A big guy with an even bigger afro, the acclaimed rock drummer made history when he joined Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox to form the Band of Gypsys, the first all black rock group, according the the New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.
The association was short lived, however, as Miles was fired by Hendrix’s management in 1988. According to the drummer, the suits were wary of continuing with an all black band.
“It had to be a racial thing,” Miles told The Times. “I think it had to scare them because of the political aspect at the time.”