RIP GINGER BAKER – YOU RISKED ALL TO GIVE LIFE TO NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY
Born 19th of August 1939 and died 6th of October 2019.
The Ginger Baker story in Africa reads like a sold-out novel. How did one of the most influential English drummers of all time, an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, decide to journey from France to Algeria; drove all the way from Algeria through the Sahara desert to Nigeria to set up what was arguably one of the first and foremost music recording studio (ARC studios) located in Ikeja in 1973? That studio competed with some of the most established record company’s’ studios residents in Nigeria such as EMI, Decca, and Tabansi.
THE 1971 GINGER BAKER STORY- HOW HE DROVE FROM ALGERIA TO NIGERIA TO SET UP ONE OF THE FIRST & BEST MUSIC STUDIO BY AN INDIVIDUAL
Without Ginger Baker’s Fela’s documentary, we might have missed a major part in the history of Abami Eda’s transformation from Highlife Jazz artiste to Afrobeat legend. Baker also invited several Nigerian musicians including Tee Mac and Laolu Akins for jam sessions. He put together a music group called SALT with members like Laolu Akins – they Northern Europe where the likes of Carlos Santana once opened for them.
Some exploits made by the Lijadu Sister – one of the first Afrobeat girl groups could be credited to Ginger Baker but Laolu’s transformation says so much about the man. From a member of the group BLOW, Laolu transformed to A&R for Sony / CBS Music and much later a music producer that dished out the record-breaking albums for Shina Peters. He co-pioneered Afro juju and also produces great records for the likes of Mike Onyeka Onwenu to name a few. Ginger Baker’s effect contributed to the growth of several Nigerian musicians. RIP Ginger Baker.
Words By Sesan Adeniji