Mitch Mitchell was the backbone behind Jimi Hendrix’s guitar wizardry. To this day there are many drummers who have based their entire methodology on the unique combination of grace and fire that defined his playing.
Mitchell was born on July 9, 1947 in Ealing, Middlesex, England. In 1966, as part of the close-knit London music scene, Mitchell worked with Georgie Flame And The Blue Flames, a well-known R&B group in Europe, until he was fired. A day later, Mitchell was invited by Chas Chandler (formerly of The Animals) to audition for a lineup being formed around Hendrix. After a couple of jam sessions he was offered the gig, and he, Jimi Hendrix, and bassist Noel Redding formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Mitchell’s skill and technique is evident in songs like “Manic Depression” and “Voodoo Child” where you hear the distinct ends of the spectrum of his playing. Mitchell’s jazz vocabulary enabled him to be musically verbose, yet also restrained in order to serve the song in question. Mitchell and Hendrix were a musical collaboration that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Lennon and McCartney and Page and Plant. They pushed each other's playing to new heights and pioneered a form of rock-fusion that continues to influence bands and artists of today.
After Hendrix’s untimely death in 1970, Mitchell worked with engineer Eddie Kramer to finish production work on multiple incomplete Hendrix recordings, Cry Of Love and Rainbow Bridge. In 1972 Mitchell teamed up with guitarists April Lawton and Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly) to form the innovative group Ramatam.
In 1999 Mitchell appeared on the late Bruce Cameron's album Midnight Daydream, which included former Hendrix alumni Billy Cox and Buddy Miles along with Jack Bruce of Cream, with whom Mitchell had worked after Hendrix' death. Recently, he was part of the Gypsy Sun Experience Band, along with former Hendrix bassist Billy Cox and guitarist Gary Serkin
In November 2008, while on tour in tribute to Hendrix, Mitchell died in his sleep of natural causes. He was the last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.