Andre 3000 Can Cover Beatles But Not Jimi in Hendrix Biopic
With the Hendrix estate withholding its permission, the film's producers find another route
OutKast’s André 3000 will cover the Beatles, Muddy Waters, and more on the soundtrack of All Is By My Side, the new Jimi Hendrix biopic being filmed in Ireland, Rolling Stone reports, citing producers.
With the company that oversees Hendrix’s estate refusing to give its blessing, movie makers have come up with a novel solution. The film will reportedly take place in London in 1966 and 1967, so Three Stacks will perform some of the same covers that Hendrix did during that early period. That includes the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” (brace for a scene of André 3K singing this one at a club with some of the Fab Four in attendance), Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller’s “Hound Dog” (first recorded by Big Mama Thornton but popularized by Elvis), the Troggs’ “Wild Thing,” Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy,” and Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.” André will also take on two numbers from Hendrix’s backing stint with Curtis Night and the Squires.
Backing the rapper-singer born André Benjamin will be guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist Leland Sklar, and drummer Keny Aronoff, who between them have done session work for half of classic rock radio (Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp). They recorded the covers in Los Angeles. Heading up the music was veteran music supervisor Danny Bramson, a Grammy winner for his Almost Famous work.
All Is By My Side co-producer Sean McKittrick told Rolling Stone the idea was always to set the film in the time before Hendrix became famous. “This is the story of Jimi being discovered as a backup musician and how he went to London and became Jimi Hendrix,” McKittrick is quoted as saying. Producers are reportedly aiming to premiere the movie at Sundance early next year, with talks for a Three Stacks-led soundtrack album also underway.
Experience Hendrix, the company that watches Hendrix’s legacy, reportedly expressed surprise at the news. “They want to make a Jimi Hendrix movie without Jimi Hendrix music,” an estate spokesperson is quoted as saying. “It would be like making a movie about Lincoln without being able to use the Gettysburg address.” So the surviving Hendrix clan must be blissfully unaware of Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, then.
Now, if only Skrillex gets involved, this project might have a chance of featuring one of SPIN’s 100 Greatest Guitarists.