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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 14:30 GMT
Hendrix drummer Buddy Miles dies
Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix only released one album with Band of Gypsys before he died
Drummer Buddy Miles, who played with Jimi Hendrix in his last regular group, Band of Gypsys, has died aged 60.

The trio was born out of Hendrix's British band, the Experience, and released a live album in 1970.

Miles had previously worked on the Electric Ladyland album, where his funky, tight drum patterns helped to refresh Hendrix's sound.

The drummer, who had struggled with a long-term illness, died in his home in Austin, Texas.

"Buddy passed with loved ones holding his hands," wrote lawyer and friend Geoffrey Menin on the musician's website.

"He left us with many treasures evidencing his visit to earth. We will miss him dearly."

Born George Allen Miles in Omaha, Nebraska in 1948, Buddy's nickname was a tribute to his idol, jazz drummer Buddy Rich.

By the time he was 11, he was performing with his father's jazz band The BeBops, and went on to play for The Delfonics, The Ink Spots and Wilson Pickett, according to his website.

In 1967, he and Mike Bloomfield co-founded Electric Flag, whose rock-brass sound influenced bands like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

His 1969 solo album, Electric Church, was partly produced by Hendrix, who later drafted him into the all-black Band of Gypsys.

'Bad-ass'

Their self-titled album drew from four shows performed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day 1970 at the Fillmore East in New York City.

Miles contributed two of his own compositions, We Gotta Live Together and Changes, to the record.

"All the shows were bad-ass," Miles told Seconds magazine in 1995. "It was the highlight of my life, and I had a good time playing those shows. That was vintage James Marshall Hendrix."

But the group crumbled following a disastrous performance at Madison Square Garden later in January.

For the rest of his career, Miles kept busy working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Barry White and David Bowie.

In the 1980s, he achieved a certain amount of notoriety in the US as the vocalist on the celebrated claymation California Raisins commercials.

The dancing raisins gave his career a second wind, and he recorded and produced three California Raisins albums.

Asked by Seconds how he would like to be remembered, Miles said: "The baddest of the bad. People say I'm the baddest drummer. If that's true, thank you world."





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