Hendrix Movie Won't Feature Icon's Music

The producer of Jimi Hendrix biopic "All Is by My Side" insists the movie works well despite the absence of any of the icon's music.

Hendrix Movie Won't Feature Icon's Music
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Janie Hendrix, who runs Jimi Hendrix's estate, refused to give permission for any of his material to be used for the movie "All Is by My Side." So producer Danny Bramson signed up a band consisting of guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Kenny Aronoff to record original music alongside new versions of covers Hendrix performed in his lifetime.

Bramson tells Billboard: "I was never preoccupied with getting the iconic material. I felt strongly in trying to go for an interpretation of Hendrix and the musical environment that surrounded him, and mirrored his sense of finding himself as a guitarist."

The movie features Outkast star Andre "3000" Benjamin in the starring role - and Bramson says the hip-hop artist worked hard to master left-handed guitar playing in order to bring authenticity to his performance.

"We bet the house on our one and only choice: Andre," the producer notes. "The idea of anyone playing Hendrix, let alone a right-handed guitarist, was one of the greatest challenges of the project. I found a really patient teacher and put together a regimen for Andre. He sat in a small studio six hours a day.

"His guitarmanship had to carry the idea of grace and fluidity. We didn't want to have the camera cropped on his face and not the guitar. He kept working in a rehearsal room throughout the production."

Among the many high points for Bramson is the part of the story when the Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on a Thursday, and Hendrix performed it before Paul McCartney and George Harrison three days later.

He reports: "I believe it's the first license the Beatles have granted to Sgt. Pepper. I felt it was always the greatest rock story never told."

"All Is by My Side" receives its US premiere this week. It’s expected to be released in the UK in the late summer.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Maxakk
    it will be like porn without sex...
    ChucklesMginty
    It's all about the hand holding.
    jrodgers
    I disagree. If I wanna hear his authentic music, I'll throw on any of the hundreds of remastered versions of his albums, or any of the hundreds of alternate takes on his "new" albums. The Hendrix estate has been more than happy to keep putting those out and milking the $$ from it. If they don't want any part of this movie.... so what. Its fresh and its new, unlike anything the Hendrix estate has attempted in the past 40 years. Andre 3000 NAILED Jimi's look, voice, and speech cadence in this clip, and I'll be excited to see how he handles the left-handed guitar playing and singing.
    rhcpjhlz
    I'm with you jrodgers. The clip was fine without his music. It's been overdone and it's refreshing to see someone try to show him as a man, not a mystical music legend.
    jrodgers
    Let's just hope its better than that TV movie "Hendrix" with Wood Harris that came out in the 2000's. It too didn't feature any of the original music, but was a competely uninspired snooze fest that wouldn't have been helped at all even by Voodoo Child or Little Wing.
    theotherguy37
    It must not have Hendrix's original music but Andre 3000 mastered playing left-handed guitar for the role. At least, give him props for that and check out the movie.
    gerrywm
    Yes, also, Control (Joy Division), Im not there (Dylan) and (as cheesy as they made)I walk the line all used covers or the actors singing and each did a good job of the music. Not too put off by this to be honest if the film itself gets jimi right
    JelloCrust
    You're right, the only issue I have is that 3000's voice is nothing like Hendrix's
    vichorio
    True, but voices can be altered... I mean, if the guy truly learned left handed guitar playing just for the movie, I'd think that he worked in his voice a little xD
    Chickendirt
    have you heard the versatility in his voice? I reckon he can make a strong attempt at a Hendrix-esque voice
    Jimjambanx
    Yeah but what's he going to play if it's not Hendrix's tunes? Smoke on the Water?
    theclassicrock
    All along the Watchtower, Hey Joe, and a lot of his live songs were covers. They could definitely do Like a Rolling Stone or Sunshine of Your Love.
    Drithien
    "Mastered" is a bit (lot) of an exaggeration, don't you think? Especially when you consider the stance on mastering any instrument held by virtuosos: that you just can't, there is always something more to learn. "Attaining a reasonable efficiency on left-hand guitar-playing" seems more appropriate. And this is not a bash of Andre, but the notion that a movie about a musician, will feature none of his own material: it's unbelievably silly.
    howyjr
    Or you could watch the film before judging Andre's left-hand skills
    bangbang!!
    Wait, they can have freaking BEATLES tunes in it but not Hendrix? I mean, I understand that it's his estate saying no and all that, but... Wow. That's like if J.J. Abrams said "So yeah, we can't actually have any existing Star Wars characters in this new movie, but we can use any characters from the Godfather we want!"
    Burnzyburns
    Well, hopefully "covers Hendrix performed in his lifetime" includes Hey Joe and All Along The Watchtower.
    0zzmosis
    Well this is a bust.
    Shaggy91
    Not Really, It will still be wild to see. I just wanna know why Janie Hendrix wont allow the biopic? Is she really worried about getting money for it? That's not what Jimi was about...
    dannydesktop
    There's been a biopic already that was pretty good but wouldn't allow his music, only the covers and public domain like "hey joe" or "like a rolling stone". So this is movie seems pointless, nice casting but pointless.
    theclassicrock
    UG has already had like six articles on this.
    howyjr
    It would be nice to know exactly why Jimi's estate refused the inclusion of his songs in this movie. Anyone know?
    Sammy Mantis
    I'd bet anything that it had to do with the Hendrix estate wanting some obscene sum of money for the use of the songs and not getting the film makers to agree to it.
    JelloCrust
    They generally don't like people using his music. Guitar Hero (ugh) had to do a live version of one f his songs played by a session band without any lyrics. . . they just don't like to share, which to be fair, after all the stealing Zepplin did from black musicians, it's no wonder they're hesitant to grant right to music, give someone an inch and everybody will take a mile.
    kratos379
    Guitar Hero (and later Rock Band) eventually both got the rights to the songs, but it wasn't until both were well established and making a lot of money. I'm hoping the estate eventually gives the rights to Rocksmith, but that remains to be seen.
    Izzy-Sweet
    How is Led Zeppelin relevant to this? With that said, why is it a bad thing for any musicians to get inspired by something else and take it further? Why am I even replying? My hands won't stop typing now, aaaaahhhh!!!!
    suicidehummer
    Guess what? Those black musicians were stealing form each other too. In fact, every musician owes something to another.
    travislausch
    So now Andre 3000 has a rare ability among guitarists: the ability to play both left-handed and right-handed.That alone is kind of awesome. Edit: not sure why this double-posted. Having net issues lately though. Mods, go ahead and delete one if you want. Sorry!
    sloppyjoe24
    Didn't I just hear his music in an American olympic commercial for some skier?
    suicidehummer
    Commercials are created by corporations with more cash than you could ever imagine. Even when they're successful like Hendrix, artists of any kind don't have that kid of cash. Movies cost a lot of money and they often don't even break even. Paying six figures or more for some music would just not be possible. Of course, if Jimi were alive, he would be honored that another artist wants to honor him in such a way, and never think of extorting them for the use of his music.
    FUNKYM0NK413
    Despite not having Jimi's music I'm still excited to see this. Andre 3000 did an excellent job in that clip. Sounded a lot like him.
    cyclonus
    This was news a couple of months back, already known for ages the estate had blocked the use of Hendrix's music in the film
    ewp805
    Am I the only one kinda stoked to see Lee Sklar's name? One of the greatest session bassists of all time.
    zn-1
    While I think it's a shame, this has been known for months..
    KnibbHighFB
    Not really sure how I feel about that. Part of me doesn't care because it's not like I would enjoy it more than the Hendrix version. But obviously kinda weird to do a biopic about an artist and not have their music in it. But maybe it'll prevent everyone from focusing on his music performance which, obviously, wouldn't be able to compare to Hendrix no matter how good it really is. Hendrix is one of those untouchables.
    Dynamight
    Just crank up the overdrive and wank the shit out of a minor pentatonic/blues scale. Bingo, Hendrix music.
    mjones1992
    Cool man. Let me just wank out some sweeping modes and I'll have your music
    Dynamight
    Not sure how you came to the conclusion that I only listen to sweeping, but even then, the range of things you can do with that technique alone takes a dump on Hendrix's material, so that's a weak retort either way.
    RU486
    "HURRR! MY MUSIC IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOURS, WHICH MAKES IT BETTER!" I may be a metalhead, but Jimi deserves all the credit he gets. Enter Sandman is way easier and less complicated to play than Gematria (Slipknot), but making something really hard to play does not automatically make it better.
    Dynamight
    I never said complicated or hard to play is better, nor did I make any qualitative statement about anyone's music. Read it again and try not to attack straw men next time.
    RU486
    "...but even then, the range of things you can do with that technique alone takes a dump on Hendrix's material..." But sure, whatever helps you sleep at night...
    buddy1991
    Sweep picking is utterly boring and used by guitar players who can't think outside the box. Go listen to some live Hendrix. There will never be a guitar player as talented or original.