This is an entry from my myspace blog that I wrote on Satuday, November 22nd after finding out that famous Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer and personal hero of mine, Mitch Mitchell had died ten days before in a hotel room in Oregon, while on a Hendrix band-members reunion tour.
Rest in Peace, Mitch. You were one of the first rock drummers to really practice and work at your craft. Your Jazz influence and explosive playing was a real eye opener to kids who had been listening to Ringo and had never crossed over to hear Max or Philly, etc. To me you were the only fitting drummer for Hendrix. Buddy was cool, but more for his motown voice and the tunes they were doing at the time. Jeanette Kangas once compared you to Elvin saying that after Jimi died other people couldn't really hang with you or maybe didn't want to. You had that driving, over-playing type of style that fit so well with Jimi's mastery like Jones fit with Coltrane, but in other contexts was not quite the same. Some may disagree with this, but I think she was definitely on to something. Maybe you didn't want to play with others because they could never be Jimi... Maybe you just never had the same success with other groups... sort of slipped into Jeff Beck status as a drummer... I've got to try to find the bootlegs of the Jazz fusion project with Jack Bruce and Larry Coryell and see what else there is to hear, but the days of The Experience and the tracks that remain are enough to make you one of the greatest rock drummers on record in my mind. Maybe not the most powerful, but that b.s. is overrated anyhow.