Kingsmen Guitarist Mike Mitchell Passed Away at 77

The band's drummer since 1963, Dick Peterson, confirms the sad news though a statement in which he described his former bandmate as 'the kindest and most generous man on the planet.'

AceShowbiz - Mike Mitchell, the co-founding guitarist of rockers The Kingsmen, has died, aged 77. He passed away on Friday, April 16.

Dick Peterson, the band's drummer since 1963, has confirmed the sad news in a statement to Rolling Stone, revealing Mitchell "peacefully passed away."

"We are deeply saddened by Mike's passing," Peterson wrote. "He was the kindest and most generous man on the planet."

"For the past 57 years, we have been playing colleges, fairs, and festivals, vintage car shows and rock 'n' roll shows throughout the USA. Mike is irreplaceable, and he will be greatly missed not only by us but the fans as well. Mike was a favorite for his comedic nature as well as his musicianship."

Eagles star Joe Walsh also offered a tribute statement, stating he learned to play the guitar "because of Mike Mitchell," adding, "I know every one of his solos, mistakes and all. We're losing the good guys."

In its Facebook tribute to Mike, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame wrote on Saturday, April 17, "I don't have the obit but I have to write about Mike. Besides being the guitarist on one of the most iconic rock songs of all time. 'Louie Louie', in his band the Kingsmen, he has given us great music on record and live for over 60 years."

"He was quite possibly the nicest musician I was ever around. For me, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the City of Portland, he was always offering his services to make the world a better place," the statement continued, "help give kids music education in the schools, scholarships and him and the Kingsmen headlined a number of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductions."

"And he never let his chops fall behind. His playing just got better as he aged. I'll miss the conversations on the phone as he was not one to embrace modern technology and preferred the simpler ways of communication."

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