Drummer Ginger Baker has been forced to cancel upcoming tours due to “serious heart problems.”
“No more gigs for this old drummer … everything is off,” the veteran of Cream posted on his web site over the weekend.
Baker had revived his Air Force project for a series of April shows in the U.K., which were to be followed by 14 gigs in the States.
Baker’s web site and Facebook page contained the following message from management:
It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of all shows. Ginger’s doctor’s have insisted that he have complete rest due to diagnosis of serious heart problems. We hope you will all join with his family in wishing him well. God bless Ginger Baker.
Baker wrote that the news from his doctor was “a big shock.”
“Of all things, I never thought it would be my heart,” wrote Baker, a lifelong heavy smoker. He apparently was interacting with fans on his Facebook page in recent days, saying he had quit cigarettes.
Last October, Baker participated in a concert honoring his Cream bandmate Jack Bruce, who died in 2014.
Baker has played both jazz and rock in recent years. Baker’s Jazz Confusion band played New York in 2013.
The Air Force gigs were highly anticipated, as the original band, formed in 1969, was key in bringing world music to rock audiences.
“After successfully touring with his Jazz Confusion, Ginger has decided wear his wings one more and travel in a new direction with blues, Africa, vocals, rhythm and harmony. Airforce 3 will feature previous material and add exciting new arrangements whilst showcasing new talent and collaborating with old friends,” Baker’s announcement of the revival said.
The canceled U.S. concerts were mostly on the East Coast and included two nights in New York City.
Ginger Baker photo by Arnie Goodman.