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James Baker



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James Baker (born 7 March 1954) is a rock musician from Perth, Western Australia. He has drummed with, and was instrumental in the founding of several influential Australian bands including The Scientists, Hoodoo Gurus, Beasts of Bourbon, The Dubrovniks and The Painkillers.

Early days
Baker has named Ronnie Bond of The Troggs as the main influence on his drumming style. He first started drumming for a local Perth band, Black Sun (1973–1974), followed by The Slick City Boys (1974–1975).

“I was in a Beatles covers band. I saw Ringo Starr and I said I want to do that.”- James Baker

When he was 16 he travelled to the United States and England, where he was influenced by early live performances of The Ramones, Flamin’ Groovies, The Dictators and Johnny Thunders. It was during these travels that he met Sid Vicious

“I met Sid Vicious on a bus in London in September 76. My first day in London. I had a New York Dolls t-shirt on and he came up and sat next to me and said how much he liked the New York Dolls. I told him I’d just seen Johnny Thunders in New York and he told me Johnny Thunders was apparently thinking of coming to England. Which he did. So he got that one right. He introduced himself as John Richie, which was his name not Sid Vicious.”- James Baker

He also almost auditioned for The Clash
“I met Joe Strummer and Mick Jones at a pub after a Damned gig. I had a Ramones t-shirt on and they came up to me and talked to me about that. They said they needed a drummer. But I hadn’t played for a year so.” - James Baker

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