Noel Redding

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Noel Redding
Noel Redding.png
Noel Redding in 1967
Background information
Birth name Noel David Redding
Born (1945-12-25)25 December 1945
Folkestone, Kent, England
Died 11 May 2003(2003-05-11) (aged 57)
Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland
Genres Rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, folk rock
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, vocals, mandolin, violin
Years active 1963–2003
Associated acts The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Fat Mattress, Road, the Noel Redding Band, Mountain
Notable instruments
Fender Jazz Bass

Noel David Redding (25 December 1945 – 11 May 2003) was an English rock bassist and guitarist best known for his work as bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Born in Folkestone,[1] he was selected by Chas Chandler to join Hendrix's band at its inception in 1966 and left in 1969. Although he played in other bands before, after, and even during his stint with the Experience, he never achieved a similar level of success and retired to Clonakilty, Ireland, in 1972.



At age nine, Redding played violin at school and then mandolin and guitar. His first public appearances were at the Hythe Youth Club then at Harvey Grammar School where he was a student.

His first local bands, in which he played lead guitar, were:

  • The Strangers: with John "Andy" Andrews (bass)
  • The Lonely Ones: 1961 - John Andrews (bass), Bob Hiscocks (rhythm guitar), Mick Wibley (drums), Pete Kircher (vocals and in '62, drums). The Lonely Ones made a privately pressed EP at the Hayton Manor Studio in Stanford, Kent, in 1963, with Derek Knight on vocals, Trevor Sutton on drums, Noel Redding on lead guitar and John Andrews on bass. First recordings: "Some Other Guy"; "Money"; "Talking About You"; "Anna".
  • The Loving Kind: 1966 with Pete (Kircher) Carter (drums); Jim Leverton (bass); and Derek Knight (vocals).

At 17 Redding went professional and toured clubs in Scotland and Germany with Neil Landon and the Burnettes (formed in late 1962) and The Loving Kind (formed in November 1965). In addition, The Lonely Ones reunited in September 1964, and Redding remained with them a year before taking his leave.[2]

Jimi Hendrix Experience[edit]

Redding switched from guitar to bass on joining the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was the first person to join the Experience, and the first to leave. His final concert with them was in June 1969.[3] With the band, he helped create the three landmark albums Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, as well as performing in some of Hendrix's most celebrated concerts. His playing style was distinguished by the use of a pick, a mid-range "trebly" sound, and in later years the use of fuzz and distortion effects through overdriven Sunn amps. His role in the band was that of a time-keeper. This was evident in the Experience's version of "Come On (Baby Let the Good Times Roll)" and "Drivin' South" from the BBC Sessions. He would typically lay down a bass groove over which Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell would loosely play. He wrote two album tracks, "Little Miss Strange" and "She's So Fine". He played the bass line on "Red House" using the bass strings on a normal six-string guitar.[4]

In 1968, Redding formed the group Fat Mattress with another Kent musician, Neil Landon (born as Patrick Cahill, 27 July 1941, Kirdford, Sussex), on vocals. The band also included Jim Leverton (born 1946, Dover, Kent) on bass and keyboards and Eric Dillon (born 1950, Swindon) on drums. Redding played guitar and vocals, and a key part of the Fat Mattress sound was the vocal harmonies between him, Landon, and Leverton. The band initially toured in support of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, requiring Redding to play two full sets each night. He left Fat Mattress after only one album with them, though some of his compositions would appear on their second album.[5]

Hendrix's manager, Michael Jeffery, attempted to reunite the Jimi Hendrix Experience months after the Woodstock event. The three were interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, but no shows or recordings resulted. Redding soon went on to other projects. While living in Los Angeles he formed Road,[6] a three-piece in the same psychedelic hard rock vein as the Experience, with Rod Richards (born as Rod Cox; ex Rare Earth) on guitar and Les Sampson on drums, and Redding himself switching back to bass. They released one album, Road (1972), with the three members taking turns on lead vocals.

Ireland years[edit]

Noel Redding moved to Ireland in 1972. He formed The Noel Redding Band with Eric Bell from Thin Lizzy, Dave Clarke, Les Sampson, and Robbie Walsh. Despite the band's name, Redding shared songwriting and lead vocal duties equally with Clarke. They released two albums for RCA, three tours of the Netherlands, two tours of England, one tour of Ireland, and a 10-week tour in the US. The band dissolved after a dispute with their management company. Tracks recorded for a third unreleased album were later released as The Missing Album on Mouse Records.

In his book Are You Experienced? (co-authored with Carol Appleby) he spoke openly about his disappointment in his being cut off from the profits of the continued sale of the Hendrix recordings. He was forced to sign away his royalties in 1974 and in 1980 had to sell the bass guitar he used with the Experience to a collector. Redding had received $100,000 (equivalent to about $479,825 in today's funds) as a one-off payment after he had been told that there would be no more releases of Jimi Hendrix Experience material. (This was before the advent of CDs and DVDs.) Right up until his death, Redding had been planning legal action against the Hendrix estate for payment estimated at £3.26 million for his part in Hendrix's recording and for ongoing royalties.

From 1997 after meeting San Francisco musician and songwriter Keith Dion in London during the awarding of an English Heritage Blue Plaque Award, Noel performed several USA tours with Dion's band "3:05 AM" - all of which were recorded and professionally filmed. Audio excerpts made their way to the UK and European releases "West Cork Tuning" and "Stone Free" - a biographical film trailer from these performances can be seen here.

This trailer was showcased in Clonakilty Ireland in May 2014 at De Barra's to great response during the now annual Noel Redding Tribute Festival held in Clonakilty each year at De Barra's in May. Positive feedback was also received from the Irish Cultural Minister and the head of the Irish Film Board.[7]

Noel Redding’s last performance was not performed at the Bunkr in Prague, Czech Republic in 2002 as continually reported — that gig was performed and recorded in November 1995 in front of the then President of the Czech Republic, and released shortly before Noel's death. Noel's last performance was in his "home town" of Clonakilty at De Barras pub, where he had held the Friday night residency for nearly 20 years, performing with some of the local musicians who appeared on his last album "Thanks You, Goodnight and Good Luck" including Steve Pawsey, Jeff Ward, Jim O'Neil, Eric Bell and Les Sampson.[citation needed]


Redding was found dead in his home in Clonakilty on 11 May 2003.[8] A post mortem was carried out on 13 May at Cork University Hospital in Wilton, Cork. The report concluded that Redding died from "shock haemorrhage due to oesophageal varices in reaction to cirrhosis of the liver".[9] He was 57 years old. In the village of Ardfield, local people erected a plaque to his memory.[10]

A compilation CD and record entitled The Experience Sessions was released by Experience Hendrix, LLC in 2004. Along with the released tracks ("She's So Fine" and "Little Miss Strange") the collection contains rare and unreleased Redding-penned songs recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Most of the tracks are outtakes from Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland, and feature Redding predominantly on guitar (with Hendrix on bass). It also features a live version of Hendrix's "Red House" with Redding on rhythm guitar.


With The Loving Kind
With The Jimi Hendrix Experience
With Fat Mattress
  • Fat Mattress (1969) Polydor.
  • Fat Mattress II (1970) Polydor.
  • "Naturally"/"Iridescent Butterfly" (Polydor 56352) 1969.
  • "Magic Lanterns"/"Bright New Way" (Polydor 56367) 1969.
  • "Highway"/"Black Sheep Of The Family" (Polydor 2058 053) 1970. (Does not perform on either track, but co-wrote the a-side)
With Road
  • Road (1972) Natural Resources (a division of Motown); not to be confused with another band named The Road that had 2 LPs on Kama Sutra
with Randy California
With Noel Redding Band (aka The Clonakilty Cowboys)
With Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends
With British Invasion All-Stars
  • British Invasion All-Stars (2001) Mooreland Street.
With 305 AM and Keith Dion
With Noel Redding and Friends
With Yardbirds Experience
  • Family Tree: Birds Of A Feather (2006) Mooreland Street.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Noel Redding Bassist with Jimi Hendrix Archived 28 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7. 
  3. ^ Redding, Noel (1996). are you experienced - The inside story of the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE. Da Capo Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0306806810. 
  4. ^ Shapiro H, Glebbeek C (1991). Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy, William Heinemann Ltd
  5. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Fat Mattress Biography at". Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Road — Music Biography, Credits and Discography". Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Clonakilty pub to unveil never before released Redding & Hendrix photos | Irish Examiner
  8. ^ "Hendrix bassist dies". BBC News. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  9. ^ UniVibes, Issue 46, December 2003
  10. ^ "Noel Redding 25th Dec. 1945 - 11th May 2003 musician lived in Ardfield 1973 - 2003". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Billboard - Redding honors Hendrix on new Live set
  12. ^ Discogs - Live From Bunkr . Prague - 2002 CD, Track Record (5038407 123805) Europe
  13. ^ allmusic - Live from Bunk R - Prague - 2002-April-15th CD, Track Record (TRK-1010CD)