James Baker | Credit: Martin Philbey

Beasts Of Bourbon’s James Baker Shares Final Solo EP ‘Born To Rock’

James Baker – the founding drummer of Beasts Of Bourbon and the Hoodoo Gurus – has shared his debut solo EP, entitled Born to Rock. The six-track collection, released under the moniker of James Baker & The Groundbreakers, is only the second solo release in Baker’s 51-year career – he had previously solely released a 7-inch single, ‘Born To Be Punched’, in 1986. Its release today (March 7) coincides with Baker’s 70th birthday, and is billed as his final release on account of his terminal cancer diagnosis.

“I think rock was always what I was meant to do,” said Baker in a press statement. “As many of you know, it’s not the easiest path, but I’ve had a blast. I’m heading towards the end of the show, but hey: I’ve made my music for me, and all of you. I really hope you will all continue to enjoy and love rock & roll as much as I have.”

James Baker Experience – ‘Born To Be Punched’

Born To Rock is available exclusively as a 12-inch vinyl, which is being sold in Australia via Strangeworld Records. “[This] is a very limited edition,” the label noted. “We have a very small amount for our mail order, and when they’re gone that’s it.” Baker is set to celebrate the release of the EP with a birthday gig at The Duke Of George in East Fremantle next Sunday, March 17th, with support from Abbe May. Tickets for that show are available now via Moshtix.

To commemorate what is likely to be one of Baker’s final shows, Buttercup Records have shared a limited edition t-shirt with the poster for the show printed on the front. Only 70 of the shirts will be made, nodding to it being Baker’s 70th birthday, and all proceeds will go to the Baker family. The shirt is available for order now via the label’s website.

“The support my friends, [my] rock & roll family and the industry have shown during this chapter of my life and career is truly incredible,” said Baker. “I will never have enough words to thank you all.”

Baker’s final tour will take place this April as part of The Beasts, the Beasts of Bourbon off-shoot that retired the original name out of respect following the death of founding guitarist Spencer P. Jones in 2018. The band played two shows last year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Beasts of Bourbon’s formation, and will undertake a six-date Alive tour to give Baker a proper send-off. The full itinerary can be found below.

The Beasts Alive 2024 Australian Tour

  • Friday April 5th – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
  • Saturday April 6th – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
  • Friday April 12th – The Gov, Adelaide SA
  • Saturday April 13th – Freo.Social, Fremantle WA
  • Friday April 19th – Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights VIC
  • Saturday April 20th – Northcote Theatre, Melbourne VIC

Tickets available now via TexPerkins.com.

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