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Ginger Baker Says the Rolling Stones Are ‘Not Good Musicians’

Ian Gavan / Simone Joyner, Getty Images

Ginger Baker recently told a reporter, among other things, that the Rolling Stones are “not good musicians.” He also had some disparaging words to say about fellow classic rockers the Who and Bob Dylan.

The former Cream drummer, as many writers have discovered before, is one of the most difficult interview subjects around. His Q&A with Rolling Stone was no less confrontational. In addition to not directly answering questions about his past — “You guys always get everything wrong,” he said at one point — Baker tossed out his opinion on some of his contemporaries.

What do you think of how [the Rolling Stones are] playing nowadays?
You’re joking right? 

I mean Charlie [Watts] is a great friend of mine. I think the world of Charlie. When I was living in the States, Charlie came to see me at my house and he said, “I’d give you some tickets but I know you would never go!” I won’t go within 10 miles of a Rolling Stones gig.

Why is that?
They’re not good musicians, that’s why. The best musician in the Stones is Charlie by a country mile.

Are you a fan of the Who?

No. Keith Moon was a friend of mine but I wouldn’t say he was a great drummer.

Dylan is still on the road.
Is he?

Yes. Were you a big Dylan fan?
I’m not a big anybody fan.

Baker also pointed out that he doesn’t listen to music, hasn’t practiced in more than 50 years and has no intentions of ever playing with Cream again.

In a way, his frankness throughout the interview — “I’m the drummer. I play the drums. Enough” — is candid and refreshing. Then again, the entire thing begs the question, Why does he continue to do them when he clearly doesn’t care for them? And as entertaining as Rolling Stone’s interview is at times, not too much is revealed, other than yes, Baker is still one cranky dude.

Next: Top 10 Drum Songs

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