consisting of Jimi Hendrix
, Noel Redding
and Mitch Mitchell
. Not the only band
Hendrix ever recorded in, but certainly the most famous
Hendrix had been playing with many other groups and singers on the chitlin circuit as a sideman but in 1965 he decided he was tired of that.
Still spelling his first name Jimmy, he played all over
Greenwich Village, and was seen by The Animals' bassist Chas Chandler during a July 1966 performance. Chandler was very impressed with the performance and returned again in September 1966 to sign Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to London to form a new band.
Switching gears from bass player to manager, Chandler's first task was to change Hendrix's name to "Jimi." They auditioned many people and found drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding.
The Experience's first single, "Hey Joe," was a big British hit. It was quickly followed by the release of the full-length album "Are You Experienced." Although Hendrix was very successful in Britain, it wasn't until he returned to America in June 1967 that he ignited the crowd at the Monterey Pop Festival with his performance of the Troggs' "Wild Thing." Literally overnight, The Jimi Hendrix Experience became one of most popular and
highest grossing touring acts in the world. The band followed up with "Axis: Bold As Love." By 1968,
Hendrix had taken greater control over the direction of his
music; he spent considerable time working the consoles in the studio, with each turn of a knob or flick of the switch bringing clarity to his vision.
Back in America, Jimi Hendrix built his own recording studio, Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The name of this project became the basis for his most demanding musical release, the two LP collection, "Electric Ladyland," on which Redding got to write and sing a few songs to temporarily assuage his feeling of being just a sideman. Throughout 1968, the demands of touring and studio work took its toll on the group and in 1969 the Experience had disbanded. Redding describes the breakup: " The band had been working for two and a half years solid, on the road, travelling all the time. We had no sleep or days off or anything like that and then, when the band became big, Hendrix became a star and looked down at us lot. It just fell apart around October 1968."
Hendrix went on to play with a lot of other musicians, but did not release a studio album with any of them, just the live Band of Gypsys album and a lot of semi-finished stuff that was put out after his death. Mitchell recorded on some of Hendrix's later stuff, but Redding went on to his own work such as the band Fat Mattress.