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Ginger Baker: 'I don't think Led Zeppelin filled the void that Cream left'



Baker, who has never been shy when it comes to taking shots at the bands of his generation, singled out Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in particular, asserting that he wasn't "anywhere near what I am. He wasn't a musician".

When asked by Forbes if he considered the hard rock four-piece to be a "good" band that came from Cream's influences, Baker responded, "Jimmy's [Page] a good player. I don’t think Led Zeppelin filled the void that Cream left, but they made a lot of money. I probably like about five percent of what they did – a couple of things were really cool. What I don't like is the heavy bish-bash, jing-bap, jing-bash bullshit.

"Years ago, John said, 'There are two drummers in rock and roll, Ginger Baker and me'. There's no way John was anywhere near what I am. He wasn't a musician. A lot of people don't realize I studied. I can write music. I used to write big band parts in 1960, '61. I felt that if I was a drummer, I needed to learn to read drum music. I was so good at side reading, a guy in one of the big bands told me to get two books. I studied them at the same time. One was about the rules of basic harmony, the other how to break them all [laughs]."

But Baker reserved most of his scorn for heavy metal as he attempted to distance Cream from the genre their credited as being an important influence over. "These people that dress up in spandex trousers with all the extraordinary makeup – I find it incredibly repulsive, always have. I've seen where Cream is sort of held responsible for the birth of heavy metal. Well, I would definitely go for aborting [laughs].

"I loathe and detest heavy metal. I think it is an abortion. A lot of these guys come up and say, 'Man, you were my influence, the way you thrashed the drums'. They don't seem to understand I was thrashing in order to hear what I was playing. It was anger, not enjoyment – and painful. I suffered on stage because of that [high amplifier] volume crap. I didn't like it then, and like it even less now."

From: http://www.nme.com/news/cream/86167
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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