Imagine making a movie about Jimi Hendrix without any Jimi Hendrix music on the soundtrack. No wonder “All Is by My Side” — starring Outkast’s André Benjamin as the guitar god of psychedelic blues — has still not been released.
The movie, focusing on Hendrix’s first trip to London, was written and directed by screenwriter John Ridley, who won an Oscar for adapting “12 Years a Slave.” It premiered last fall in Toronto, and was screened at other film festivals. Though it was scheduled for a June release, the movie has now been moved back to a generic “September” timeline.
Hendrix’s family hopes no one ever sees it.
“We have made a point in the media that this André 3000 movie is not authorized by our family and it has no music written by Jimi,” the legend’s sister Janie Hendrix, the executor of his estate, wrote in an e-mail.
In a letter last month to the Seattle Times, Hendrix’s brother Leon wrote, “I recently learned that my name was credited on [this] film and that my family photos have been used. I have never given my permission for either nor have I ever spoken to Ridley or any of his people.”
Hendrix’s English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham is also hoping “All Is by My Side” is lost in a purple haze, because of a scene showing Hendrix beating up her character, playe
Kathy Etchingham at the unveiling of an English Heritage Blue Plaque honoring Hendrix.
Etchingham told reporters in London “Jimi was never violent toward me” and described him as “a gentle person — funny, entertaining, articulate.”
The movie also stars Imogen Poots, recently seen in “Need for Speed” and “That Awkward Moment.” She plays Linda Keith, a model who was the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and who helped Hendrix’s career get off the ground.
It’s a shame Benjamin’s talents are wasted on a movie that doesn’t include Hendrix’s music. Though a publicist for “All Is by My Side” said, “The film is receiving critically acclaimed reviews. We are 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Meanwhile, two other Hendrix movies are being developed. Janie is working with ICM on an authorized biopic, which will feature the guitarist’s music. And British filmmaker Ol Parker plans to direct Anthony Mackie in “Jimi,” about the last nine days before
Hendrix overdosed in 1970 at the age of 27.