Fat Mattress

Summer 1969

Record Mirror: 2nd August 1969

Noel Redding, bass guitar for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, formed his own band called . The line-up included Noel Redding (guitar, vocals, bass), Neil Landon (vocals), Jim Leverton (bass, organ, vocals, harpsichord) & Eric Dillon (drums, percussion). They were managed by Chas Chandler and signed to Polydor in the latter part of 1969. This photo is taken from Record Mirror.

The group was formed in late 1968 by Noel Redding with vocalist Neil Landon, bass guitarist Jim Leverton and drummer Eric Dillon. Redding (from Folkestone) and Leverton (from Dover) had been involved in the flourishing early 1960s group scene in South East Kent which also included Landon (who hailed originally from Kirdford, Sussex). Dillon (from Swindon, Wiltshire) was brought in by Leverton who had met him while playing in Englebert Humperdinck's backing band. The band was formed while Redding was a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with a view to enabling Redding to both play guitar and sing, as well as to record original material. While with Hendrix, Redding was restricted in all of these aspects. Martin Barre was briefly a member of the band, but soon left to replace Mick Abrahams in Jethro Tull.

The first major public exposure of the band was as the opening act on a Jimi Hendrix tour of the United States, during which Redding would perform with both bands.

The group was signed to Polydor Records and released the eponymous Fat Mattress album in 1969. The group had an initial flurry of interest, 'Magic Forest', the single from the album became a minor hit in Europe. The group made an appearance at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival and 

Though the band saw modest success in touring with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, they were unable to achieve on their own merit. Their own U.S. tour was cancelled after completing only five dates of an initially anticipated thirty. The group disbanded shortly after releasing the second album, Fat Mattress II.
"It was one of the most confusing times of my life. The first Mattress album knocked me out - they produced it, they wrote it and it seemed inevitable to me that they would be huge. But it fell apart around everyone's ears. No matter how much time and effort was put into the group, nothing seemed to go right." 
Chas Chandler: NME 1972

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