LISTEN: Bassist Billy Cox Visits About The Jimi Hendrix Experience

October 16, 2019
Rock Concert Crowd

Only one man, aside from Jimi Hendrix, has performed with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Band Of Gypsys AND Gypsy, Sun & Rainbows (the band that appeared with Hendrix at Woodstock) – bassist Billy Cox. Cox was also in one of Jimi’s first bands, King Kasuals.

Billy Cox first met Jimi Hendrix while the two were serving together in the United States Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. They formed a band on base and, once they were each discharged from the service, lived and performed together in the Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee area.

When Jimi left for London (and superstardom) he asked Billy to accompany him but Billy declined, deciding to stay behind in Nashville. The separation was short-lived. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with bass player Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, lasted only two-and-a-half years with the original lineup. Following Redding’s departure from The Experience, Jimi reached out to Billy and the two reunited and remained bandmates until Jimi’s untimely death.

Billy Cox now tours the country as a member of Experience Hendrix, an all-star collection of musicians performing the music of Jimi Hendrix. I had a chance to catch up with Billy during a recent tour stop in Denver.

Hear how Billy first met Jimi, his perspective on Woodstock and Jimi’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and what he thinks ultimately killed Jimi Hendrix (hint: he doesn’t think it was substance abuse).