Alex Van Halen, Ginger Baker & Carmine Appice on Drumming in Cream

Drumming in Cream

Ginger Baker, born Peter Edward Baker, was an English drummer and one of the most influential and widely recognized figures in the history of rock music. He is best known for his work as the drummer for the rock bands Cream and Blind Faith, as well as his innovative and influential drumming style.

Here are some key points about Ginger Baker:

1. Early Life and Musical Career: Ginger Baker was born on August 19, 1939, in London, England. He began playing drums at a young age and gained early experience playing in jazz and blues bands in London’s burgeoning music scene during the 1950s and early 1960s.

2. Cream: Baker rose to fame as the drummer for the supergroup Cream, which also included guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce. Formed in 1966, Cream achieved worldwide success with their unique blend of blues, rock, and psychedelic music. Baker’s powerful and inventive drumming, characterized by his use of complex rhythms, syncopation, and extended solos, was a defining feature of the band’s sound.

3. Blind Faith: After Cream disbanded in 1968, Baker formed the band Blind Faith with Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. Blind Faith released only one self-titled album in 1969 before disbanding, but their music had a significant impact on the rock music landscape of the time.

4. Influence and Legacy: Ginger Baker is widely regarded as one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock music. His innovative approach to drumming, which incorporated elements of jazz, African rhythms, and world music, helped redefine the role of the drummer in rock music and inspired generations of musicians.

5. Later Career and Projects: After Cream and Blind Faith, Baker continued to pursue a prolific and diverse musical career, collaborating with numerous artists and bands across various genres. He formed the jazz-rock group Ginger Baker’s Air Force in the early 1970s and later worked on solo projects and collaborations with artists such as Fela Kuti and Hawkwind.

6. Personal Life and Challenges: Ginger Baker was known for his larger-than-life personality, outspokenness, and occasional conflicts with bandmates and collaborators. He struggled with substance abuse and health issues throughout his life, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

7. Death: Ginger Baker passed away on October 6, 2019, at the age of 80. Despite his passing, his influence and legacy as a pioneering drummer and musical innovator continue to resonate within the music world, and he remains celebrated for his contributions to rock music and drumming.


Alex Van Halen is a Dutch-American musician best known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Van Halen. Alongside his brother Eddie Van Halen, who was the band’s guitarist, Alex played a significant role in shaping the sound and success of Van Halen. Here are some key points about Alex Van Halen:

1. Early Life: Alex Van Halen was born on May 8, 1953, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He moved to the United States with his family in the early 1960s, settling in Pasadena, California. It was there that he and his brother Eddie began their musical journey.

2. Formation of Van Halen: In the early 1970s, Alex Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen formed the band Van Halen, alongside bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth. The band quickly gained attention on the Los Angeles music scene for their energetic live performances and innovative sound.

3. Drumming Style: Alex Van Halen is known for his powerful and dynamic drumming style, characterized by his intricate rhythms, precise timing, and explosive fills. His drumming played a crucial role in defining the sound of Van Halen and contributed to the band’s success.

4. Career with Van Halen: As a member of Van Halen, Alex Van Halen achieved worldwide fame and success. The band released several multi-platinum albums, including their self-titled debut album (1978), “Van Halen II” (1979), “1984” (1984), and many others. Hits such as “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot for Teacher” showcased Alex’s drumming prowess and helped solidify Van Halen’s status as one of the biggest rock bands of the 1980s.

5. Solo and Side Projects: In addition to his work with Van Halen, Alex Van Halen has occasionally pursued solo and side projects. He contributed to soundtrack recordings and collaborated with other musicians outside of the band.

6. Personal Life: Alex Van Halen has maintained a relatively private personal life, focusing primarily on his musical career. He is known for his close relationship with his brother Eddie Van Halen, who passed away in 2020 after battling cancer.

7. Legacy: Alex Van Halen’s contributions to rock music, both as a drummer and as a member of Van Halen, have left an indelible mark on the genre. His innovative drumming style and the band’s influential sound continue to inspire generations of musicians and fans.

While Van Halen’s future as a band remains uncertain following the passing of Eddie Van Halen, Alex’s legacy as a pioneering drummer and rock icon endures.


Carmine Appice is an American drummer and percussionist known for his influential contributions to rock music and his dynamic drumming style. He has had a long and successful career spanning several decades, during which he has worked with numerous renowned artists and bands. Here are some key points about Carmine Appice:

1. Early Life and Career: Carmine Appice was born on December 15, 1946, in Staten Island, New York. He began playing drums at a young age and gained early experience performing in local bands in the New York City area. In the 1960s, he gained recognition as the drummer for the band Vanilla Fudge, known for their psychedelic rock sound and innovative reinterpretations of classic songs.

2. Innovative Drumming Style: Carmine Appice is known for his powerful and flamboyant drumming style, characterized by his virtuosic technique, creative fills, and energetic stage presence. He was one of the first drummers to incorporate double bass drumming techniques into rock music, influencing generations of drummers.

3. Collaborations and Bands: Throughout his career, Carmine Appice has collaborated with numerous artists and bands across various genres. In addition to Vanilla Fudge, he has been a member of bands such as Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice, and Blue Murder. He has also worked with artists like Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne, and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, among others.

4. Session Work and Songwriting: In addition to his work with bands and artists, Carmine Appice has been active as a session drummer and songwriter. He has contributed to numerous albums and recordings, both as a drummer and as a songwriter, and has earned recognition for his musical versatility and creativity.

5. Teaching and Education: Carmine Appice is also known for his contributions to drum education and teaching. He has authored instructional books and videos on drumming techniques and has conducted drum clinics and workshops around the world, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring drummers.

6. Legacy: Carmine Appice’s innovative drumming style and prolific career have earned him recognition as one of the most influential drummers in rock music history. He has left a lasting impact on the drumming community and continues to be celebrated for his contributions to the genre.

Overall, Carmine Appice’s dynamic drumming, versatile musicality, and enduring legacy have solidified his status as a rock icon and drumming legend.


“You make the other guys sound good.  That’s your gig.” — Ginger Baker, 1:40 in

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