Bassist Chas Chandler turned toward a new role as producer and manager after leaving the Animals in mid-1966 – 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.

Chandler served as Hendrix's manager and producer over the next two years, working on the Experience's singles and first two albums. His enthusiasm fueled Hendrix during the early days, but much had changed within the band's framework by the time Hendrix began recording his third album, 1968's Electric Ladyland. Hendrix and the Experience were 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,” engineer Eddie Kramer recalled 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.”

Hendrix 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."

Chandler's next project after leaving Hendrix was Slade, who were huge in the U.K. but unfortunately never made much of a dent in the U.S. Chandler passed away from an aneurysm at the age of 57 in 1996.
 

 

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