Drummer and singer Buddy Miles, who kept the beat for Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Barry White, John McLaughlin, George Clinton, and many others, died this week in Austin, TX, after a long fight with congestive heart failure. He was 60.
Born Sept. 5, 1947 in Omaha, NE, George Allen Miles Jr. was introduced to music at an early age by his father, who played in the band, the Bebops. As a young performer, Miles played with the Ink Spots, Wilson Pickett and the Delfonics.
In Chicago in 1967, he was a founding member along with Mike Bloomfield of Electric Flag. He then formed the Buddy Miles Express; its second album was produced in part by Hendrix. Miles was the drummer on two songs on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1969 landmark album “Electric Ladyland” and then co-founded the short lived trio Band of Gypsys. Miles’ most famous song was “Them Changes,” recorded with Hendrix and with his various groups.
After serving jail time in the late 1970s and early 1980s on drug related charges, Miles returned to the spotlight as the lead voice in the successful California Raisins Claymation advertising campaign in the late 1980s.
According to his website, a tribute show will be announced by his family shortly.