By DiMarkco Chandler
Detroit Free Press (freep.com) reports that Andre (3000) Benjamin will soon appear on the big screen as Jimi Hendrix, “but don’t expect to hear the Outkast rapper rocking out to any of the late guitar great’s classic jams.”
As a big fan of Hendrix and his music, I applaud any producer that has managed to get as far as Sean McKittrick, the film’s producer, has because it appeared as though Hendrix’s step daughter Janie was never going to green light any movie about her legendary super-star father. In fact, Rollingstone.com reports that Janie “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 [her] full participation.”
To get around those conditions, Mckittrick intends to only use music leading up to the stage in Hendrix’s when he wrote and recorded his own music.
According to Rolling Stone, the film will be set in 1966 and 1967 London with “music taken from new versions of covers that Hendrix performed during those years.” Rolling Stone further reports that audiences will see Benjamin singing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (which Hendrix famously performed in a London club with members of the Beatles in the audience), “Wild Thing,” “Hound dog,” Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” and Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.”
Mckittrick’s encounter with Hendrix’s daughter is not unusual. Even the guitarist’s own brother has had trouble through the years with getting permission from Janie. However, today, Hiphoppress.com reports that Leon Hendrix is presently celebrating a landmark joint venture licensing deal that gives him the right to use his sibling’s name, likeness, artwork and song titles. After years of being left out of his deceased brother’s estate, a judge decided that he was entitled to a measure of Hendrix’s estate.
Perhaps this new development will spark and avalanche of activity that will broaden access to Hendrix’s legacy and music.