Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Buddy Miles, 1947-2008

Buddy Miles, onetime drummer for Jimi Hendrix, dead at the age of 60. Miles traipsed through several Sixties psychedelic bands, most notably the Electric Flag, before hooking up with Hendrix; although never officially part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Miles played on part of Electric Ladyland (which almost got released, due to a studio error, under the title Electric Landlady), and later formed Band of Gypsys with Hendrix.

After Hendrix's death in 1970, Miles knocked around the music biz without much notoriety until 1986, when he sang a version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as performed by the animated California Raisins in a commercial for the California Raisin Advisory Board. Inexplicably, the song and the raisins became hugely popular, spawning four full-length albums, two TV cartoon specials, and a Saturday-morning series. The mind reels.

I'm sure Miles would prefer to be known as a rock drummer and vocalist, but I bet it's the Raisins gig that will be paying for his funeral.

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