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Mitch Mitchell RIP


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The last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience has passed on. Great drummer, just finished a tribute tour.


PORTLAND, Ore. – Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience of the 1960s and the group's last surviving member, was found dead in his hotel room early Wednesday. He was 61.

Mitchell was a powerful force on "Are You Experienced?" the 1967 debut album of the Hendrix band. He had an explosive drumming style that can be heard in hard-charging songs such as "Fire" and "Manic Depression."

The Englishman had been drumming for the Experience Hendrix Tour, which performed Friday in Portland. It was the last stop on the West Coast part of the tour.

Hendrix died in 1970. Noel Redding, bass player for the trio, died in 2003.

An employee at Portland's Benson Hotel called police after discovering Mitchell's body.

Erin Patrick, a deputy medical examiner, said Mitchell apparently died of natural causes. An autopsy was planned.

Bob Merlis, a spokesman for the tour, said Mitchell had stayed in Portland for a four-day vacation and planned to leave Wednesday.

"It was a devastating surprise," Merlis said. "Nobody drummed like he did."

He said he saw Mitchell perform two weeks ago in Los Angeles, and the drummer appeared to be healthy and upbeat.

Merlis said the tour was designed to bring together veteran musicians who had known Hendrix — like Mitchell — and younger artists, such as Grammy-nominated winner Jonny Lang, who have been influenced by him.

Mitchell was a one-of-a-kind drummer whose "jazz-tinged" style was a vital part of both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Experience Hendrix Tour that ended last week, Merlis said. "If Jimi Hendrix were still alive," Merlis said, "he would have acknowledged that."

Mitchell played for numerous other bands but was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1992.

According to the Hall of Fame, he was born July 9, 1947, in Ealing, England.

Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell held their first rehearsal in October 1996, according to the Hall of Fame's Web site.

In an interview last month with the Boston Herald, Mitchell said he met Hendrix "in this sleazy little club."

"We did some Chuck Berry and took it from there," Mitchell told the newspaper. "I suppose it worked."

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Great, great drummer.....I saw the JH Experience three times in '67-'68 ((1) Ambassador Theater in DC, with another 125 people or so....although there are about 20,000 people now claiming they were there. "Are You Experienced?" hadn't been released in this country yet; (2) the Washington Hilton Ballroom, with the Soft Machine opening - "Axis: Bold As Love" was on the verge of being released; and (3) Columbia, MD. - Merriweather Post Pavilion - the band was famous by that point.

Noel's passing a few years ago wasn't a surprise. Mitch's dying is.....RIP

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