If you're wondering how you can film a Jimi Hendrix biopic and not feature any songs by the iconic electric guitarist, you're not alone. That's exactly what's happening in All Is By My Side
, though. The new feature is currently shooting in Ireland — where producer Sean McKittrick says it's "easier... to recreate 1967 London" —starring Outkast's Andre Benjamin
(Andre 3000). Henrix's estate and company Experience Hendrix control rights to the late star's musical catalogue, but filmmakers aren't worrying about that. Instead, they're excluding Hendrix's signature songs and featuring cover versions of tunes by the Beatles, Muddy Waters, and other artists from the era. Hendrix actually performed many of these songs during his early years in London (1966, 1967) before the release of his landmark album Are You Experienced
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," plus two songs, "Future Trip" and "Driving South," that Hendrix played as a backup musician for Curtis Knight and the Squires."
It should be noted that filmmakers didn't even attempt to gain permission to use Hendrix's songs, since the film focuses on his pre-fame era. "This is the story of Jimi being discovered as a backup musician and how he went to London and became Jimi Hendrix," says the movie's producer Sean McKittrick. Experience Hendrix finds the move an odd one stating, "They want to make a Jimi Hendrix movie without Jimi Hendrix music. It would be like making a movie about Lincoln without being able to use the Gettysburg Address."
Time will tell how it pans out for the filmmakers. We've seen movies like Moulin Rouge use songs in unusual ways — in the case of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film, tunes practically 100 years older than the movie's setting — so this may not be a total wash. Let us know which way you're leaning with the movie so far, and if you think Benjamin's performance can inspire us to forget those incredible guitar solos we love Hendrix for.