Mitch Mitchell

John GrahamMitchMitchell (9 July 1946 – 12 November 2008) was an English drummer and child actor, who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience for which he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mitchell was born in Ealing, Middlesex, to Phyliss C (née Preston) and Thomas J Mitchell on 9 July 1946 (although several modern sources have incorrectly claimed that he was born in 1947). As a twelve year old, he had a leading role in the British film Bottoms Up (1960) with Jimmy Edwards. As a teenager he starred in a children’s television programme, Jennings at School and also had a bit part in the 1963 film Live It Up! which starred Heinz Burt, David Hemmings and Steve Marriott.

Mitchell became a musician through working at Jim Marshall‘s drum shop on Saturdays while still at school. Among drummers, his chief influences were Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. One of his first bands was the Soul Messengers, formed at the Ealing Club with saxophonist Terry Marshall, son of Jim Marshall.

Early in his career, he gained considerable musical experience as a touring and session musician, working with Pete Nelson and the Travellers, Frankie Reid and the Casuals (1962), Johnny Harris and the Shades, the Pretty Things, Bill Knight & the Sceptres, the Riot Squad, and the Who as a session drummer while the band was in the process of replacing Doug Sandom with Keith Moon. In 1965, he also temporarily replaced Viv Prince as drummer in the Pretty Things.

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