Jimi Hendrix Biopic Won’t Feature Any Hendrix Songs
Similar to that proverbial tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it, if a studio releases a Jimi Hendrix biopic without using any of Hendrix’s signature songs, did the film really happen?
We’re about to find out, as The Hollywood Reporter claims Experience Hendrix LLC will not allow the producers of ‘All is By My Side’ to use any of Hendrix’s copyrighted songs in the film. Instead, the film – which casts Andre Benjamin in the lead role – will focus on the guitarist’s early days in London, leading up to the creation and release of Hendrix’s first album.
As a result, Benjamin will be able to play a lot of covers Hendrix featured as part of his early concerts. According to THR, the artist will record new takes on The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ Chip Taylor’s ‘Wild Thing,’ and ‘Mannish Boy’ by Muddy Waters.
The storyline of All Is By My Side focuses on the early days of Jimi's career, when his performances largely consisted of innovative interpretations of existing songs. These are the performances that got him discovered, blew everyone's minds and helped him become the icon he became.
Well, yes, but it’s iconic songs like ‘Hey Joe,’ ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ ‘Fire’ and ‘Purple Haze’ that solidified the guitarist’s place in rock’s hall of fame. Will the Hendrix biopic suffer without those songs? It reminds me a little of the Beatles film ‘Backbeat,’ which focused on John Lennon’s pre-fame relationship with Stuart Sutcliffe and their shared girlfriend, Astrid Kirchherr. When you go to a Beatles film, you want to see Shea Stadium and ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ When you see a Hendrix film, you want to hear ‘Foxey Lady.’ Right?