Mitch Mitchell

I couldn't let the week go by and not mention the passing of Mitch Mitchell (far right) There is something to be said about self taught musicians. They are able to deliver from outside the box and the Jimi Hendrix Experience was only one prime example from that period of musical expression and exploration.
These many years after the dissolution of The Experience and after the death of Jimi, I still have the rolling and cascading drum rolls of Mitch Mitchell from the song "Manic Depression" beating through my head.

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Mitch Mitchell, a pioneering drummer best known for his work with 1960s rock icon Jimi Hendrix, died on Wednesday, at age 62.

Mitchell was found dead in his Portland, Oregon, hotel room. A Multnomah County coroner's spokesman said it appeared he died of natural causes, although a formal finding had not yet been issued.

The drummer had been in Portland for the last stop on an 18-city U.S. tour with Experience Hendrix, a concert series celebrating the legacy of the late rock star.

"We're all devastated to hear of Mitch's passing. He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend," Hendrix's sister, Janie Hendrix, said in a statement on behalf of the estate.

"His role in shaping the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience cannot be underestimated," she said. "Over the course of the recent tour, he seemed delighted with the interchange with the other musicians and the audiences. There is no question that he was doing what he loved."

The British-born Mitchell started in show business as a child actor but abandoned that for his true love, jazz and rock music.

He was a top session drummer who joined the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 and backed the rocker for his legendary performance at Woodstock three years later. He drummed on Hendrix classics such as "Fire," "Manic Depression" and "Third Stone from the Sun."

Mitchell also is credited with helping to develop a "fusion" drumming style that combined rock with jazz and was influenced by such jazz giants as Elvin Jones and Max Roach.

The style made the drums essentially a lead instrument, an innovative concept in rock and roll.

Hendrix - a songwriter, guitarist and showman - was a pioneer of the 1960's psychedelic rock scene who died in September, 1970, at the age of 27.

As I said before Only those that know, know. You don't be talking about Jimi. You can't hear Jimi. And bow your head an reverence at the passing of someone that deserved better in life.


Anonymous said…
While the loss of Mitchell is indeed sad, I am stoked with envy by the jacket he wears in the photo you posted. If we can't bring Mitch Mitchell back, can't we bring back the look?!- Jeni
justrose said…
Wow. LOVE him and that drumming! Lost hearing in 11th grade listening to the greatest hits tape on my walkman on the El.

Now I have dated myself entirely.
David Snusgrop said…
One of the best drummers of all time, no doubt.
Tim said…
I once dressed like that, Jeni. Let the freak flag fly high!
Rosie - hearing or no, you're the best! LOL
Christ Dave, I have only this one thought rolling round my head, I hope he had a good life. Rock n roll can be so cruel and the record companies, managers and producers can make prison rape look kind.
rip, mitch mitchell