The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The classic line up was put together by Chas Chandler (ex-bass player with the Animals), who had seen Hendrix in New York in 1966, after the Rolling Stones' management had passed on the chance to sign him up.

It was Chandler who found the two English members once he had got Hendrix to London later that year. Noel Redding was actually a guitarist, but agreed to play bass. John "Mitch" Mitchell was only given the drum stool after Chandler and Hendrix, unable to choose between Mitchell and Aynsley Dunbar after auditioning both, decided to toss a coin to decide. Mitch won (it didn't hurt Dunbar's career).

The line-up lasted from October, 1966 to June, 1969, when Redding quit (jumping at the same time he was being pushed). It was responsible for three albums:

  • Are You Experienced (1967)

  • Axis: Bold As Love (1968)

  • Electric Ladyland (1968)

It is hard to over-state the impact of Hendrix on the English stars who queued up to see him play, and then worried for their careers once they had (Clapton and Townshend especially). The impact on the public was equally extreme. One of the first "power trios", and playing an eclectic, psychedelic mix with different roots in blues, R n' B, and jazz, they had instant chart success. They also produced one of those rare covers worth the effort - Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower", on Electric Ladyland. They also had success in the USA, triggered by their appearance at the Monterey festival in 1967.

The longevity data for the band is shown below.

So far, this is the shortest lived major band I have been able to find:

Average DOB: 18 February 1945

Average DOD: 24 April 1994

Average age: 49 years 2 months

Interestingly, every band member died in a different country to the one in which they were born.

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