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45 Years Ago: Chas Chandler Leaves Jimi Hendrix

Express/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

After leaving the Animals in mid 1966, bassist Chas Chandler turned toward a new role as producer and manager. And he struck gold on his very first try. Once Chandler heard Jimi Hendrix, he knew there was something magical there. So he brought the guitarist to England later that year, hooked him up with an aspiring pair of musicians and unleashed the trio on an unsuspecting public.

Over the next two years, Chandler would serve as Hendrix’s manager and producer, working on the Experience’s singles and first two albums. His enthusiasm fueled Hendrix during the early days, but halfway through the recording of his third album, ‘Electric Ladyland,’ much had changed within the band’s framework. Hendrix and the Experience were global stars, and the stress was beginning to take its toll on Chandler.

“Chas and Jimi didn’t really get on in terms of how many people Jimi wanted in the control room,” recalled engineer Eddie Kramer in an interview with Uncut. “Chas felt that he, Jimi, was playing for the audience, as opposed to for the production. I think Jimi loved all that attention, and Chas thought it was a distraction. Then they split.”

Hendirx was starting to settle into the studio, turning his musical visions into reality. He spent hours recording, which Chandler thought was wasteful. “After he left, the gate was open and Jimi could experiment,” Kramer said. “The whole album was an experimental thing.”

After leaving Hendrix, Chandler took on his next project, the band Slade, who were huge in the U.K., even though they never made much of a dent in the U.S. Chandler passed away at the age of 57 from an aneurysm in 1996.

Next: Top 10 Jimi Hendrix Songs

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