Thursday, February 28, 2008

BUDDY MILES 1947 - 2008

Yesterday a great drummer and singer, Buddy Miles, passed away. He was best known as a member of Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys, but he was also a member of The Electric Flag, he played with Carlos Santana, and recorded on his own.

He was also the only person ever to fall asleep while I was interviewing them (I think. Actually that's not true, but the other guy is still alive, so I won't mention it). I was doing a phoner with him. I forgot what it was for, I think he was performing in town, and I just really wanted to inteview him. I was always eager to talk to anyone who had worked with Hendrix. I was lucky enough to interview former Band Of Gypsys bassist Billy Cox as well, and also Jimi's producer Eddie Kramer.

Anyway, so I somehow track him down and book this interview, a phoner. He veers between seeming happy to talk and being cranky. I heard a suspcious bubbling sound during the interview that made me laugh, and at some point he just nodded off, and was snoring. I woke him up - "Buddy? Buddy!" "What?" So I asked him about Phish, who he'd recently joined on stage. "Phish ain't a Grateful Dead clone, I don't care what anyone says!" And a lady's voice in the background goes, "MMM-HMMM!" Soon he dozed off again. Then I woke him and asked about Santana. "Carlos Santana is intimidated by me." "Why?" He claimed that he was as good of a guitarist as Santana. So, I figured it was time to end the call. But it was memorable.

Anyway, The Band Of Gypsys' self titled album is a classic, and the stuff that didn't make it to that album, on Live At The Fillmore East is also great. Anyway, rest in peace, Buddy Miles.

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