Mitch Mitchell & Noel Redding before The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Interviewed by journalist Richie Unterberger, Screaming Lord Sutch stated "I'm proud of the fact that so many of my Savages have gone on to much bigger things. Even Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, who went on to back Hendrix."
Would the bass player and the drummer of The Experience really meet up and be part of Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages prior to auditioning for Jimi Hendrix in Autumn 1966?
To the question did he know Mitch Mitchell before he was in the Experience? Noel Redding answered to Richard Allen (Interview in 1997): “No, not at all.” So it occures that Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell first met while auditioning for Jimi Hendrix in October 1966. Even so Redding’s paths have crossed with Mitchell a year earlier:
Chris: their respective bands took part of the same package show in September 1965. At that time, Noel Redding was guitarist with a Kentish outfit called The Burnettes while Mitch Mitchell was drummer for The Coronets who backed actor and DJ Chris Sandford.
However Redding and Mitchell weren’t in the Savages at the same time.
Noel Redding (1945 - 2003)
Noel Redding featured in the albums that Screaming Lord Sutch later released: “Lord Sutch & his heavy friends” and “Hands of Jack The Ripper”, in the early 70’s.
On “Lord Sutch & his heavy friends”, Redding played bass on 3 numbers: “Thumping Beat”, “One for You, Baby” and “L-O-N-D-O-N”. “Thumping Beat” was recorded with guitarist Jimmy Page and drummer John Bonham, both of Led Zeppelin in 1969. “One for You, Baby” and “L-O-N-D-O-N” feature less known musicians alongside Redding: Kent Henrey on guitar and Bob Metke on drums.
When he took part of these recordings, Noel Redding had just left Jimi Hendrix and started putting a band called 'Fat Mattress' together with singer Neil Landon and bass player Jim Leverton who had been both part of The Burnettes. When Landon started a solo career in late 1965, the other members of the Burnettes changed their name to The Loving Kind, teaming up with vocalist Derek Knight who had previously been in The Lonely Ones alongwith Redding in the early 60’s. They released 3 singles for Piccadilly records. Screaming Lord Sutch remembered having been supported by the Burnettes and very impressed with their musicians. He then asked The Loving Kind to back him when he appeared at Folkestone's Leas Cliff Hall on a couple of occasions in early 1966.
Mitch Mitchell (1947 - 2008)
On the other hand, it’s more difficult to pinpoint when Mitch Mitchell was drummer for Screaming Lord Sutch.
Carlo Little, who was drummer with the Savages for more than 2 decades, remembered that when he met Jimi Hendrix in cafe The Blue Boar on the M1 "All the bands would congregate there on their way back and forwards from gigs. It was just before The Experience hit the big time and they must have been touring to get themselves known. Well, Mitch Mitchell the drummer, who used to come and watch me in the early days, recognised me. He came over with Jimi and introduced me as 'the guy who started it all off for me'. "
Before joining The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mitch Mitchell had already had moderate success in Britain with some of the country's top groups, having played in Pete Nelson & the Travellers, Chris Sandford & The Coronets, the Artwoods, the Riot Squad, and Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames. He even stood in for Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, Tony Colton & The Crawdaddies, the Who, The Pretty Things and Shotgun Express.
In the early 60’s, he used to work in Jim Marshall’s music store, London, and put a band called the Soul Messengers together with other shop boys.
He was also a prolific session drummer working for producers Les Reed, Joe Meek and Denny Cordell.
If Noel Redding had worked with Jimmy Page and John Bonham while recording Sutch’s debut album, Mitch Mitchell often recorded also with Jimmy Page and another future Led Zeppelin, bassist John Paul Jones on some recording sessions for Denny Cordell (e.g.Ian Whitcomb, Brebda Lee).
Mitchell first worked for Joe Meek with the Riot Squad then The Tornados. However Meek didn’t appreciate his original way of drumming and threatened him with a shotgun: ‘If you don’t do it properly I’ll blow your fucking head off’." Knowing that Screaming Lord Sutch’s first releases were produced by Meek, Mitch Mitchell probably would have worked with his Savages about that time, alongside Ritchie Blackmore.
Posted by The Book Of Bands by Alain, Christine and others