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Beware of Mr. Baker (2012)

 -  Documentary  -  17 May 2013 (UK)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,212 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 19 user | 54 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bob Adcock
Tony Allen
Carmine Appice
Brian Auger
Ginette Baker
...
Himself
Leda Baker
Malcolm Cecil
Joni Haastrup
Jon Hiseman
Simon Kirke
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Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

17 May 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cuidado con Mr. Baker  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,195 (USA) (30 November 2012)

Gross:

$114,271 (USA) (1 March 2013)
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User Reviews

 
Ginger nut
29 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Not an obvious choice for a documentary, grumpy old man, no make that just grumpy man, celebrated Cream drummer Ginger Baker spectacularly opens his own film by beating up his director, followed by a glowing tribute from of all people John Lydon and then proceeds to diss the majority of the several people who crossed his path in later life. I started off thoroughly disliking him and his "#*^!"-off outlook to life but by the end, if I didn't exactly like him, I had warmed a little to him even if I still don't understand why he is as ornery as he appears.

His story gets told mainly from his own viewpoint but naturally we get tributes from the drummers union including the likes of Charlie Watts, Neil Peart and Stewart Copeland as well as most of his past collaborators including of course his Cream band-mates Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton together with archive footage and some animation to highlight his world travels.

I've not heard much of Cream outside of their most popular tracks but I do know he takes the dubious responsibility for introducing the extended drum solo to rock recordings and concerts. It certainly seemed to me that his playing, good as it is, pales next to some of his jazz heroes with whom we see him engaging in "drum wars" in the early 70's.

Of more interest then is the picture painted of this very eccentric man, with apparently a greater love for animals, particularly horses and dogs than his own family and ex-wives, indeed I had no idea he was such a keen polo player. There are anecdotes a-plenty, rarely to his credit, I mean who else would introduce his 15 year old drumming son to cocaine to get through a gig, plus I just can't have much sympathy for a guy who blows £5,000,000 from the Cream reunion gigs in 2005 and then pleads poverty.

And yet, while I wouldn't care to meet him, it was fascinating to watch this story of his varied life. Post-Cream there's little here to engage with musically unless you like endless drum solos but this unlikely documentary will capture and hold your attention and who amongst us wouldn't share to some degree his rebellious outlook against conformity for the last 50 years.


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