Denver Direct: The Return of Ginger Baker (to this blog)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Return of Ginger Baker (to this blog)

Keen observers of this space may remember the original vidies of Ginger Baker that were posted here, like the one above. They were quite popular, receiving tens of thousands of hits, and then they disappeared. What was that all about?

The story behind my originally posting the vidies in 2008 is here, and I won’t bother repeating it. In August of 2010 I received a call from director Jay Bulger (himself quite a character) who said he had seen my vidies and wondered if I would like to be interviewed for the film and possibly make some of my footage available for inclusion in the movie he was making about Ginger Baker. Well of course!

A few days later Jay and his very tired crew of two rolled in around 10pm and we did the interview. “Ginger Baker was the Mohammad Ali of rock and roll”, I said, “he could move faster than everyone else” (we used to call it speed). And what about the 8-hours of tape that I had (mostly inherited from Clark Burch, who spent two years following Baker and eventually becoming a good friend of Baker’s and who created his own music vidie, which YouTube won’t let me publish, called “Falling Off the Roof” after a Baker jazz CD of the same name)? After a little arm-twisting I agreed to make copies of my footage for them to review.

Unfortunately, much of the footage was of Ginger playing polo in Parker, Colorado, shot with a standard 12-120 zoom lens and a non-HD Sony VX-2000 from the sidelines of the polo field and not able to really get at the action. Some footage of Baker, when he got off his horse, was good – as usual, he played two sets of drums at the same time – and included a duet with his son Kofi.

I asked if it was ok for me to write about the interview, but Jay said they wanted to keep everything under wraps until the release – at an unspecified date and location. I decided to take down my own vidies from this blog in anticipation of the big buildup.

Another call just a few weeks ago informed me that they were going to use 1 minute of the footage I provided (I forgot to ask about the interview – we’ll have to wait and see). I agreed that screen credit for both myself and Clark would be sufficient reward, and asked about their plans to create internet-buzz. It seems that they hadn’t given that much thought, but welcomed anything I might do to start the ball rolling.

Here is the announcement in the SxSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, March 9-17, 2012. “Beware of Mr. Baker” (a sign posted at the gate to his current abode in Africa) is the name of the feature length documentary, one of 8 selected from 845 submissions. I’m not very hip to the film festival scene anymore (after having tickets #1 and #2 to the very first Telluride Film Festival and smoking a joint with Jack Nicholson there) but I had been dreaming of a theatrical release in NYC.

I’ll be posting more vidies here along with some of the stories of both Baker and Burch.