Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Buddy Miles (1947-2008)

Word is just getting out tonight that Buddy Miles – the monstrously talented rock musician and vocalist – has passed. He was 60 years old.

According to the Associated Press, Miles died last night at his home in Austin, Texas. He had been suffering from congestive heart failure.

A teenage prodigy on the drums, Buddy Miles has a secure place in rock history due to his association with Jimi Hendrix in Band of Gypsys.

Miles was no slouch on the guitar himself, and he was an exciting singer. In 1967, he was recruited by guitarist Mike Bloomfield to play drums and sing in the Electric Flag, a rock/R&B fusion band.

Click here to check out Buddy’s bluesy vocal on the 1968 Electric Flag track “Texas.”

Miles had a fruitful solo career in the 1970s. Click here to hear his soulful cover of Neil Young’s “Down By the River,” off his 1970 album “Them Changes.” (That’s Buddy on lead guitar.)

I’m also streaming a few funky curiosities from the Buddy Miles catalogue.

Click here to hear “Doriella Du Fontaine,” the product of an impromptu 1969 recording session with Miles, Jimi Hendrix and “Lightnin’ Rod” (a.k.a. Jalal Nuriddin of the Last Poets). This track wasn’t released on wax till 1984, and first appeared on CD in 1993. Miles plays organ as well as drums.

Click here to hear an extended jam with Eddie Hazel from the mid ’70s. George Clinton edited this track, laid vocals over it, and issued it as “Comin’ Round the Mountain” on the Funkadelic LP “Hardcore Jollies.”

Finally, click here to hear Buddy Miles cover Prince’s “Baby I’m a Star.” This was released in 1999 (naturally) on a Prince tribute album called “Party o’ the Times.”

May Buddy rest in peace.

17 comments:

prince namor said...

The "Buddy Miles Live" album is an underappreciated classic!

Anyone lucky enough to track it down on vinyl (I don't believe it's available on CD and it's not on iTunes yet) should crank the volume all the way up for full appreciation of the opening tracks: "Joe Tex/Take It Off Him And Put It On Me" followed by a smokin' live version of "Down By The River."

I'll be playing my copy often today.

It's sad that, like so many talented artists, Buddy's likely to get long overdue props posthumously.

New Black Woman said...

Wow...I didn't hear about this. Thanks for posting!

Lolo said...

I only made the mental connection the other day that I've got you on my Vox neighborhood, undoubtedly from some link to all the amazing music clips that you post. (I'm not slow, I'm "special" is what my father always said)

Anyways, thanks for all the clips, you've got wildly eclectic tastes and it's much appreciated.

Being heard here said...

truly, a sad, sad day. Thanks for posting...

Michael Fisher said...

Dang. PBUH.

dj said...

Always dug his version of "Wrap It Up" more than the T-Birds and you already know my thoughts on the Lightnin' Rod colab.

I have a friend in NYC who works as a stage hand,who told me stories about Buddy's special needs,but that once the Big King,sat in his throne,it was on.

Dougfp said...

Damn iTunes...you can only get "Down By The River" by purchasing the whole album!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ iTunes kinda sucks. My life changed when Amazon started selling music downloads. Unfortunately, Doug, they don't have this album available.

Undercover Black Man said...

... who told me stories about Buddy's special needs...

Yeah, y'all, we shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about the drug thing. If anybody can point me to reliable reporting on Buddy's drugging, I would appreciate it.

Because let's get real... Buddy Miles dies at 60, Billy Preston dies at 59, Rick James dies at 56, Gil Scott-Heron locked up on drug charges in his 50s (Is he still in prison?)... it's ridiculous what cocaine done did.

And who knows what pagan god George Clinton is sacrificing animals to in order to keep drawing breath at the age of 66...

dj said...

I wasn't referring to drugs,more his "special needs" due to his size,as they had to put him in a stell chair with four guys on it and move him in a frieght elevator.
he wasn't able to move too well on his own,but was still a monster on the kit.

dj said...

And G.C. hasn't moved on to sacrificing animals AFAIK,just the people around him.

dj said...

Stell=Steel,Canadian spelling?

Mike said...

Buddy also made some hellacious sounds with Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin. His album "Devotion" is electronic murk the like of which we will not hear again.

dj said...

Just sold the Buddy & Carlos Live LP last week.
was cool to hear both of them riffin' on each others signature tracks.

Render said...

Somebody in heaven must be putting together another band.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february262008/larry_norman_2-26-08.php

===

G'night Buddy. Thank you for your time here.

SADLY,
R

Uncle Crizzle said...

Elvis Mitchell hipped me to the Buddy Miles/Carlos Santana Live LP when I interviewed him years ago. It's literally the first thing I bought when I moved to Raleigh.

James said...

Omigod, UBM! You are the Man. Your taste is so close to mine, it's scary. And you know how "weird" your taste is. I'm a maggot since 1970 and before, since I dug the original "Testify" and "Goodies".

I'd never heard that instrumental "Comin' Round The Mountain"! Where'd you get that??? I thought I had everything Hazel

James