Mitch Mitchell Drum Kits History, Photos??

squidart

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OK just to add a little to the confusion.... You usually see this Luddy silver kit in pics around 67-68. Note the dual bass drum spikes.
mitch-short-legs.jpg

Then this pops up for auction in 2017 with gullwings. https://www.antiquestradegazette.co...rummer-mitch-mitchell-memorabilia-at-auction/
mitch-gullwing.jpg

This looks like a WFL or transition era Luddy considering the floor tom leg mounts. I'm guessing this is the studio kit that ended up in the exhibition but it's a tough call looking at the few studio pics I could find.
mitch-studio.jpg
mitch-studio2.jpg


And for a final curveball...
mitch-bdp.jpg
 

funkypoodle

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Hayman kit, 1969. Don't know if these were before or after the black panther Ludwigs.



The black panthers in January 1969, shortly after getting them.
Funny, I just scored a 1969 Hayman Vibrasonic snare in Midnight Blue and was doing an image search on Mitch Mitchell and ended up back on DFO...
 

wflkurt

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OK just to add a little to the confusion.... You usually see this Luddy silver kit in pics around 67-68. Note the dual bass drum spikes.
View attachment 406367
Then this pops up for auction in 2017 with gullwings. https://www.antiquestradegazette.co...rummer-mitch-mitchell-memorabilia-at-auction/
View attachment 406371
This looks like a WFL or transition era Luddy considering the floor tom leg mounts. I'm guessing this is the studio kit that ended up in the exhibition but it's a tough call looking at the few studio pics I could find.
View attachment 406375 View attachment 406376

And for a final curveball...
View attachment 406377

I still have yet to ever see Mitch playing any WFL set. All the pics of Mitch I have seen, studio and on stage are of a mid 66-67 era Ludwig super classic with an added 16" floor tom. The canister has a red top and the pics I have seen of Mitch with a canister has a red top so that could be legit. Early 60's Ludwig canister thrones had a red top and later they went to a black top. I'm certainly not saying that Mitch never played or owned this WFL set. I'm just going off of pictorial evidence which shows thus far that Mitch never used a WFL set with Hendrix. maybe a pic will surface one day. who knows....

As for the BDP set, that is a set that belonged to an all girl band that opened for Hendrix in (I think) San Francisco. I think Mitch used it only one time as it was not his set.
 

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You never know what kind of hidden gems might pop up when you're engaged in heavy research.

Case in point:


This nifty little video goes back to February 1966, a good eight months before Mitch ever met that certain cat from Seattle. But the real kicker {pun drliberate} here is that handsome Luddy kit our Hero is working over. All the other pics I've seen that were taken during Mitch's tenure with Georgie Fame show hiz zebra-striped Premeir, period. And to make this even more of a curiosity, to the best of my knowledge Mitch never had his name on the kick{s} until the Haymen promo-freebie showed up in the spring of '69.

However, I do have a plausible explanation. Mitch worked for a year or two behind the drum counter in the legendary music shop of a certain James Marshall, he of ear-splattering amplifier stack fame. It seems likely that Mitch remained on good terms with JM after he stopped working for him directly. Ergo, when a chance to make a splash in a live media broadcast came up, Mitch turned to his old boss for a bit of last-minute help. Thus, the specially personalized Luddy kit which was only seen this one time {to the best of my knowledge}.

It's a way-interesting bit of foreshadowing, it is. This kit forecast Mitch's cut-down Black Panther rig by nearly three full years, as well as nodding to the personalized Haymen of the same timeframe, for good measure. The only thing that's missing is the classic Woodstock / Berkeley cymbal sounds - this instance sounds an awful lot like a standard cymbal package, rather than the later custom job.

As for Mich's playing itself, what's not to love? He's clearly the creative prime-mover of the band, and I'll wager that Mr. Fame really REALLY hated to give Mitch the boot when the time came, if this particular performance is any indication. If not, then he was a damned fool!!!

And so the research continues.............:rr:
 

davidh

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I know it's been forever since my last visit, but I'm still riding the groove........
Actually, I was doing some spot-research on my main man Mitch, and this thread turned up on the Google - which blew me away because Google previously "assumed" I was always asking about either the Canadian baseball player, or the black guitar player!! Makes me miss good old Lycos, let me tell ya.

Anyhoo, back around the turn of the century I contributed to a Mitch tribute site - "Beginnings," I believe it was called - my contribution being a rough chronology of Mitch's kits from 1966-1970. Since the good old Internet Wayback machine can't find the site in the archives any more, I'll try and re-create the chronology.

The "champagne sparkle" kit describes the Premier {NOT Ludwig} kit Mitch had when he was in the Riot Squad:



View attachment 406117


Champagne kits tend to photograph a little darker than silver kits in black and white photos; there used to be a color version of this same photo somewhere on the 'Net; I used it for the "Beginnings" articles, which is how I know the kit was "Champers."

The first kit that Mitch used with Jimi was his familiar "tiger-stripe" Premier, which also happened to be the kit he bought when he joined Georgie Fame's Blue Flames in early 1965:

View attachment 406121

Note the 20" kick, and the near-horizontal angle of the 12" top tom; the floors were 16"s - in other words, a typical British jazz setup. This kit lasted until the spring of 1967, when Mitch got a clone of of it, due to the original literally falling apart once Mitch started kicking it over at the end of gigs a-la Mr. Moon.

View attachment 406122


The clone is featured throughout the Monterey video, and is otherwise easily identifiable as the clone thanks to the psuedo-"zodiac" symbols on the shells and bass-drum head. It had a rather short career, being replaced in late July 1967 with Mitch's first Luddy kit; the silver-sparkle job that coincidentally was a twin to Keith Moon's rig from the summer of '65.

View attachment 406123

Technically, Mitch's kit wasn't an exact twin of Moonie's - Keith had graduated to a 22" kick, whilst Mitch stuck to his jazz preferences and chose another 20-inch kick for his Luddy. He did go from a 12 to a 14" top tom though; his floors remained 16's. This kit lasted until the monster American tour that started in February 1968; by April, Mitch got his second Luddy kit, the blond maple job:

View attachment 406124

To see this kit in action, check out Jimi's excellent "Miami Pop" videos, especially the EPIC version of "Tax Free." Mitch pounded the living daylights out of this kit right through the end of 1968. This was his first taste of a more "rock" oriented kit - 22" kick, 14" top, 16" & 18" floors. Along with the Miami Pop vids, Jimi's Winterland gigs from October '68 feature Mitch really working his kick over, big-time. He was obviously getting off on the deeper tones the slightly larger drums were giving him, 'cos with his next kit, he finally went for the "gusto," whole-hog.

Jimi's appearance on England's "Lulu Show" in early January '69 was the debut of Mitch's first twin-kick setup, which was also his first custom setup, as well - the famous "Black Panther" kit:


View attachment 406125


Mitch wasn't messing around any more; the kicks were both 24"; the 14" top tom acquired a 15" sibling, both being mounted on their own separate stand, instead of being attached to the bass drums; and the floors were again 16"and 18", If all that wasn't enough, Mitch also started miking the damn thing - one of the two 4X12 Marshall cabinets directly behind Mitch in the photo above was for his kit - "The first time I could hear myself properly." Alas, this lovely rig barely lasted through April of '69; in Detroit, somebody swiped the 14" rack tom, forcing Mitch to play the bulk of the spring '69 gigs with a mismatched replacement tom, just barely visible in this pic:

View attachment 406126


Curiously, during this same time-frame Mitch got roped in to do some PR-work for George Hayman, who kindly slipped Mitch a personalized gold freebie:

View attachment 406127

Mitch used the freebie exactly three times {Raliegh, Philadephia, and Newport} before abandoning Haymans altogether. "Their sound was messy," so the Man said!! Mitch finished the spring gigs behind the damaged "Black Panther" kit.

Tours' end - and the breakup of the original Experience at the end of June - gave Mitch a brief hiatus; when he re-convened with Jimi for Woodstock, he cut down the Black Panther to his familiar "jazz" configuration, losing one kick, the mis-matched 14" tom, and the dual-tom stand.


View attachment 406128


The remaining top tom was placed on a snare stand; everything else was as before, save for a new cymbal array, which became his favorite. In addition to Woodstock, this kit was used for the Dick Cavett Show, and the "Jack Bruce & Friends" mini-tour of January-Feb. 1970.




By the time of the so-called "Cry of Love" tour, Mitch finally put the Panther kit out to pasture. In it's place was the Gretsch kit that had been a gift to Mitch from Tony Williams, when the two shared an apartment in New York the previous spring.

View attachment 406134


Mitch retained the sweet-sounding Woodstock cymbal array, which sounded even better against the rich tones of the Gretsch. Then again, this kit was also a return to "jazz" drum sizes; 12" top tom, 22" kick; twin 16" floors. The amazing sounds of this rig are very well documented, thanks to the Berkeley recordings, as well as the first few sessions from Electric Lady in April of '70, and all the concert bootlegs up until the end of July 1970.

This was when Mitch trotted out his final kit as Jimi's drummer, the gorgeous double-Gretsch featured in the Rainbow Bridge gig, as well as every other remaining show the Experience would play before Jimi passed away. It was the best of all worlds for Mitch - top toms of 12 and 14"; 20 and 22" kicks; and 16 and 18" floors - his ultimate fusion of jazz and rock drum kits. Like it's little brother, Mitch's double-Gretsch is well documented on both audio and video.

And finally, in general Mitch used a mixture of Paiste and Zildjian cymbals during his career with Jimi; three with each single-bass kit, and four with twin kicks. The lovely crash-ride from Woodstock through Berkeley was actually a Paiste marching-band crash-cymbal Mitch stumbled across during a visit to the infamous "Manny's Music" shop in New York. And I do mean "stumbled" - Mitch literally tripped over the stand the cymbal was hanging off of, and was struck by the sharp tone it had when forcefully struck; he bought it on the spot.

Hopefully, this will clear up the confusion.
Cheers!!
that Premier "tiger stripe" tom was a 14x8 same size as Keith Moon used
 

wflkurt

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You never know what kind of hidden gems might pop up when you're engaged in heavy research.

Case in point:


This nifty little video goes back to February 1966, a good eight months before Mitch ever met that certain cat from Seattle. But the real kicker {pun drliberate} here is that handsome Luddy kit our Hero is working over. All the other pics I've seen that were taken during Mitch's tenure with Georgie Fame show hiz zebra-striped Premeir, period. And to make this even more of a curiosity, to the best of my knowledge Mitch never had his name on the kick{s} until the Haymen promo-freebie showed up in the spring of '69.

However, I do have a plausible explanation. Mitch worked for a year or two behind the drum counter in the legendary music shop of a certain James Marshall, he of ear-splattering amplifier stack fame. It seems likely that Mitch remained on good terms with JM after he stopped working for him directly. Ergo, when a chance to make a splash in a live media broadcast came up, Mitch turned to his old boss for a bit of last-minute help. Thus, the specially personalized Luddy kit which was only seen this one time {to the best of my knowledge}.

It's a way-interesting bit of foreshadowing, it is. This kit forecast Mitch's cut-down Black Panther rig by nearly three full years, as well as nodding to the personalized Haymen of the same timeframe, for good measure. The only thing that's missing is the classic Woodstock / Berkeley cymbal sounds - this instance sounds an awful lot like a standard cymbal package, rather than the later custom job.

As for Mich's playing itself, what's not to love? He's clearly the creative prime-mover of the band, and I'll wager that Mr. Fame really REALLY hated to give Mitch the boot when the time came, if this particular performance is any indication. If not, then he was a damned fool!!!

And so the research continues.............:rr:
This is great! I love Mitch's playing and it's cool to see him playing matched grip. Man he was a great drummer!
 

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MITCH MITCHELL ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS REHEARSAL GRETSCH

DESCRIPTION

A Mitch Mitchell drum kit used in the studio and in rehearsals. Dee Mitchell, Mitch’s wife explained that this kit was a favorite of Mitch’s. It was given to him in 1968 by American drummer Tony Williams. With this drum kit Mitchell performed with Williams and Miles Davis. This session was taped and has only recently been released. Mitchell also used the kit for rehearsals for The Rock and Roll Circus where Mitchell performed with the super group Dirty Mac. Other members of the band included John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

The kit includes:

Four Gretsch Walnut Drum Shells:

18.5” X 17” Bass Drum, with rail consolette tom mount

14” X 14” Floor Tom

12” X 8”Rack Tom

14” X5” Snare Drum

Cymbals:

13” Zildjian Hi-Hats (top and bottom)

22” Zildjian Ride

18´ Zildjian Crash


E14DB55D-16BA-4046-B1E1-BB868A4AB67B.jpeg
4FCA5B52-379A-44BC-824A-565BB055A3AC.jpeg
CDE9CE9C-1811-4198-870D-6FEE768E574E.jpeg
8D353988-4F28-48F2-BECB-49813130D5CE.jpeg
 

wflkurt

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Here is my latest article for NSMD. it's all about the Mitch Mitchell fan club and the work Kevin John Simon did to start the group and recreate some of Mitch's iconic Ludwig sets.

 

squidart

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What ever became of his black double Gretsch kit? Sweet jeebus what I wouldn't give for that.
 

Osahead2

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MITCH MITCHELL ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS REHEARSAL GRETSCH

DESCRIPTION

A Mitch Mitchell drum kit used in the studio and in rehearsals. Dee Mitchell, Mitch’s wife explained that this kit was a favorite of Mitch’s. It was given to him in 1968 by American drummer Tony Williams. With this drum kit Mitchell performed with Williams and Miles Davis. This session was taped and has only recently been released. Mitchell also used the kit for rehearsals for The Rock and Roll Circus where Mitchell performed with the super group Dirty Mac. Other members of the band included John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

The kit includes:

Four Gretsch Walnut Drum Shells:

18.5” X 17” Bass Drum, with rail consolette tom mount

14” X 14” Floor Tom

12” X 8”Rack Tom

14” X5” Snare Drum

Cymbals:

13” Zildjian Hi-Hats (top and bottom)

22” Zildjian Ride

18´ Zildjian Crash


View attachment 503639 View attachment 503640 View attachment 503641 View attachment 503642
Wow! Holy sh*t, I never thought in a million years, I would see another Gretsch RB walnut bop kit but here it is. Nice!

This just made my day!
 

John DeChristopher

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MITCH MITCHELL ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS REHEARSAL GRETSCH

DESCRIPTION

A Mitch Mitchell drum kit used in the studio and in rehearsals. Dee Mitchell, Mitch’s wife explained that this kit was a favorite of Mitch’s. It was given to him in 1968 by American drummer Tony Williams. With this drum kit Mitchell performed with Williams and Miles Davis. This session was taped and has only recently been released. Mitchell also used the kit for rehearsals for The Rock and Roll Circus where Mitchell performed with the super group Dirty Mac. Other members of the band included John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

The kit includes:

Four Gretsch Walnut Drum Shells:

18.5” X 17” Bass Drum, with rail consolette tom mount

14” X 14” Floor Tom

12” X 8”Rack Tom

14” X5” Snare Drum

Cymbals:

13” Zildjian Hi-Hats (top and bottom)

22” Zildjian Ride

18´ Zildjian Crash


View attachment 503639 View attachment 503640 View attachment 503641 View attachment 503642
The black Gretsch kit was Charlie Watts’ first Gretsch kit, he bought in 1968. They both used it on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Mitch’s black Gretsch kit was a SSB if I remember correctly.
 
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I'm looking for photos and info about Mitch Mitchell's Silver Sparkle or Champagne Sparkle Ludwig sets that he played with Jimi Hendrix. Who is the best Mitch Mitchell historian? Does anyone know the timeline about which sets Mitch used with Jimi Hendrix?
By the way, I started the Mitch Mitch Mitchell Fan Club on Facebook. I can answer in Detail ANY questions about Mitch's Drum Kits. Also, I have Assembled Three Ludwig Mitch Mitchell J.H.Exp Drum Kit REPLICAS (1967, 1968, 1969) (1) Mitch Mitchell Fan Club | Facebook
 
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I wonder if the canister went missing at some point. I have also seen him using the silver sparkle with the set but this pic shows the original maple throne.
Mitch had a Matching Silver Sparkle Canister that he used with the 1967 Kit, and for a while he used the Silver Sparkle Canister with the 1968 Natural Maple Drum Kit, eventually, Mitch did receive a Matching Natural Maple Canister.
 

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Not one but two Ludwig Thermogloss thrones!

Yes, I have two different Ludwig thrones to go with two vintage Thermogloss kits of mine; a 1966 20/12/14 kit and a sweet little 1968 Jazzette kit. They look great with the two kits.

For years, I was always hoping to find myself a matching Mod Orange throne to go with my 1967 Mod Orange 22/13/16 kit but, I finally gave up searching.
 

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wflkurt

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Not one but two Ludwig Thermogloss thrones!

Yes, I have two different Ludwig thrones to go with two vintage Thermogloss kits of mine; a 1966 20/12/14 kit and a sweet little 1968 Jazzette kit. They look great with the two kits.

For years, I was always hoping to find myself a matching Mod Orange throne to go with my 1967 Mod Orange 22/13/16 kit but, I finally gave up searching.

Very cool! I didn't know you had two. They look great. I have only ever seen one keystone badge Mod Orange canister and it was originally owned by Frank DeVitto. Someone had bought it from him later on and was showing it somewhere. This was years ago.

I have a 1970 and I know Bun E used to have one just like mine.
canisters3.jpg
 

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I'm looking for photos and info about Mitch Mitchell's Silver Sparkle or Champagne Sparkle Ludwig sets that he played with Jimi Hendrix. Who is the best Mitch Mitchell historian? Does anyone know the timeline about which sets Mitch used with Jimi Hendrix?
If I’m not mistaken,Mitch used a Premier kit first with Hendrix and then switch the silver sparkle Ludwig and then a maple Ludwig with I think a 24” bass drum. At Woodstock he had his black double bass kit with I think a mixture of round badge and stop sign badges. I saw him at the Fillmore East around 1970/71 with Larry Corley and Jack Bruce playing his black double bass kit but it might have been his black Ludwig kit. I think he also used Rogers Tom holders and spurs on his black Gretsch kit.
It was well known that Miles Davis and Tony Williams went to see Hendrix and Tony liked Mitch and gave him one of his Gretsch kits I think with a 18” bass drum. A friend of mine saw Hendrix in Manhattan and I think he said Mitch was playing that little Gretsch kit from Tony,it might have been white satin flame but I’m not sure. I don’t see how he could’ve been heard with a 18” bass drum with Hendrix and Noel Redding using all their Marshall amps.
I got to meet Mitch after a Hendrix tribute show at the Beacon theater in 2008 in NYC. and asked him about that Gretsch kit,he said he still had it along with some old Zildjians that Art Blakey gave him. When he was at the Beacon theater he was playing a black diamond Pearl DW kit. RIP Mitch.
 


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