Noel Redding - "The Redding Experience" DVD Review (MVD) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Noel Redding - "The Redding Experience" DVD Review (MVD)

Noel Redding - 'The Redding Experience' DVD Review (MVD)Next month, a previously unseen interview with guitarist/bassist Noel Redding will be released by MVD Entertainment under the title The Redding Experience. This interview runs about 40 minutes and was filmed in 1988 at Redding’s home in Ireland.

While Redding was an accomplished guitarist and played with bands ranging from Fat Mattress to the Noel Redding Band (with Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell), he is best known as bassist for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This interview with Redding is fascinating as he is very articulate and compelling as he talks the early history of the Experience in a matter-of-fact style. Producer Will Scally explains how the interview came about. "I had known and been friends with Noel for many years and always found him a very upfront, straightforward guy. We often spoke about doing an interview; he wanted to speak about the band, money, drugs and the death of Hendrix and much more – even speaking about the possibility of Hendrix being murdered. He was on good form that day and wanted to record this for posterity."

Redding starts his story with having been recruited into the Experience by manager Chas Chandler after auditioning for Eric Burdon’s New Animals. He goes into some detail about agreeing to switch over to bass and, after ten days of practice, going out on the Experience's first tour. He reminisces fondly about recording the Experience's first two discs (Are You Experienced (1967) and Axis: Bold as Love (1967)) but also talks about how the Electric Ladyland sessions degenerated into all night parties and never-ending overdubs. Somewhat humorously, Redding mentions that he never liked the songs “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze” but preferred “Can You See Me” and “Fire”.

Redding notes that manger Chandler quit midway through the recording Electric Ladyland and there is the implication that Chandler held the band together. He goes on to talk about how the band unofficially broke up in 1968 but stayed together for one final “contractual obligation” tour. While Hendrix and Redding had some well-known personality clashes, Redding sounds like the two managed to bridge this gap as he was invited to join Band of Gypsys immediately prior to Hendrix’s death after Billy Cox was sidelined after an acid freakout. (Note: I would assume that Redding means the reformed Experience rather than Band of Gypsys).

Redding hasn’t been quiet over the years that he finds the circumstances surrounding Hendrix’s death to be suspicious. In Chris Welch’s 1973 biography of Hendrix, Redding says “I'm not really sure about his death. I think the night before he dropped some acid. I don't know if it was an accident or suicide or murder. I was in the States and I heard that Bill Cox freaked. He was convinced somebody was trying to kill him.” Redding briefly touches on these suspicions in the interview when asked if he thinks Hendrix may have been murdered.

As the Hendrix legend has grown larger-than-life since his death, it was an enjoyable experience to watch Redding tell the story of the Experience from the perspective of someone who was there.

Noel Redding Obituary with Detailed Bio