Mitch Mitchell, the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and last surviving member of the groundbreaking band, was discovered dead yesterday in his Portland hotel room. The 61-year-old had been touring the US west coast with the Experience Hendrix tour, which had made a stop in Portland.
Believed to have died of natural causes, according to the Associated Press an employee at the Benson Hotel called police after discovering Mitchell's body this morning.
Alongside Hendrix and bass player Noel Redding, the trio formed in 1966 and released their debut album Are You Experienced? in 1967, going on to make Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland before dissolving in 1970, shortly before Hendrix's death. Redding died in 2003.
Credited with developing a "fusion" drumming style that melded his jazz background with rock 'n' roll, Mitchell's work can be heard on famous tracks including "Manic Depression", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "Crosstown Traffic". He also drummed in the supergroup Dirty Mac with John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. After Hendrix's death, Mitchell finished production work on several incomplete Hendrix recordings, including Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, which were released posthumously.