Outkast’s Andre Benjamin might not be able to perform any Jimi Hendrix songs in his upcoming biopic about the late great rocker, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have any tracks to sing in the movie. The folks behind “All By My Side” are getting around the copyright issue with Hendrix’s estate by having Benjamin perform a series of covers Hendrix did of other bands’ music to help make the movie as realistic as possible.
It turns out that this is actually not that big of a deal for the movie’s creators. Producer Sean McKittrick told Rolling Stone that he never went to Experience Hendrix, the group that controls the copyrights for Hendrix’s songs, because he knew that they likely wouldn’t need to use them.
“This is the story of Jimi being discovered as a backup musician and how he went to London and became Jimi Hendrix,” he said, saying they didn’t want to make a traditional biopic. “That would be like making a movie about Kurt Cobain. We all know how that story ends.”
If that’s actually the case, then the line-up of songs planned for “All By My Side” is pretty awesome. The film is set in London in 1966 and 1967, so McKittrick and the rest of the folks behind the project were able to narrow down which songs Hendrix would have performed during that time. According to Rolling Stone, we’ll get to see Benjamin (as Hendrix) perform “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Wild Thing,” “Hound Dog,” Muddy Waters’ hit “Mannish Boy,” Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” and “Future Trip” and “Driving South,” which Hendrix performed as a back-up singer for Curtis Knight and the Squires. Not too shabby after all.
Production on “All By My Side,” which is currently filming in Ireland, is scheduled to wrap this week. We’ve seen images of Benjamin as Hendrix and he looks great, but McKittrick said that his transformation has been complete.
“Andre has been Jimi for four months now,” McKittrick said. “He speaks and walks like Jimi. He dropped a ton of weight. The transformation has been amazing.”
No word yet on when “All By My Side” will hit theaters, but the plan is to have it be ready for Sundance next year.
Do you think that this is a fair trade for the music in the biopic? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!