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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

June xx, 1969 - More recording for Led Zeppelin II at Morgan Studios
June 29, 1969 - Led Zeppelin play the prestigious Royal Albert Hall
June 28, 1970 - Zeppelin reach mass acceptance in Britain by playing Bath
June xx, 1971 - A news report claims Led Zep to play at an aid relief concert for Pakistan
June xx, 1972 - More recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy
June 21, 1972 - Eighth American tour begins in Denver, CO, almost four years since Zeppelin’s American debut
June 03, 1973 - Zeppelin play the Fabulous Forum in LA, a favorite venue to the band
June xx, 1973 - The band takes a mid-tour holiday in Hawaii
June xx, 1974 - Promoter Fred Bannister announces that Led Zeppelin will play Knebworth, the band declines
June xx, 1975 - John Bonham loses his license for six months over a drunk driving charge
June xx, 1976 - Filmmaker Kenneth Anger tells media that Jimmy Page is partly responsible for the failure of his film over the delayed soundtrack he provided
June 07, 1977 - The first of six nights at Madison Square Gardens
June xx, 1978 - Robert feels new life within Led Zeppelin again
June 26, 1979 - The entire Led Zeppelin line up appear at a Dave Edmunds show and party afterwards
June 17, 1980 - Led Zeppelin open their European (and last) tour at Westfallenhalle in Dortmund
June 27, 1980 - Zeppelin abandon their Nuremburg show after three numbers when Bonham collapses from exhaustion
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