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Message to Mitch

Mitch Mitchell, one of the lesser-known contributors to the British Invasion of the late 60s, passed away this week. Listen to his contributions to the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Rolling Stones's Rock and Roll Circus.

Early Wednesday morning, Mitch Mitchell was found dead in a Portland, Ore., hotel room. Most notably, he was the last surviving member of the ridiculously beloved Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hendrix's most famous and prolific trio, responsible for such incredibly favored songs as "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," "Voodoo Chile," and the Dylan cover and overused-to-cliche staple of Vietnam-focused films "All Along the Watchtower," not to mention several others. Of all the hippie-dippie crap that never really survived being dated as such in the years following the cultural revolution of the late 60s, somehow the work of this group managed to continually find favor in the decades that followed, and, though brief, their contribution to rock and roll legend has never diminished.

Mitch Mitchell died at age 61. Before joining the Jimi Hendrix Experience, he played with another amazing (but often overlooked) group, the Pretty Things, as well as the Blue Flames and John Lennon's ad hoc The Dirty Mac for the Rolling Stones's Rock and Roll Circus. Then, with the Experience, he played at Monterey, the Isle of Wight, and Woodstock. All of this, and when Jimi died, Mitch was only 23.

Encomiums are understandably being posted widely across greater blogdom, and Pitchfork helpfully compiled a selection of videos featuring the band and some of Mitchell's best work. I also find it worth noting that my very first post to the Digest featured the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The song linked below is a live performance from Berkeley of "Message to Love." Rest in peace, Mitch.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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