The new movie focusing on the life of Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker, won the Jury Award for best documentary feature at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, last week. ‘Beware of Mr. Baker’ takes a candid and in-depth look at the volatile, self-destructive 73-year-old drummer, got its world premiere at the SXSW festival on March 9. The film also screened one last time in in Austin, on March 16 at the Paramount, but there is no telling where it will be shown next.
Much of ‘Beware of Mr. Baker’ was shot at Baker’s horse ranch in South Africa, which he bought after Cream reunion gigs with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. The story follows Baker’s past drug addiction, his work as a jazz musician and acceptance by the jazz drummers he idolized, and the amny dramatic career moves he made, including moving to Nigeria after the break-up of Blind Faith to spend six years working with Fela Kuti, the creation of jazz-rock ensemble Air Force, his love of horses and polo and his return to performing as a jazz drummer. The film also features conversations and memories of Baker from Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts, Carlos Santana, Nick Mason, Bill Ward, Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, Max Weinberg, Marky Ramone and Johnny Rotten.
Co-producer Fisher Stevens told billboard.com, “We have been accepted to a bunch of festivals, but they have told us not to tell anyone,” he explained. “We would…love to get a theatrical release and maybe even do a tour. Take the movie on tour with CDs [and] T-shirts.”
Ginger Baker’s ex-Cream bandmate Jack Bruce also had a documentary recently air on BBC 2-Scotland. The hour long ‘Jack Bruce: The Man Behind The Bass’ can be viewed in its entirety below.
Bootsy Collins, U2′s Adam Clayton and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, as well as Bruce’s band mates Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker are all featured in the interesting film.
Bruce returned to Scotland for the documentary, and re-recorded six songs he calls pivotal to his life and career. He is joined by several of Scotland’s notable musicians, including folk trio Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboard player Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, and his nephew Nico Bruce on bass.
Bruce’s new blues-rock outfit, Spectrum Road, featuring Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana (wife to Carlos), will make their festival debut this summer with sets at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Festival (June 9) and at the Playboy Jazz Festival (June 17) at the Hollywood Bowl. The band’s self-titled debut will be released on June 5 through Palmetto Records.