Mitch Mitchell, the inimitable drummer featured in all of the Jimi Hendrix material in Monterey Pop, died this week at age sixty-one. A one-of-a-kind player, Mitchell was the perfect foil for Hendrix and integral to the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. His roiling, explosive approach was a rhythmic analogue to Jimi’s redefinition of the guitar.
For the Monterey Pop Criterion release, we had a hell of a time trying to re-create that huge drum sound from the studio records. The great remote recordist at Monterey, Wally Heider, did a valiant job just trying to get anything on tape. The seven-track master we had to work with had mics being moved and repatched in the middle of songs. Drums were an afterthought to the vocals and guitar, so legendary engineer Eddie Kramer had to build much of the drum sound from bass player Noel Redding’s open vocal mic!
Mitchell was a great drummer and musician. The world is indeed a lesser place without him.—Michael W. Wiese