Film Forum is presenting the official US premiere of Beware of Mr. Baker tomorrow night in Manhattan, but I was lucky enough to watch it at a private screening held in my living room, in my underpants, with my cat. The film is a documentary on the infamously prickly drummer, Ginger Baker, who I didn't think I was familiar with until I started watching the movie, at which point I was like "OH YEAH!" Because I have a father. And if you have a father, then you will probably know who he is as well. Ginger Baker used to be the drummer for Cream, which is damn near every daddy's wet dream of a rock band from then, to now, till the sun drips from the sky in a thick sheet of blood, and the devil scrapes us all back to hell.
The film was written and directed by Jay Bulger, who got Ginger to agree to take part in the project by lying to him about working for Rolling Stone. Towards the end of their time together during production, Ginger gave him a bloody nose by knocking him in the face with a metal cane. He did this for different reasons though, not because of the Rolling Stone thing. Aside from making this film, Jay also writes, and has previously worked as a handsome male model, and a boxer.
What we learn in Beware of Mr. Baker, or at least what I took away from it, is that although he was an amazingly talented drummer (not only for Cream, but also for Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood), he was a supreme dickhead who shat all over all of his family members, band members, friends, and every lover he ever had. I think the film tries to present this in a "He's a wildman who pays no mind to anything, and therefore cool," sort of way, but it really just comes across as both sad, and a tremendous waste of what could have otherwise been a rich and fullfilling, creative life. But, such is the way of rock stars and creative sorts!
Beware of Mr. Baker will be screening at Film Forum at 209 W. Houston St. in Manhattan, NY. from November 28th-December 12th.