I had the ‘experience’ of playing with Mitch in May of this year when he was one of Mick Taylor’s ‘special guests’ for the gig in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Impish is probably the word that springs to mind when I think back to those few days we spent together.
We all met up a day or two before the gig to go through the various material that might be used for the final set. Mitch’s drum roadie got in before Mitch did and he proceeded to put together a very nice vintage kit for Mitch to rehearse on. When Mitch showed up later he ended up telling a whole bunch of stories before even sitting in behind the kit. The man sure had some stories to tell.
To cut a long story short, we went through every emotion imaginable in those few days – not only because of Mitch and his playing, his interjections and his impishness, although they certainly contributed to it. Mind you having Mitch Mitchell, Terry Reid and Mick Taylor all in one rehearsal room at the same time was surely going to lead to some laughs, great musical moments and stories to be told.
On the night of the gig itself, Mitch’s more free approach to the show and the music seemed to work at odds with what Mick was trying to do and perhaps it’s fair to say they didn’t bring out the best in each other, which was a pity. However, in true British style, cordiality was the order of the day in the dressing room afterwards and my last impression of Mitch is him bouncing on his toes and in Mick’s face and laughing and still telling stories and being so Mitch that all you could do was shake your head and laugh.
I hope the tour in the US and his last gig brought him some joy. I know he brought a lot of joy into other people’s lives through his playing and I hope he’s happy now – and maybe even jammin’ with Jimi again!! Now there’s a thought…