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Noel Redding Dies

Hendrix bassist was fifty-seven

May 12, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Noel Redding, the English bassist best known for playing in the Jimi Hendrix Experience between 1966 and 1969, died yesterday of unknown causes; he was fifty-seven.

Redding was born Christmas Day 1945 in Kent, England. Along with drummer Mitch Mitchell, he was recruited by Hendrix's manager, Chas Chandler, to form the Experience, and one year after the band started, it charted in the U.K. with "Hey Joe," which reached Number Six. The band's debut album, Are You Experienced?, reached Number Five, and the Experience reached legendary status in the U.S. after an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The band continued its successful ways with the release of two albums in 1968, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland, which charted at Number Three and Number One respectively.

Amid creative and personal squabbling, Redding left the Experience in 1969 and started Fat Mattress, who released a self-titled album that year and Fat Mattress 2 in 1970. Redding then formed the Noel Redding Band, which issued a pair of recordings, Clonakilty Cowboys in 1975 and Blowin' in 1976.

Redding then moved to Ireland where he spent the remainder of his life. Relations between the bassist and the Hendrix estate were strained from the time of his departure from the band until his death. Redding maintained that he was underpaid for his services in the band, and that he had received no royalties from those three years.

As a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

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