Not too many musicians follow this particular career arc. Buddy Miles, who died yesterday in Austin of congestive heart failure, began as a session player with the Delfonics and on records such as the Jaynetts' 1963 hit "Sally Go Round the Roses." He played with Wilson Pickett then hooked up with Jimi Hendrix on "Electric Ladyland." After being fired by Hendrix's managers, Miles moved on to play with Carlos Santana and to form his own band. He served time for theft and started bands inside San Quentin and Chino, and after getting out in 1985 he gave voice to Claymation figure Buddy Raisin in television commercials for the California Raisin Advisory Board. LAT
Rest of the story: Miles figured in a milestone moment in Los Angeles rock history as the drummer when Hendrix and Eric Burdon jammed on stage at Newport '69, the city's first big rock festival. It took place at Devonshire Downs in Northridge in June 1969. Hendrix had played poorly in his scheduled Friday night set, so on Sunday afternoon — after thousands had broken down the fences to gain entry — he returned to play with Burdon and Miles. Fans near the stage "may have heard the best performance of their lives," the LAT reviewer wrote at the time. Here are some pages about the jam session from Burdon's book and a recent blog account by a fan who was there.