Remembering Jimi Hendrix Experience's Noel Redding

(Gibson) On this day in 2003, Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding died at his home in Ireland at age 57. Redding played on the classic Hendrix albums Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. Gibson takes a look back:

Noel Redding, who died in Ireland on this day in 2003, was, according to his manager Ian Grant, "very kind-hearted and warm. Take away his role as the bass player in the largest rock trio of all time, and strip away all the glory of his musical career. As a human being he was a fabulous guy."

That rock trio was the Jimi Hendrix Experience, for whom the guitar-playing Redding switched to bass and ended up working on three seminal Hendrix albums.

Born in the seaside town of Folkestone in England on Christmas Day, 1945, Redding went the art school route into the music business, playing with various bands and culminating in a residency in Germany with the Burnettes. But it was going nowhere fast and Redding was contemplating applying to be a milkman when, in 1966, he saw an ad in Melody Maker.

He didn't get the gig for Eric Burdon's New Animals, but then fate intervened as Redding recalled in his autobiography, Are You Experienced? "Chas Chandler came up and asked if I could play bass. I said: 'No, but I'll give it a go.' So I played with a drummer, Aynsley Dunbar, a keyboard player, Mike O'Neill, and this American gentleman, quiet and very polite, who turned out to be Jimi Hendrix."

Not that the change to bass was all that easy. Redding told Goldmine magazine: "I'd never played bass before in my life. What I did, being a guitar player, I just withdrew the top two strings and thought about the four that were left. Chas gave me a few little learners, a few pointers, and after that, I had it sussed." more on this story

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