We’re in the living room of his modest detached house in a suburban road in Kent.I look around for mementoes of his tumultuous life, but see instead pictures of his fourth wife, a beautiful South African woman. “Oh you know, ‘Rock star loses millions and comes back home penniless’. What should have been a sunny semi-retirement in South Africa, playing jazz gigs when it suited him and breeding polo ponies, came last year to an unhappy end.“I was obsessed with the idea of being a professional cyclist when I was a kid, and I rode everywhere.I worked in the art department of an ad agency, and I used to ride in on my bike every morning.He has almost destroyed himself, too, with a drug habit he only kicked in the Eighties.His name alone brings two images uppermost to my mind.
The other comes from the documentary Beware of Mr Baker, which opens next week.
“You’re not going to do a Daily Mail on me, are you? Makes a good headline,” he says, in a tone that’s almost querulous. He brought a court case against a bank clerk whom he says defrauded him of hundreds of thousands.
Baker won the case, but it ruined him, and he had to sell the estate for a fraction of its value.
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Another story reveals something else: the incredible drive that overcomes all obstacles.