Early yesterday morning, Mitch Mitchell died. The body of the 61-year-old drummer was found in a hotel room in Portland, Ore. There as no evidence of foul play, according to the Portland police, who said the death appeared to be from “natural causes.”
Mitchell, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was one of the first drummers I tried to emulate when I was teaching myself to play drums as a teen.
He was the drummer in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. His drummin was fabulous on some of my favorite Hendrix tracks, such as “Crosstown Traffic,” “Fire,” “Manic Depression,” “I Don’t Live Today,” “Stone Free” and “Little Miss Lover.”
Every band I was in growing up had a Hendrix tune ready to flip out if we needed it. My favorite song to play was “Fire.” I thought Mitchell’s drumming was intuitively inspired on that 2 minute 44 second sonic storm.
Here’s to Mitch Mitchell, and you can be sure I’ll crank up the Hendrix albums the remainder of this week.