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In a moment, a few words from Ginger Baker

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Let's stipulate a few things from the get-go:

1. I like the idea of making my own tea for iced tea, but I can't brew half-gallon-sized batches of tea in the sun because it's impossible here in Dismal Valley to find a glass container that's big enough to do the job, easy to use, made of real glass as opposed to a cheap imported glass-like substance, and has a spout that doesn't leak like the hull of the Titanic after it kissed the iceberg.

2. I am too lazy to brew a single cup of hot tea and then run it over a galaxy of ice cubes to make iced tea. The phrase "watered down past the point of recognition" comes to mind.

3. I will not use powdered concentrate to make tea.

4. Green tea is massively overrated. If it were a song, it would be Auto-Tuned.

So (and here's where the reader participation part comes in), the next time you're grocery shopping, stop your cart in the brewed tea section and, before you look around, take a peek at your wristwatch. And then time how long it takes you to find brewed unsweetened black tea.

Oh, you'll find any other flavor you might want: peach ice tea, lemon ice tea, sweet tea, a "stress formula" tea, diet green tea, green tea with ginseng and honey—I thought for a moment I saw a label that said "diet green tea with automotive transmission fluid," but I later realized I was tetched from the heat.

I'm not the only person with a tea problem. Here's the legendary British rock drummer Peter "Ginger" Baker singing about how tough it is to get a good cup of tea in the USA. Baker joined the group Masters of Reality for the group's 1992 album Sunrise on the Sufferbus, and here's his lament about his beverage of choice:



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
Re: This?
Ginger is something like 74, 75 now, and he says he's playing better than ever. Poor deluded chap. Still one of my favorite drummers, though.

Thanks for the tout on the pitcher. I've ordered one.
Jul. 18th, 2013 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: This?
That sahlah, she beat me to the punch! Well, she was actually better with a specific recommendation than I was planning to be, but still...I used to brew mine in a pitcher with a lid. Haven't made it in years, though, and I don't know why. No pitcher, I suppose!

*heads back up to check out the link*
Jul. 17th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
You don't have Tejava tea in bottles back there?
Jul. 17th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
Never heard of it here in Dismal Valley.
Jul. 17th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
CVS, Cost Plus World Market, and Trader Joe's carry it. Excellent product.
Jul. 17th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
I'll look for it at CVS, then.

Jul. 18th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: watered down via ice cubes:

I'd recommend whiskey stones, except my boyfriend bought a few to see if they worked, and they kind of don't. But there might be something out there with the same idea and better function?
Jul. 18th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)
Seems I heard once about stainless steel ball bearings. You could mix a martini for someone you don't like, paint one of the ball bearings so it looks like an olive and another so it looks like a cocktail onion, and guffaw at the tooth-breakery.
Jul. 19th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
Ooh, I should try that on my boyfriend... I don't like olives, but he does! >:D Muahahahaha...
Jul. 19th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
This is a full-service blog, and we're happy to help. Cheers!
Jul. 22nd, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
I always liked "Da Da Man" off the first Air Force album in '70. Ginger then hit a dry spot for me until '94's Trio album with Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden. Nice progressive jazz. I just watched the documentary, "Beware of Mr. Baker" this weekend and now know what a supreme ass he is -- or at least that's how he's protrayed. No sense of reality. No empathy. No sense of duty to family, etc.

But, yes, a fine drummer.
Jul. 22nd, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
"During this set we're going to do a few ... very strange numbers ... " Ginger Baker's Air Force. Wow. Classic rock obscurity. I bought his 1972 album "Stratavarious" but haven't played it in ages and can't remember what's on it.

I've seen little snippets of "Beware," including the part where he hits the filmmaker with his cane, and I've seen other video where he appears to be out of it. Too many drugs for too many years, I'd guess.

I used to think he was the best drummer of his time but now go back and forth between Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell. If I had to choose, I'd go with Mitchell, because he grabs your ears' attention despite that guy with the guitar in the band. I don't think Baker had the hand speed to keep up with those guys.

Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that we all bought into the hype surrounding Cream and succumbed to the cult of personality. Ginger was consecrated as he did, afterall, sit on the right hand of God/Clapton [sic].

Edited at 2013-07-23 01:53 pm (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
I can't say I agree. Before the band hit its wretched excess phrase, Baker/Bruce/Clapton were at least a notch above their contemporaries. "Crossroads" is a tour de force: Bruce matches Clapton note for note in the verses, and Baker plays ferociously, but with restraint, if that's possible. "Born Under a Bad Sign" is relentless, almost a force of nature, the three players meshing seamlessly. The extended version of "Passing the Time," from the four-disc box set "Those Were the Days," is an unheard gem. Then there's "Tales of Brave Ulysses," "Cat's Squirrel" from the first studio album, the undeniable classic "Spoonful" from Disraeli Gears, "Badge." "Sleepy Time Time" from the first live album makes the hairs on my arm stand up; the same with "NSU" from the same album. I could go on, but I think you get the point: few, if any, bands from that era were capable of playing songs like that.

Clapton never liked the "Clapton is God" hype, and again, before the band went terminal wretched excess, there was plenty to listen to besides Clapton. Jack Bruce was and still is shamefully overlooked—the list of bands and artists he's played with is astonishing. Baker, though—he was a perfect fit with Cream, but his body of work after the band broke up is spotty at best.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
For their brief time in the spotlight, Cream was certainly important and influential. They are still pointed to as the supergroup of the era. I find the only album I'll actively and purposefully put on (and, yes, I'm a vinyl guy) is Disraeli Gears ("Tales of Brave Ulysses" is my favorite), and Side 1 of Wheels of Fire. I'm not a fan of songs like "What a Bringdown" and "Pressed Rat." And "Toad" is all over the place -- especially when played live. But I love "I'm so Glad" -- probably because it drove my parents crazy with its constant refrain.

I think even Disraeli Gears' influence has slipped over time. Think about it -- the album came out in 1967 and I'd much rather seek out and listen to Velvet Underground & Nico, Sgt. Pepper, the Doors' first album, Hendrix's Axis Bold as Love, the Mother's Absolutely Free, Something Else by the Kinks, and my persional favorites from 1967 -- Love's Forever Changes and Capt. Beefheart's Safe as Milk.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
It all depends on where your head is at. There's no disputing the greatness of the albums from that year by the Doors, Hendrix and the Mothers.

But I come down on the "Stones" side of the "Stones or Beatles?" question. All I've heard by the Velvet Underground is an unimpressive live album. I love the Kinks but don't know what songs are on Something Else. Haven't heard "Forever Changes" or "Safe as Milk," but I'll give a thumbs-up to the Captain just on general principles.
Jul. 24th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
Each of these albums is different despite their being produced about the same time. Each is routinely mentioned in a discussion of the top 100 albums of all time. Give them a spin when you have the time. Each are best when listened to in their entirety rather than piecemeal.

Love’s Forever Changes

Captain Beefheart’s Safe as Milk
This is a new release with added "bonus" tracks from the same recoding session.

Velvet Underground & Nico
Jul. 24th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the list. I will Spotify them.

I was thinking this morning about the albums that have eclipsed Disraeli Gears in your mind, and it struck me that none of them (the ones I've heard, anyway) were pushing music in the same direction as Cream was. Of course, no one compares to Hendrix in terms of altering the musical landscape, but Disraeli Gears certainly was going in a different direction than Absolutely Free, Sgt. Pepper's or the Doors' self-titled debut.

And speaking of '67, how did I miss listing The Who Sell Out?
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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