Photo Credit: Odile Noel
Sixties musicians, especially those who died early and tragically, are perennial inspiration for movies. Just look at Oliver Stone's 1991 Jim Morrison tribute The Doors, or the 1979 Janis Joplin-inspired film The Rose. There's a new John Lennon movie coming this Christmas, and another next year. And now... there's this.
A new movie is being made about Jimi Hendrix, the charismatic guitar legend who led a hard-partying life, then died from drug-related causes at age 27. In the film, called Slide, Hendrix is accidentally kidnapped by inept gangsters, and as they make their way across the country. the musician and the mobsters end up teaching each other valuable life lessons.
Wha-huh? No Woodstock? No guitar-burning? No famous groupies? Where the heck did this gangster-road-trip thing come from?
Actually, it came from real life... maybe. After Hendrix's death, friends started repeating a story he told about being kidnapped by mobsters over a weekend. Hendrix was convinced that the incident was staged by his manager to keep him in line. However, no one knows if the story is true; no police reports exist, and the guy was using a lot of brain-warping drugs at the time. Like, a lot.
This means that the entire movie will be, essentially, a complete fiction. So why use Hendrix's name and image? Because the creators of the film can get away with it, as long as they don't use his songs or any actual details of his life. Tricky, huh? (Incidentally, an actual biopic of the star, including all that guitar-smashing, Woodstock-playing, hard-partying stuff, is in negotiations.)
As it is, the gangster Hendrix film reminds us a lot of the fictional biopic of blues musician Janis Joplin -- er, vampire-hunter Jackie Jormp-Jomp -- from last season's 30 Rock. Maybe that fake movie started a real trend -- Jason Lee is also working on a fictional story about John Lennon.
Read about Jason Lee's time-traveling John Lennon movie!
Do you think Jimi Hendrix was really kidnapped by mobsters? Chime in below!