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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

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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