John "Mitch" Mitchell, most famous for rocking the drums behind Jimi Hendrix and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead in a hotel in Portland, OR on Wednesday, November 12. Mitchell, who was 61, was the last surviving original member of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Jimi died in 1970 while bassist Noel Redding died in 2003.
Early reports from the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's office say Mitch likely died of natural causes. He was in town touring with the Experience Hendrix tour and was staying at the Benson Hotel when an employee found his body at 3 A.M.
Mitchell was known for his upbeat drumming style which would later be known as "fusion". Along with his work with Hendrix, Mitchell also collaborated with the likes of Jeff Beck, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jack Bruce, and more. In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
It would be hard to find a good drummer today who couldn't cite Mitch Mitchell as an influence to them. His death is truly a large blow to the music world and he will be missed. In passing, he leaves behind his wife, his daughter, two grandchildren, and his mother.
Footage of Mitch Mitchell doing what he does best can be found here.
Report by David Lowe-Bianco.