Ahead of his Belfast show, the legendary Cream drummer makes it clear to Andrew Johnston why his reputation as rock's rudest man is still intact. Despite having inspired pretty much every rock skin-beater since the 1960s, Baker, now 74, elicits a different response from those who have to deal with him in person: sheer terror.
He may have popularised the drum solo with 1966's five-minute-long Toad and been among the first Westerners to introduce African rhythms into their playing, but his reputation for wanton belligerence threatens to eclipse any musical accomplishments.
In last year's documentary, Beware of Mr Baker, the subject bloodied director Jay Bulger's nose with his cane. He has walked off the set of Later... with Jools Holland, and reduced veteran rock critics to tears.
Even fellow musicians have found him a nightmare. Notably, Baker and Cream bassist Jack Bruce have been at each other's throats for decades, and recently, Bruce remarked that today he and Baker are "happily co-existing in different continents, although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close".
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