Jimi Hendrix drum kit and Paul McCartney letter found in rock 'n' roll treasure trove
By Euan Stretch
5 May 2015
Trunk, stencilled 'J.H Exp Handle With Care’ was one of seven that housed Hendrix’s personal possessions after he died
A drum kit belonging to a member of rock legend Jimi Hendrix’s band has been unearthed.
The instruments together with guitars, gaudy shirts, leather jackets, and cowboy boots belonged to Mitch Mitchell, the drummer in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
His widowed wife Dee locked them in a trunk which she put into a storage unit in Rye, East Sussex, years ago.
After the storage fees went unpaid the owners of the unit sold the contents to a member of the public who paid a small sum of money for them.
The trunk, stencilled 'J.H Exp Handle With Care’ was one of seven that housed Hendrix’s personal possessions after he died in September 1970.
When opened up it was found to contain five different snare drums, a collapsible bass drum, a floor standing tom tom drum and a 20ins cymbal that are all believed to have been owned and used by Mitchell in his pomp.
There was also two right handed guitars, two Mr Fish designer shirts from the 1960s, vintage Mexican cowboy boots, an assortment of jazz LPs and a touring bag.
One interesting item was a limited edition framed copy of Paul McCartney’s 1997 solo album Flaming Pie together with a letter from the former Beatle.
McCartney, who lived in Rye with his wife Linda at the time, wrote to Mitchell: “Only 200 have been pressed and sent to ‘extremely groovy’ people such as yourself.
“Linda and I hope it brings you a moment or two of joy. We also hope you have a record player. Failing that I understand that when warmed up it can be made into a rather attractive plant pot holder.”
There are also a number of letters sent to Dee Mitchell from Noel Reading, the bass player in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
The items are now being sold by Eastbourne Auction Rooms with a total estimate of £6,000.
Jeanette May, of Eastbourne Auctions, said: “These items belonged to Mitch Mitchell who died in 2008.
“They were found in a Jimi Hendrix Experience trunk which had Mitchell’s name on in a storage facility that had been kept by his wife.
Gear: Paul McCartney
“The present vendor bought the items direct from the owner of the facility. If you don’t pay the storage fees the owner is allowed to break it open and sell the contents to recoup those fees.
“I think the vendor must have been very surprised when the trunk was opened up. It was a bit of a psychedelic time warp inside.
“We don’t now when the trunk was placed into storage but some of the items date from the 1960s while others date to the 1980s.
“We think this collection will appeal to rock ‘n roll enthusiasts.”
Together with Hendrix and Reading, Mitch Mitchell made up the Jimi Hendrix Experience in the late 1960s and performed at Woodstock.
Mitchell died in his sleep in 2008 aged 62 shortly after completing a tour of the US with the Experience Hendrix Tour, which was a celebration of the guitar legend’s music.
The sale takes place on Thursday.
THIS LOT HAS BEEN POSTPONED -Paul McCartney White Label pressing of Flaming Pie with accompanying letter and mailing envelope to the reverse
(This lot was part of a Rye storage facility containing items relating to members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
£700 - £1000