November 13, 2008
Mitch Mitchell died yesterday. He was the original drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience on the three albums they made together in the 1960s. He was 61.
I was “taught” how to play drums by Mitch – I listened to his every flam and rim-shot under my headphones as a teenager. Trying to keep up with Mitch on songs like “Manic Depression” or “Cross-town Traffic” was nearly impossible. But I eventually was able to mimic his style of explosive percussion that served me well in many R’n’R outfits.
You can hear Max Roach’s influence in Mitch’s playing. He was quite the anomaly in rock as he was basically a jazz player who learned to adapt to those towering Marshalls that Jimi favored. Mitch was also one of the first drummers to work with double kick drums.
With Mitch’s passing, all of the original Experience players are now gone.