Buddy Miles– blues/rock funkmaster legend if there ever was one. Miles was given the nickname “Buddy” as a child by his aunt– after the original drumming legend, Buddy Rich. He and Jimi worked their way up in the music scene together around the same time– Buddy playing in various jazz, soul, R&B, and rock acts before finally co-founding the short-lived Electric Flag. The band’s first album, Electric Church, was even produced by Hendrix. Miles returned the favor and recorded with Hendrix on Electric Ladyland. Later, with his signature afro and psychedelic get-ups that rivaled even Jimi– he, along with bass player Billy Cox, backed Hendrix in Band of Gypsys after the disbanding of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. They had an amazing and funky chemistry that really riffed. It’s been said that the Band of Gypsy’s album, recorded New Year’s Eve ’69 – New Year’s Day ’70, was primarily an obligatory move on Jimi’s part– as he owed the record company another album under the terms of his contract. Who really cares, if that was in fact the case? It worked, but unfortunately not for very long. By the end of January they were done– disbanded following the infamous show at MSG. And no, man– we aren’t going to talk about them California Raisins. R.I.P. Buddy Miles.
1968– Buddy Miles and Jimi Hendrix recording Electric Ladyland, The Record Plant, NYC — © Eddie Kramer “Jimi had a long standing warm relationship with Buddy Miles. As one can tell from this photo, Jimi and Buddy can hardly contain their laughter. One of Jimi’s most endearing traits was his amazing sense of humor. Even though at times it was directed at myself, Mitch and Noel, his humor was often quite self-deprecating. This was all done in the desire to keep the session loose!” — EK
Jimi Hendrix (Lucky Lager) and Buddy Miles, of the all-black badass funky rock trio Band of Gypsys.