Friday, June 29, 2007
The Voodoo Child
There ought to be a Jimi Hendrix movie. Really. There's just no excuse. Yes, I know all about the music clearance problems, and the headache with the Hendrix estate, with the squabbling family members who can't get on the same page. But they should just get over themselves and work it out.
Movies are about a great many things, but when we look back on them, what we remember are the moments. The pearls along the string of story that beg not to be forgotten. The moments are the memory anchors, the things we hold on to that remind us how good a film was. The trench run in Star Wars. The fingernails on the blackboard in Jaws. The jewelry case snapping in Pretty Woman. The spontaneous invention of "What'd I Say" in Ray. The cropduster attack in North by Northwest. The "whistle" in Road Warrior. The food fight in Animal House.
And, by God, the Jimi Hendrix story is overflowing with those moments. Playing rhythm guitar for Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and other Chitlin Circuit acts. Impressing Keith Richards' girlfriend, who introduced him to Chas Chandler. Meeting Eric Clapton in London. Covering "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" days after it was released—live, with Paul McCartney and George Harrison in attendence. Blowing the doors off of the Monterey Pop festival and lighting the guitar on fire. Opening for The Monkees. The studio albums. "All Along the Watchtower." Drugs...lots and lots of drugs. The breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Woodstock and "The Star Spangled Banner," the greatest protest performance ever. Legal woes. An apocryphal kidnapping. The ladies. The overdose.
Is that a fucking movie, or what? A blaze of glory, famous faces, genius derailed, and the best popular music ever made.
at 12:15 PM