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Making the Jimi Hendrix Movie: Will Anyone “Experience” It?

Rock guitar god Jimi Hendrix lived a troubled life…so maybe it’s fitting that making a Jimi Hendrix movie is also a rocky experience. That’s the tale of the new Hendrix biopic, which so far has been a film production nightmare.  
Here’s a first look at Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in the new film “All is By My Side.”

Tentatively titled “All is By My Side,” the new bio will be set in 1966 England, during the recording of Hendrix’s brilliant debut album, “Are You Experienced.” However, fans expecting to hear trademark Hendrix hits from the album (like “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady”) may be disappointed.

All Along the Watchtower
John Ridley, the film’s director, is facing a legal stand-offs with Experience Hendrix LLC, the family estate that continues to oversee all things Hendrix—everything from T-shirt merchandise to the latest reissues of Hendrix albums.

Experience Hendrix LLC is run by Hendrix’s sister, Janie Hendrix, who issued the following statement on the matter: “The family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix, and administrator of the music and publishing catalogue, has made it known many times in the past that no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without Experience Hendrix LLC’s full participation.”

That’s not to say that the family estate will outright forbid a movie, but it has expressed that the estate would need to be actively consulted from the get-go. “The EH LLC board have not ruled out a ‘biopic’ in the future. Though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions.”


Hendrix’s debut masterpiece was as much a part of 67′s “Summer of Love” as The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”…and just as revolutionary.

So the question remains: How do you tell the story of one of Rock Music’s greatest albums without playing any of the music from it? For his part, director Ridley has indicated that he will rely upon archived footage of Hendrix live performances and personal interviews.

Beyond that, he may reach an “understanding” with Experience Hendrix which provides clearances for some of Jimi’s music. Audiences will have to wait to find out; the movie has only started shooting in Ireland and is set for a 2013 release.

The Life of a Rock Star
Despite a brief and troubled life, the music of master guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) endures to this day, inspiring new generations of music fans and those that want to learn how to be a hit music producer. Although he only recorded for about three years, his musical legacy (which includes Rock ‘n’ Roll, Heavy Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Funk and Jazz)  has endured long beyond nearly all of his contemporaries.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

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