Yes, I read it in the paper. I vividly remember a night in Chicago enjoying Noel, Mitch and Jimi. When they went into "Redhouse" they brought the house down....Gives me goosebumps to this day thinking about it.
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He actually died in Ardfield near Clonakilty which is an hour's drive from Cork. We are - were - neighbours sort of -at least during the summer when we use our little cottage down there. My wife was in Clon the Friday before the Sunday he died and he played in the Barras (Pub) as usual - was announced "NOEL AND FRIENDS...LONG AND LOUD". Since my wife had had an exhausting conference that day, she thought: "not this time"......it would have been the last opportunity to listen to him.
May he rest in peace!
By the way: the WHO's John Entwistle died age 57, too - Must be a bad age for bass players....
I always thought Noel was tremendously underrated as a player, but that's what you get, I suppose, when you're a converted guitarist who's slotted in between Jimi and Mitch Mitchell. His ability to thrive in that spot, and come up with just the right lines, played with just the right touch and tone, speaks volumes about his musicality. Following along with whatever Jimi was doing in a given moment was not a job that could have been accomplished so well by a mediocre player, and I prefer his bass playing to Jimi's accompaniment outside of The Experience. Everything about The Experience's sound was new, and it required a new approach to rock bass playing as well. Plus, I'm a big Fat Mattress fan to boot, where Noel got to exercise his guitar playing and songwriting desires (and *did not* trade on the Experience sound in doing so). Whatever internecene tensions arose during his Experience years are understandable in my view - what with the way The Experience was put together, promoted, and functioned - but Jimi was lucky to have Noel, just as he was Mitch, and in terms of the music it just proved to be one of those synergistic teamings, not to mention the archetypal look and image of the band. He may never have been the star, but he was part and parcel of making a legend, and Noel and his work shall not be forgotten.