Ginger Baker’s Son, Kofi, Reflects on Father’s Passing
Kofi Baker, the son of Ginger Baker, has opened up on the passing of his father in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’m still processing it,” said Baker, who’s had a very tumultuous relationship with his drumming legend father. “I used to say to my girlfriend, ‘When he dies, I’m going to feel nothing.’ I really didn’t think I’d feel anything. The a–hole had to open up to me right before he died. I think if he’d stayed an a–hole to me, maybe, it would be easier. But I didn’t think it would affect me the way it affected me.”
Baker details how his father opened up saying during his final visit, “I sat quietly with him at first, then just thought, ‘What the f-ck? I’ve got all this stuff I want to tell him.’ And I just started telling him about how I’m doing his music [playing drums in the Cream tribute band Music of Cream featuring Eric Clapton‘s nephew, Will Johns, on guitar and Jack Bruce‘s son, Malcolm on bass] and I’m keeping his legacy going…I’m used to my dad blowing me off or not talking about anything. But he was a different person. It was like his eyes lit up, and I told him stories about the past and everything, like the time he was smoking a cigarette while he’s pouring gasoline all over me, and I’m holding a funnel pouring into the truck. I told him that, and he laughed [laughs]. It was so amazing to actually connect with my dad. It still puts chills down my spine now.”
Baker said his father wasn’t able to speak but was able to respond to him with various facial expressions. He said, “And that was probably why I could talk to him. It was really hard seeing my dad like that, because he’s always been such a fiery guy. But it was just beautiful because I got to talk about music and not get shut down. It’s a good way for me to remember him. It’s just hard thinking about the last moments I had with him … my dad’s face, his eyes, and the way he reacted to me — he’d never done that. I don’t know if people change right before they die. I think he knew he was going to die, and I think he relaxed at the fact that he could be himself. He just dropped that hard exterior. Seeing him right before he died, I really think that was my real dad. Underneath all that temper and stuff I thought he was a really loving person.”
Baker’s last visit happened on September 30. He was planning on visiting his father on October 7, but he died the day before.
“Of course, he had to die Sunday morning [the day before],” said Baker. “So he had his last laugh on me, I suppose. I did tell him before he died how I loved him and everything, so I think I got it out. My dad’s such an a–hole for f-cking dying when it finally all comes together, but I think this is how it had to happen.”