Thursday, November 13, 2008

END OF AN EXPERIENCE

I just read that Mitch Mitchell, best known as the Jimi Hendrix Experience's drummer, died last night. This means, of course, that all three members of a groundbreaking act are dead. Unlike Noel Redding, Mitchell continued to work with Jimi after The Experience broke up.

Mitchell was only 61 years-old.

No one needs to explain how revolutionary Jimi was, in terms of his guitar prowess, his arrangements, his recording techniques, his stage persona. Even non fans are aware of what he brought to the table.

But Mitch Mitchell, too, was a trailblazing drummer. No rock drummer before him, and very few after, played the way he did -- attacking the snare and cymbals with a nimble, quick, almost melodic style. More like jazz drumming in its way. Think of his work on "Fire."

Anyhow, I'll leave the analysis of his artistry to those who know what they're talking about, and the eulogizing to those who knew the man.

But I know how great he was, and how much he drove the music of one of those meteors that flies across the musical landscape from time-to-time.

R.I.P., Mitch

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4 Comments:

Blogger DED said...

It's a shame that his talents were largely overshadowed by Hendrix. Mitchell was exceptionally gifted in his own right and his contributions were essential in shaping the sound on those albums. He did far more than just keep the beat.

He should've had a successful post-Experience career, but it just didn't happen.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

his contributions were essential in shaping the sound on those albums

Well said.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

It's a shame that his talents were largely overshadowed by Hendrix

I've often thought about what it would be like to have to be in "the band" behind Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, or some other graound-breaking talent. Is it fun? Is it awe-inspiring? Do you get tired of telling groupies that "I'm in the band" when they ask "who the Hell are you?"

10:34 AM  
Blogger George said...

Mike, you have to get over the Mitch Mitchell thing and get back to blogging.

4:21 PM  

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