Ginger Baker undergoes open heart surgery

Cream drummer hopes to be able to play again

Cream drummer Ginger Baker has undergone open heart surgery after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Baker had revealed in March he was due to face the surgery, saying at the time that he hoped to be able to carry on drumming.

The drummer’s daughter Leda Baker said her father is “on the road to recovery” and was able to have a conversation the day after his surgery.


Baker suffered a fall at his home in March, when he was diagnosed with an as-yet-undisclosed “major” heart condition. He also has degenerative osteoarthritis.

Following his fall, Baker had to cancel shows with his band Air Force 3 . The 76-year-old said: “There are two options for surgery. Depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both. The doctor says he’s going to get me playing again.”

Leda Baker told The Daily Mirror: “Dad called the day after his surgery to say he’s OK. Albeit a rather disorientated and unintelligible conversation, he was at least awake and aware.”

Baker founded Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, the trio released four albums including the influential ‘Disraeli Gears’ before splitting in 1968. Baker and Clapton went on to play in Blind Faith with Steve Winwood of Traffic and Family bassist Ric Grech, who lasted only one self-titled album.

After his band Air Force recorded two albums in 1970, Baker released 18 solo albums, most recently ‘Why’ in 2014. He has also made three albums with Fela Kuti. The father-of-three has also endured a long battle with heroin addiction, telling The Guardian in 2013 he had come off the drug “29 times”.


Cream reformed for four gigs at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2005, before Bruce’s death in 2014.