David "Noel" Redding (25 December 1945 – 11 May 2003) was an English rock and roll guitarist best known as the bass guitarist for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Born in Folkestone, England, he was selected by Chas Chandler to join Hendrix's band at its inception in 1966, and left in 1969. Although he appeared in other bands before and after Hendrix's death, he never achieved a similar level of success, and retired to Clonakilty, Ireland in 1972.
At nine, Redding played violin at school and then mandolin and guitar. His first public appearances were at the Hythe Youth Club then at Harvey Grammar School where he was a student.
His first local bands were:
The Strangers: with John "Andy" Andrews (bass)
The Lonely Ones: 1961 - John Andrews (bass) Bob Hiscocks (rhythm guitar); Mick Wibley (drums); Pete Kircher (vocals and in '62. drums). The Lonely Ones made (45 EP vinyl, private record) at the Hayton Manor Studio in Stanford, Kent, in 1963, with Derek Knight on vocals, Trevor Sutton on drums, Noel Redding on lead guitar and John Andrews on bass. First recordings: Some Other Guy; Money; Talking About You; Anna.
The Loving Kind: 1966 with Pete (Kircher) Carter (drums); Jim Leverton (bass); and Derek Knight (vocals).
At 17 Redding went professional and toured in Scotland and Germany, in the clubs with Neil Landon and the Burnettes formed in late 1962 and The Loving Kind formed in November 1965.
Redding was the first person to join the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the first to leave. His final concert with them was in June 1969.
In 1968, before leaving the Jimi Hendrix Experience Redding had formed the group Fat Mattress with another Kent musician Neil Landon (the former Burnettes-singer) (born Neil Cahil, 27 July 1941, in Kindford, Sussex on vocals, Jim Leverton (born James Leverton, in 1946, in Dover, Kent) and Eric Dillon, the drummer, (born in 1950, in Swindon). Later, Martin Barre played for a short time before he joined Jethro Tull. The band produced two albums before breaking up shortly after the release of the second in 1970.
One more effort by Hendrix manager, Michael Jeffery was attempted to reunite the Jimi Hendrix Experience months after the Woodstock event. This basically consisted of an interview with Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell by Rolling Stone magazine. No shows or recordings resulted. He soon left the Jimi Hendrix Experience for the last time and went on to other projects.
While living in Los Angeles. Noel joined Road, a heavy metal three-piece, with Rod Richards (born Rod Cox (ex Rare Earth) on guitar, and Les Sampson on drums. They released one album, Road (1972).
Noel moved to Ireland in 1972. He formed The Noel Redding Band with Eric Bell from Thin Lizzy, Dave Clarke, Les Sampson, and Robbie Walsh. They did two albums for RCA, three tours of the Netherlands, two tours of England, one tour of Ireland and a 10-week tour in America. The band dissolved after a dispute with their management company.
In his book Are You Experienced? (co-authored with Carol Appleby) he spoke openly about his disappointment in his being cut off from the profits of the continued sale of the Hendrix recordings. He was forced to sign away his royalties in 1974, and later had to sell the bass guitar he used during that time. Redding had received £100,000 as a one-off payment after he had been told that there would be no more releases of Jimi Hendrix Experience material but this had been before the advent of CDs and DVDs which sold millions of copies. Right up until his death, Redding had been planning legal action against the Hendrix estate for payment estimated at £3.26 million for his part in Hendrix' recording and for ongoing royalties.
Redding was married to a Danish school-teacher Susanne Redding, and has a son, Nicolas Noel Redding (DJ NiS) (who inherited a settlement of 800,000 euro, which equals a minor part of the fortune).
Noel Redding recorded and toured sporadically through the years, occasionally doing session work on other artists' albums including recording for Thin Lizzy and Traffic. He performed with the rock band Phish in 1993.
Redding was found dead in his home in County Cork, Republic of Ireland on May 11, 2003. A post mortem was carried out on 13 May at Cork University Hospital in Wilton, Cork. The report concluded that Redding died from "Shock haemorrhage due to oesophageal varices in reaction to cirrhosis of the liver." He was 57 years old. In the village of Ardfield, local people have erected a plaque to his memory.
A compilation CD and record entitled The Experience Sessions was released by Experience Hendrix, LLC in 2004. Along with the released tracks ("She's So Fine" and "Little Miss Strange") the collection contains rare and unreleased Redding-penned songs recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Most of the tracks are outtakes from Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland, and feature Redding predominantly on guitar (with Hendrix on bass). It also features a live version of Hendrix's "Red House" with Redding on rhythm guitar.