Ginger Baker’s beyond-believable documentary and beyond-the-grave Johnny Ramone’s, tell-all make our upcoming rock-god spring hits list.
Last week at SXSW, cool-cat Jay Bulger’s documentary on the legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker took Southwest’s top honors at its well-regarded film festival awards.
“Beware of Mr. Baker” time-travels back and forth, from the early days of the mercurial drummer’s life and career to the present, where the 70-year-old now lives in South Africa, collecting polo ponies and breaking the noses of documentarians.
Seems Baker’s exchanged his drumsticks for a lethal cane. The film got picked up for distribution amid the buzz. We’ll keep you abreast of when it will hit theaters.
Besides the one-and-only Baker, “Beware” has terrific oral-history cameos from those rare living drummers such as Charlie Watts, Neil Peart (Rush) and Stewart Copeland (The Police), as well as thoughtful and oft-hilariously anecdotal interview with Steve Winwood, John Lydon and Carlos Santana. The fact that the dude is still kicking says a lot, considering that “Spinal Tap”-happy “Curse of the Drummers” (Keith Moon, John Bonham).
Meanwhile, the posthumous autobiography of The Ramones’ Johnny Ramone, who died from prostate cancer in 2004, hits book stands, with an invite-only party being held by his family members and rock band supporting act John Varvatos March 29th in his fun memorabilia-filled store in the Bowery’s old CBGB.
Johnny Ramone began writing the book, entitled “Commando” (from Abrams Image), when he realized he might not be around much longer. Expect an A-Z of the New York punk and rock scenes of their day—the stomping grounds that he and his bandmates “1-2-3!”-ed through with graffiti-artist speed. We heard there are some juicy sibling love triangles (Joye, Linda, Johnny) along the way, and a mash-up with the puckish-punk promoter Malcolm McLaren (R.I.P. as well). Weird aside: Lisa Marie Presley, an intimate of Johnny, wrote the epilogue! The book’s out April 2th.