Chasing Ginger Baker
1968 I own a head shop/record store, The Groove Company. Rock ‘n’ roll plays over big speakers. Musicians and fans frequent the shop. I overhear a conversation as I re-arrange the water pipes. “Ginger Baker is the best f-*@king drummer of all time,” the long haired stoner says. Profound. I put on a Cream record and agree.
1994 I work for a newspaper and am interviewing an artist in Parker, Colorado. She introduces me to Karen, the current wife of Ginger Baker. I want to interview him, get a phone number. Leave messages. Actually talk ever so briefly to him one time when he says he can’t talk. It is clear he doesn’t want to talk about Eric Clapton. Of course I do but still I covet the interview. I’d be happy to interview him about the new jazz trio. It never happens.
2013 “Beware of Mr. Baker”, a documentary film comes to the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington. I sit in the best mid row seat, mesmerized. No wonder I never got that interview. But it would have rocked.
Other interviews that never came to be: David Crosby (who I interviewed when we were in college together and he was playing his guitar and singing at coffee houses in Santa Barbara, California.) Bare Naked Ladies…one of them was supposed to have lived in Kiowa, Colorado. I really wanted that interview too. Perhaps. Someday. In the meantime, I have a great collection of CDs. (I got rid of all the 78s.)