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Jimi Hendrix Estate Speaks Out Against Biopic

Filmmakers unable to use Hendrix’s music without permission

Rolling Stone May 11, 2012
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Jimi Hendrix performs for Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967

The estate of Jimi Hendrix has released a new statement speaking out against a biopic purported to star Outkast’s André 3000 as the iconic guitarist.  

“Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and administrator of the Jimi Hendrix music and publishing catalog, 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 its full participation,” reads the statement. 

The response follows new reports that the long-stalled biopic, tentatively titled All Is By My Side, is moving forward once again after being blocked last summer. The biopic aims to explore Hendrix’s life between 1966 and 1967, when he released his landmark debut, Are You Experienced? Pre-production is said to be underway in Ireland, with principal photography expected to start in three weeks in Wicklow and Dublin. John Ridley, who penned the scripts for Three Kings, U-Turn and most recently, Red Tails, is both writing and directing the film. 

While Janie Hendrix (Jimi’s sister, and the CEO of Experience Hendrix) and the Experience Hendrix board have not ruled out the possibility of a Hendrix biopic altogether, the estate has refused to license music out to several other planned Hendrix biopics in the past, including one by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93). In its latest statement, the estate reiterates that Experience Hendrix would have to be involved from the get-go with any film that plans to use Hendrix’s original music.

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“Until you are on set doing it you can’t say what’s going on,” André 3000 told MTV back in 2008. Everybody wants to do the movie, but there are so many things that go into a biopic.”


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