He thundered the Rock scene during the late 1960’s as the drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Influential drummer Mitch Mitchell was born on this day in 1946
Born John Graham Mitchell in Ealing, Middlesex, England on July 9, 1946, Mitch Mitchell thundered the Rock scene during the late 1960’s as the drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. During the mid 1960’s, Mitchell started to build a name for himself, by playing with several bands and doing studio work with bands including The Who while the band was in the process of replacing Doug Sandom with Keith Moon. While successful as a session musician, Mitchell aimed for more and in October 1966 he auditioned for a band that was being put together, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitchell’s was the perfect fit to play with Hendrix, with his fast, driving, jazz influenced playing meshing well with Hendrix’s revolutionary approach to the electric guitar. With The Experience, featuring Jimi Hendrix on guitar/vocals and Noel Redding on bass, Mitchell recorded three absolute and timeless Rock albums, “Are You Experienced?”, “Axis: Bold As Love” both from 1967 and “Electric Ladyland” from 1968. With Hendrix’s untimely death in 1970, Mitchell still worked on the posthumous albums “The Cry of Love” and “Rainbow Bridge”. During the late 1960’s, Mitchell became one of the most famous drummers in the Rock scene. The sudden success of The Jimi Hendrix Experience turned him into a star drummer, and one of the best examples of this, was when Mitchell was invited to take part in the All Star band assembled for The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus TV special in 1968. The Dirty Mac featured Mitchell on the drums, John Lennon on guitar and vocals, Keith Richards on bass, Eric Clapton on guitar and also Yoko Ono on vocals. After Jimi Hendrix’s death, for the rest of the 1970’s through to the 1990’s, Mitchell, semi-retired and living in Europe, continued to perform and occasionally record. He played in several Jazz projects and during the 2000’s went back on the road with the Experience Hendrix Tour, that also included other big names such as Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Robby Krieger (The Doors) and Brad Whitford (Aerosmith). On 12 November, 2008, five days after the tour ended Mitch Mitchell died in his sleep in his room at the Benson Hotel in Portland of “natural causes, aged 62. He was the last surviving member of the original Experience and had planned to leave Portland that day to return to his home in England. He end up being buried in Seattle, just like his friend and bandmate Jimi Hendrix.
Watch The Jimi Hendrix Experience concert live in Stockholm, Sweden, 1969
Also watch: The Dirty Mac, the supergroup featuring John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell performing “Yer’ Blues” in 1968
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