LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions has announced that Hendrix Era: Property from the Estate of Mitch Mitchell will hit the auction stage for a special one-time-only engagement on Saturday, Nov. 4. Julien’s Auctions will pay tribute to the legendary drummer of the Jimi Hendrix Experience by offering Mitchell’s collection that includes his drum kits, memorabilia, gear, wardrobe and ephemera – all part of their Idols & Icons: Rock ’n’ Roll auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
A former child actor in British television and film turned drummer, John Graham “Mitch” Mitchell developed his signature jazz rock drumming style and skills as a touring and session musician playing from 1962 to 1966 with the likes of the Riot Squad, the Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames.
In September 1966, Mitchell was invited to “come and have a play” with a newly arrived American guitarist in London named Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix had auditioned many drummers by this time and could not find the right one to be a part of his new band until he met Mitchell. Mitchell, along with Hendrix on lead guitar and Noel Redding on bass guitar, formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the rest is rock ’n’ roll history. Mitchell’s pioneering jazz fusion drumming provided the perfect counterpunch to Jimi Hendrix’s open-stringed, revolutionary electric guitar playing.
Mitchell and Hendrix worked together for four years from 1966-1970 with Redding replaced by Billy Cox in 1969. Recordings included their debut album Are You Experienced? Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland, Smash Hits, the posthumous release of City of Love (produced by Mitch Mitchell and Eddie Kramer) and Rainbow Bridge. Their iconic performance at the Monterey Pop festival, during which Hendrix torched his guitar, has become legendary. Mitchell’s other notable performances and work include the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
Mitchell, devastated by Hendrix’s death in 1970, went on to play with Jack Bruce, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis and many others. Mitchell continued to perform and tour until his death at the age of 62 in 2008 just five days after finishing a U.S. tour celebrating the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1992.
“Mitch Mitchell’s explosive drum playing and innovative technique was the beating heart of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, one of the most influential rock bands in history,” said Darren Julien, president/chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions. “His impact remains in the canon of the greatest, most experimental rock music ever recorded and his style inspired many drummers who followed from the Police’s Stewart Copeland to Queen’s Roger Taylor. This incredible collection represents the zenith of rock ’n’ roll’s most seismic and counter-revolutionary decade that will surely exhilarate and thrill any fan of this remarkable music era.”
High-hats of this collection feature Mitchell’s legendary drum kits, such as his beloved vintage Ludwig Silver Sparkle kit played at numerous concerts and in studio as a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience (estimate: $60,000-$80,000); The Rock and Roll Circus Gretsch drum kit played in rehearsal with the supergroup Dirty Mac ($20,000-$30,000) and the DW Siberian Tiger finish drum kit, whose brand of drums and equipment, Mitchell endorsed later in his career (estimate: $10,000-$20,000). Also featured are Mitchell’s record awards, including an RIAA-certified multi-platinum award commemorating the sale of more than 2 million copies of the MCA album, compact disc and cassette Electric Ladyland (estimate: $2,000-$4,000); an RIAA-certified “gold” record award commemorating the sale of more than 500,000 copies of the Reprise album and cassette The Jimi Hendrix Experience/Otis Redding which went gold in 1970 (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); as well as his drums sticks made by Vic Firth, Calato and more (estimates ranging from $150-$4,000); Mitchell’s psychedelic wardrobe worn for various performances and social engagements, including a 1960s blue velvet mod ensemble with a floral Deborah & Clare bespoke shirt and a pair of Anello and Davide Beatle-style boots (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); an emerald green custom-made snakeskin suit (estimate $1,000-$2,000) and a 1960s multicolor shag coat (below) that Noel Redding’s mother repaired using vintage yarns (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).
Other highlights include Mitchell owned snare drums, drumheads, gongs, a chime xylophone, and programs and posters from various performances and concerts.
Julien’s blockbuster music auction event captures the excitement of a playlist spanning over 50 years of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest recordings, most iconic performances and biggest pop culture moments in history played by a who’s who of legendary music artists. Featured are the Beatles, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Jefferson Starship, Elton John, Madonna, Ziggy Marley, Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, Prince, Queen, he Rolling Stones, Slash, Sly Stone, Rod Stewart, U2, and Frank Zappa to name just some of the headliners.