“Jimi was a genius guitarist, but the recording sessions were chaos, and onstage, it was getting ridiculous”: Why Noel Redding quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience

American guitarist and singer Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) seated in centre with, on left, drummer Mitch Mitchell (1946-2008) and, on right, bassist Noel Redding (1945-2003) of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in London circa August 1967.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Noel Redding became the first recruit for the Jimi Hendrix Experience soon after Hendrix arrived in London in 1966. Having jammed on Hey Joe and Have Mercy on Me Baby, Redding went on to play bass on the group’s first three studio albums – Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland.

Speaking to Bass Player in August 1993, Redding recalled the urgent, chord-heavy bass style he developed to drive the Experience. “We were a very spontaneous group – just plug in and play. Except for the occasional riff Jimi would ask me to double, I was free to come up with my own basslines.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.