VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum has released the following statement regarding the passing of Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE, who was found dead in a Portland hotel room yesterday morning (November 12):

"Dear friends and lovers of great rock. Lost the great Mitch Mitchell yesterday. The last surviving member of the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE band. He was an exceptional drummer that helped shape the sound of Hendrix.

"I had the plessure of meeting him a few times. I asked him once what he was thinking when he played the groove to 'Manic Depression'. A jazzy, almost Latin-type feel… a circular, moving piece of music. He told me Hendrix said, 'Mitch, just think Africa, man.' His influences were jazz greats Elvin Jones and Max Roach. He not only played with Hendrix but also greats such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, John Lennon and Muddy Waters.

"Next time you put on 'Electric Ladyland', 'Axis: Bold as Love' or 'Are You Experienced?', listen to the pure musicianship of one of the greatest drummers of all time.

"God bless Mitch Mitchell!"

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's office said 62-year-old Mitch Mitchell likely died of natural causes. His body was found just after 3 a.m. at the Benson Hotel.

Mitchell had been playing with the Experience Hendrix tour that just made a stop in Portland at the Schnitz last Friday, according to


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