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Former Cream Drummer Ginger Baker Recovering from Heart Surgery and Fall

(Image credit: KMazur/Getty Images)

Former Cream drummer Ginger Baker is recovering from heart surgery, the MirrorUK reports.

The 76-year-old Cream founder was forced to cancel gigs earlier this year when he was diagnosed with serious undisclosed heart problems.

The surgery took place in mid June. Around that time, Baker also suffered a bad fall that resulted in swollen legs and feet, according to his daughter, Leda.

Leda says Baker, who founded Cream in 1966 with bassist Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, is “on the road to recovery. After open heart surgery and a bad fall he is miraculously recovering well.”

“He called the day after his surgery to say he was okay. Albeit a rather disorientated and unintelligible conversation he was at least awake and aware.”

The Mirror reports that Baker “aims to ultimately get behind his kit again” to perform with his band, Air Force 3, though that seems unlikely, according to his daughter.

“Although he is recovering any performance in the near future seems over ambitious,” she writes.

Baker was forced to cancel a tour with Air Force 3 last February after he was diagnosed with what he called “serious heart problems.” Baker announced his condition on his web site, writing, “Just seen doctor … big shock … no more gigs for this old drummer … everything is off … of all things I never thought it would be my heart.”

He had told Rolling Stone in 2013 that he was in poor health. “It’s troubling,” he said. “At the end of the gig I’m absolutely exhausted. I’ve got degenerative osteoarthritis, which is extremely painful and I’m on a regiment with a health service pain management control. Apart from that I’ve got COPD from smoking.”

Baker was among the performers who paid tribute to Jack Bruce at the Roundhouse in London last October on the one-year anniversary of his death. Baker played on “We’re Going Wrong” and “Sunshine of Your Love,” during which he exhibited some displeasure and walked off. You can see performances of both songs below.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.