How much do professional bass players earn

The Noel Redding Experiences: Bass player by and after Jimi Hendrix

by Lothar Trampert,

When Chas Chandler, the Bassist of Animals, moved Jimi Hendrix from New York to London in 1966, it was the end of the coziness in the blossoming rock music. The Jimi Hendrix Experience with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding is founded, and a career steeple begins. Redding left the band three years later, and Jimi Hendrix's ghost left this planet 15 months later. Business can begin - but without Mr. Redding. More on this in the following interview.

Sunday, September 14, 1997 in a London hotel: Noel Redding (51) picks up the G&B edition he has brought with him, turns the pages and says that he can read the German written language to some extent. He learned that in the 1960s, between numerous gigs in Germany.

G&B: You played in Germany very early on ...

Noel: Cologne was the first city I got to know, that was in 1964, I was 18. At that time I played with Neil Landon & The Burnettes; back then we played in Storyville, on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring. Hahaha, I remember that. And then I played in Frankfurt, Wuppertal and Duisburg ... Yes, I was still very young. I turned pro when I was 17, but I had to wait a year to get a work permit for Germany.

G&B: In those jobs you were still a guitarist ...

Noel: Clear. I started playing the violin when I was nine, and that was a tough job. Then I played the mandolin, then I tried the banjo, and when I was 12 or 13 I started playing the guitar. A year later I played in my first small band. And at 17 I was a professional.

G&B: What kind of music did you listen to in the mid 60s, when you met Hendrix?

Noel: The early stuff, that was skiffle music, what Lonnie Donegan was doing - everyone knew it. Then I heard Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Hank Marvin and The Shadows. Even as a child I always listened to Radio Luxemburg, they played that sort of thing too. Yeah, and then came Booker T. & The MGs. When we later worked in Germany, the club owners always wanted to hear “pop music”; and when we played in Frankfurt, where all the American GIs went, I heard about the blues for the first time. There were always a few black Americans who would tell something or bring me a record. And I really hadn't heard of it before. I'm a rock'n'roll musician who came from the skiffle.

G&B: And the story that you played bass for the first time at the audition with Hendrix is ​​really true?

Noel: Yes, I was just a guitarist before. I had just been audited for a job with Eric Burdon, but someone else got that. Someone then asked if I could play bass too. I said, "No, but I'll try." And then I got into a conversation with this American gentleman, we had a couple of beers, and he then asked me if I would like to play in his band. As a bass player! I really had never played bass before. That's it.

G&B: Do you still remember your equipment back then?

Noel: Yeah Yeah We played three numbers without singing. A drummer was there, a keyboard, Hendrix and me. Chas lent me his bass back then, it was an old Epiphone, such a big semi-acoustic. I can't remember the amp. Today I only play a Fender Jazz Bass, and I've been playing that since the Experience days; and I've been using Rotosound strings since 1967. I've always played with a plectrum, with Jim Dunlop picks. And when it comes to the amps, I don't care what I play about. The main thing is that the thing is loud! Tube, transistor, it doesn't make any difference to me. I'm not that petty. When I'm on the road in Germany now and play these workshop gigs, I don't even take my own bass with me. Either I borrow one for the tour or I play with what I find.

G&B: Don't you think it's interesting that most young bands, thirty years later, are still playing with the stuff that was on your stage back then?

Noel: (nods) Marshall, Fender, Gibson, Epiphone - they're all going back. And as I said: when I play the bass, I play a jazz bass, when I play the guitar, I use my Gibson acoustic with a pickup. I've been playing the electric guitar again for three weeks now. I got a Telecaster Custom from Fender ...

G&B: You haven't touched an electric guitar at all in the last few years?

Noel: No, it was just beginning again. I played bass most of the time.

G&B: With Experience, you played a lot of appearances in TV shows right from the start. How did it work back then: did you always play live?

Noel: Most of the time we played absolutely live. In 1967 we also played shows like “Top of the Pops” and we had to go there at 10am to record a backing track. In the evening at 7 p.m. only Jimi sang live to our playback. But we always preferred to really play live. (grins) However, the sound engineers often had a difficult time with us.

Jimi Hendrix Experience at Top Of The Pops 1967

G&B: It must have been pretty loud ...

Noel: Yes that was it.

G&B: And at your big gigs, the sound is said to have been rather strange back then: a lot of guitar, some drums and vocals, almost no bass. There was also no PA but a vocal system ...

Noel: (nods) Mmm. We didn't even have monitors. It was like in the rehearsal room, even when we played in a large hall. We started with marshals. In the USA we had these Sunn amps for a while, I had three 400-watt tops, plus six boxes with 2 × 15 ”equipment each, and Jimi had another box at ear level. He played four Marshall boxes over two or three Marshall amps. And there weren't any monitors. Then in 1969 we got an old PA system for Mitch because he didn't really hear anything. He is always quoted as saying that he constantly looked at my foot when he no longer knew where he was in the song.

G&B: I would love to experience this old sound, in a hall from back then, and with this equipment. You can't imagine it if you haven't experienced it.

Noel: Yeah, that's exactly it. No monitors! (grins) They even have sound checks today.

G&B: To what extent were you involved in the compositions when you were working on the first albums?

Noel: I wrote a few songs, but 90 percent came from Jimi. Published by me, She’s So Fine ‘and, Little Miss Strange. But I was already involved in some of the arrangements. Jimi also used some of my riffs without my permission; but whatever…

G&B: So he processed things from you after you left the band?

Noel: Yes, they came out later: On, Crash Landing ‘, in this song, Midnight‘, that's my riff. (The album was only released in 1975, however, and is more than controversial and less than worth listening to, because strange musicians have re-recorded the songs for outtakes of Hendrix's voice and his guitar; d. Author.) But also with experience numbers like, Foxy Lady 'some of it came from me. For this song we found z. B. no end, and the idea with the B at the end came from me. For that I should have got 10 percent rights from the arrangement, hahaha!

Jimi Hendrix Experience ‘Foxy Lady’

G&B: On the other hand, this band was a prime example of interaction, and then something like that has to happen when you're working on song ideas together.

Noel: Oh yeah! Of course it was. When we were recording, the first thing we did was learn the numbers in the studio. We practiced, tried things, etc - and Chas (Chandler, the producer), god bless him, just picked it up. So he took our samples. He would sometimes say: “All right! Come over and listen to it! "Hendrix then added a few guitar sounds, added some percussion, we sang backing vocals, that's it ... - that's how it went!

G&B: Do you have a favorite Jimi Hendrix Experience album?

Noel: Yes. , Axis: Bold As Love ‘.

G&B: We agree on that. Is it true that you left the band on June 29, 1969 in Denver, Colorado after a gig?

Noel: That's true.

G&B: Have you ever played with Jimi or Mitch after that?

Noel: In 1970 I made an album in New York and Jimi came over and played a couple of tracks; but there were also conflicts. The last time I played with Mitch was… (considering) 1989 in Ireland. That was the last time.

G&B: What is he doing today?

Noel: No idea. He lives somewhere in France. I have no idea what he's doing ... Fortunately, I'm still working a lot.

G&B: What did you do after 1969?

Noel: After the experience came “Fat Mattress”, in 1971 I had a band called “Road”, a trio. We lived in Los Angeles at the time. Then I moved to Ireland and didn't play at all for a while. After two years came the "Noel Redding Band" with people from Thin Lizzy and Steve Marriott; we made two albums in 1974/75. Then I had an acoustic band, today they call it “Unplugged”, hahaha! From 1980 to 1990 I lived with my wife, Carol Appleby, who died in a car accident. After that I just worked a lot, in the last seven years ... (pensive) I've been on the road for 34 years now.

G&B: What are your plans for the near future?

Noel: First I come to Germany, then I play in Vienna, in January I am going to Los Angeles, because there they are performing a “Noel Redding Bass” on the NAMM show. And I'm supposed to put my hands in the wet cement on Sunset Boulevard, hahaha!

I've been to the NAMM show earlier this year and it was great. The Fender folks asked me if I would like to sign a few autographs. But of course! (grins) Three full hours later I had to go to a second hand shop. Hahahaha! That's how it is! Otherwise I'm still working on a book. My wife has already created a book from my diary entries and notes, “Are You Experienced?” (London, 1990; the author). And now I am planning a different approach: I take my diary again, but write my personal comments every day, from today's perspective.

G&B: Have you ever felt like a pop star?

Noel: No. I never jumped on stage, and neither did Mitch. We were always the people behind the front man. Sure, Jimi couldn't have done it on stage without us: Mitch often pulled along when he played a solo, and when they wanted to get back into the music, into the song, then I was there for orientation. I never wanted to be a pop star either, I always wanted to be a really professional musician.

G&B: This concept that you just described made the experience, as far as the interaction is concerned, much more interesting than other trios, such as Cream, for example. B ...

Noel: Yes! Hendrix was a blues musician, Mitch was a very jazz drummer, and I was a rock musician. And that was it: blues, jazz & rock. That made the band reasonably interesting I think.

G&B: And Hendrix also played with himself as a singer, rhythm and lead guitarist.

Noel: Exactly. I always say he was the only one who could play rhythm and lead at the same time. And that's what he did.

G&B: Do you remember when you noticed the first bands that were more or less based on the experience?

Noel: That was around 1968/69 when there were a few bands like that. Rory Gallagher, god bless him, he was heavily influenced by Jimi back then. And Gary Moore too: He came to one of our gigs in Belfast when he was just 13 years old, that was 1967. And this guy from Thin Lizzy, Scott Gorham, saw us in America in 1967 when he was 14; I met him later. And Sting saw us in Newcastle when we were 15 - I met him in Italy a few months ago - and he says he remembers the band very vividly; it impressed him.

G&B: What kind of farewell was it when you left the band: a separation for personal or musical reasons?

Noel: The band was at the peak of their career then and I thought it was time to quit. Chas (Chandler) was of the same opinion. After that it really didn't go any better. There was talk of doing it again, but it just didn't happen, for some reason.

G&B: When did you get your last check for working with the experience?

Noel: I never saw a check or anything after that for everything I did with the experience. I only got money for my two songs, and that's it. Otherwise there was nothing. Nothing at all. But that's a story in itself ...


I don't live today

You don’t live today, Jimi! How lucky, because you didn't have to see September 14, 1997 in London's West End. What happened? Hendrix's friend Kathy Etchingham once rented an apartment at 23 Brook Street, which Jimi moved into at the end of 1968. He almost got to know the composer Georg Friedrich Handel, who resided in the neighboring house; Unfortunately, however, he had moved out almost two hundred years earlier, supposedly because various BritPop bands from the neighborhood robbed him of the nerve to compose. Back to the present? OK. Kathy Etchingham had suggested that the former Hendrix house be awarded a so-called "Blue Plaque", as happened before with Handel's asylum. This is not a rare form of dental plaque in alcoholics, but a simple information sticker that is now said to be in almost every second house in London.

Jimi Hendrix Plaque:

Here is the commented PROGRAM OF EVENTS this early evening:

5.30am - 6pm Guests arrive: There was a lot of audience, press, TV, etc. on site, some well-known faces, Noel Redding, Pete Townshend, Colosseum singer Chris Farlowe, a representative of Animals and a lot of toupees who were nodding and waving to the people, grinning and aging toupees - Bearers who, however, only get questioning looks: “Who is that…?” In addition to initiator Kathy Etchingham, who does not let any camera lens unsigned, some other music lovers from the early years have gathered - Hendrix is ​​said to have been a sociable person, eager to learn and always interested in a new, delicious breakfast variant.

Mrs. Etchingham then mentions in a short speech the many friends who unfortunately cannot be present, not because of scheduling problems (Jeff Beck was probably hanging under his car again), but because they are no longer with us: Keith Moon, Brian Jones, John Lennon, Chas Chandler and many other “friends” of Jimi - of course she forgets her successor in the life of Mr. Hendrix, Monika Dannemann, who took her own life last year; but after all they had hated and litigated each other for thirty years, and now they wanted to enjoy the party. And - let's just say it openly: It is a great thing to be celebrated a little yourself. Back then it wasn't that easy either. After all, Jimi wasn't even shopping ...

6.00pm Ceremony opened by Francis Cornwath, Chairman, Blue Plaque Working Group. Right. And the Working Group did a really good job ... Well, who is standing in the middle of the audience, surrounded by journalists? It's Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, and his daughter. The old man's eyes are rather wet when he is asked why he is not in the locked VIP area. He mumbles something about "not invited" or "unloaded" and his daughter also looks slightly confused. Well, what the heck; at some point the boat will be full, Mr. Hendrix. And others want something from the fame too ...

6.05 Speeches by Noel Redding and Pete Townshend. It's nice that two completely normal people were invited. Noel thanks him briefly, reads something aloud, and Pete Townshend also gives a short, self-deprecating, then intense speech: “The important thing to say is that Jimi was extremely unique, both as a musician and as a performer. Who only knows his records, knows only a small part of what he has done as a musician. He was the absolute master of live performance - impressive, overwhelming, erotic, psychic - because he brought light to the stage ... Jimi was unique, and not all rock and pop artists deserve this award. He was an innovator in the time when rock, blues and jazz came together - Jimi brought so many currents together ... For me he is now somewhere up there with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker ... "

Pete Townshend unveils the English Heritage blue plaque to Jimi Hendrix. The simple curtain strip enables the two Ado stores to move sideways: you can see the “blue plaque”.

6.20pm Photocall: window to right of blue plaque. Wave, wave! Haallooo!

6.30pm Guests depart for private party courtesy of MOJO magazine. The few familiar faces quickly scattered in various directions, and the attached bubble probably helped the fading memories of that time with a few champagne inhalations. And even those who had once again looked too deeply into the glass certainly took one of Jimi Hendrix's latest findings to heart: Always lie on your side when you feel sick! Unfortunately, this popular wisdom did not help him, but he saved himself the event described here. On the other hand - and you have to say that: a TÜV sticker for culturally significant Hausen is also a great thing ...

You can find playalongs and karaoke versions of Jimi Hendrix pieces in our Playalong shop!

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