is worth reading, although to be honest I did drift on a few occasions whilst doing so!
Bottom line is - Ginger may not be an award winning author, but boy, can he play the drums!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great service, will use again
Published 19 days ago by steven winchcole
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 3 months ago by Michael Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 5 months ago by Alan Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, everything as described.
Published 5 months ago by Lemmy
3.0 out of 5 stars Cream of my rock and roll read collection? Nah.
I don't know why I wasn't too keen on this book, it had all the right ingredients to stir my cake mix, but somehow it just didn't do it for me. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Teri Diss
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell of a read
Well it goes up down allaround and inside outside of Mr B and his carrer through life...this is where most of the focus appears to be- so its not a music book.. Read more
Published 10 months ago by HECTOR
1.0 out of 5 stars great drummer, awful book
If you are a drummer (as I am) this is likely not for you. Not much on drums or drumming in at all. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dante Canil
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
He barely spoke about Cream, etc. He spoke about drugs a bit and the rest was about his horses and polo matches. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ev_Kelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good autobiography
Was very disappointed with this book. Took me ages to read it as found it not very believable. Ginger appears to have got into so many scrapes of which according to him were never... Read more
Published 14 months ago by G. Wiggins
5.0 out of 5 stars aint no writer
its weird that so many people wanted the cliched version of gingers story , where all is rosy in the garden , not this nutcase who did bundles of drugs etc ,( lets face it they... Read more
Published 14 months ago by john james
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