EXCLUSIVE: Eric Clapton On Cream: ‘I Could Hold My Own’

Even if you don’t like Ginger Baker‘s work in Cream and Blind Faith (among many other groups), the documentary Beware Of Mr. Baker is a compelling film. If you’re a music fan, you’ll enjoy hearing how his drumming influenced Neil Peart of Rush, Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Of if you get a rise out of observing incredible amounts of drama in other people’s lives, you’ll be drawn in by the insanity of his personal life (you’ll be shocked to find out who he left his first wife for, why his second wife left him and how long its been since he’s been in touch with his son). Helmed by first-time director Jay Bulger, the film leaves very few stones unturned in the famously cranky drummer’s life.

Baker became a star after he formed Cream in 1966 with bassist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton. The band combined blues music and jazz to create a very explosive and distinct sound.  In this exclusive outtake from the film, Clapton tells Bulger how he — coming from a blues background — fit in with jazz musicians Baker and Bruce.

“I could listen to what Jack was doing and what Ginger was doing, and see a way to get involved in that without being overawed,” he said.  “I could hold my own in terms of musical taste and knowledge.  Not necessarily from the world that they were coming from, which was more of a jazz world, and they had played in it and they could talk that language, which I couldn’t… I was of the view that it all came from blues anyway.”

Watch the full clip below.

The film, which is in limited release, features interviews with Jack Bruce (who Baker still has issues with) and Baker’s Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood.  Also interviewed: two of his three ex-wives, his three children, and even more drummers who he influenced (including Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, Bill Ward of Black Sabbath and Simon Kirke of Bad Company and Free). Get a full list of theaters on the film’s website.

MORE: Ten Unanswered Questions From Beware Of Mr. Baker

Brian Ives, Radio.com

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