Mike Baker – vocals
My friend (Shadow Gallery’s) Gary Wehrkamp phoned to give me the horrible news about Mike. I was stunned and deeply saddened…this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Although unfortunately we never met in person, I definitely considered Mike one of my close friends. Through the years we had sent each other many CDRs with the most obscure music we could find. We also exchanged countless lengthy emails where we always tried to outsmart each other with loads of Alice Cooper quotes and — most importantly — “insult” each other at every chance we got. For some reason Mike was “The Bastard” and I was “The Bitch” 🙂 We emailed some weeks before his demise when I asked him for a photo for the Ayreon compilation box booklet (Timeline). I can’t believe that the last thing I said to him was that I needed his photo because people need something to laugh at as well…he jokingly told me that the compilation would hopefully revive his career once again, and I teasingly replied “or destroy mine”. It was our great mutual admiration that made it possible for us to kid around like this.
Mike did an amazing job on Loser, and his performance makes it one of my favourite tracks. When I told him this, he replied: “Flattery will get you everywhere…but ya can’t brown nose old Bakey so easy…at least buy me dinner & a movie first!” We also recorded an Alice Cooper cover together (How you Gonna See me Now) which ended up on a single. I will sorely miss him, both the friend and the singer. Luckily he leaves a great musical Legacy behind: all the great Shadow Gallery albums. Lots of strength goes out to all the friends Bakes has left behind. To end with a (slightly modified) Cooper quote: “Remember the Bake, huh?”