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G. H. Harding

The Kominsky Method’s Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin

THE KOMINSKY METHOD — We just finished the second season of Netflix’s The Kominsky Method and really enjoyed it. It was more of the same, but with a bit of a kick. In Sandy Kominsky’s acting class, two of his students did a scene from Two and a Half Men; also created by Kominksy’s Chuck Lorre. After the scene ended, Sandy (Michael Douglas) muttered, what a way to rip off the Odd Couple. When Two and a Half Men debuted, that was the call from several critics.

Nice to see Chuck Lorre taking himself not so seriously.

And, in one episode, Kathleen Turner (of all people!)  turned out to be one of Sandy’s ex-wives. Nice move there Mr. Douglas … classy as always.

The season ended with a cancer scare for Sandy; but, Norman (Alan Arkin) stays firmly at his side. It’s not the ending I would have chosen, but it certainly sets the stage for a season three. Arkin, by the way, is just superb.

My ending: former-actor Sandy lands a major, major film role.

RAGE AGAIN  — (from Randy Lewis/LA Times) Rage will roll again in 2020, as the long-running politically provocative L.A. rock band Rage Against the Machine ramps up for a string of shows next year, including headlining dates at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which the group helped launch 21 years earlier.

The band, fronted by singer Zack de la Rocha and fueled by lead guitarist Tom Morello, unveiled details on its Instagram feed about a handful of shows next year starting March 26 in El Paso and continuing with stops March 28 in Las Cruces, N.M., and March 30 in Phoenix ahead of the April 10 and 17 appearances at the 2020 edition of Coachella in Indio.

The band has been on hiatus since a 2011 appearance at the one-day L.A. Rising Festival at the Coliseum that also featured England’s Muse, Chicago’s Rise Against, rapper Lauryn Hill, Peruvian American rapper Immortal Technique and Mexico’s El Gran Silencio.

The group’s most recent tour was in 2010, extending from various points in the U.S. across South America and Europe.

Next year’s return to engagements through the Coachella performances extends the festival’s tradition of high-profile reunion or career rejuvenation events.

STILL STAYIN’ ALIVE — (from Deadline) Add another jukebox show to the Broadway hopper. Wicked co-producer Universal Theatrical Group (UTG), Universal Pictures’ live theatre division, has reached an agreement with Barry Gibb, Yvonne Gibb, and the Estate of Robin Gibb to develop a bio-tuner based on the life story and music of the Bee Gees. Barry Gibb will serve as an executive producer on the project. The announcement was made by Jimmy Horowitz, President of Universal Pictures.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our family,” said Barry Gibb. “I’m personally very excited to be a part of the creative process along with Yvonne and Dwina. It’s another adventure for us and a chance to throw the spotlight on all my brothers and finally the real story of us will be told. It’s an honor to be working alongside the people I most respect. I can’t wait to get started!”

The Bee Gees, comprised of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, are among the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. With their iconic sound and quintessential performances, the talented group of brothers rose to fame in the 60’s and 70’s and saw global success with iconic hits such as “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” “Too Much Heaven,” “Nights On Broadway” and “Stayin’ Alive.”

The Bee Gees are one of my all-time favorite bands and to continue to hear their music, in any medium, is indeed a high honor. That said, I trust the creative team they assemble (with Barry Gibb) can adequately handle all the twists and turns in their wondrous career.

From Robert Stigwood, to RSO Records (and, Bill Oakes), Andy Gibb; the splits they all endured from the band; Barry’s magnificent work as a producer; the deaths of Maurice and Robin … it’s quite a tidy parcel. In my opinion, the trick that made Bohemian Rhapsody and even Rocketman, major successes, was that they had participation from some of the actual people who were involved. Sure, the Queen movie moved a lot faster than it did in real life and Elektra Records was essentially left out, as was Elton’s band … they both did tell the story.

Here’s to hoping it’s an accurate portrayal … love the Brothers Gibb!

Cobie Smulders

SHORT TAKES — The revamped Extra is holding up pretty well. Billy Bush is better than ever and really delivers a home run with each show. In Friday’s show he took a poll among Extra-staffers whether they would watch Apple TV’s just-released Morning Show. Most said they would and when one asked Bush … he dramatically said no … as he had lived it! Funny … With the first-half of the new-TV season over, let’s look at what happened, or rather, what didn’t happen: Jimmy Smits much-hyped return to TV Bluff City Law was canceled; Cobie Smulders Stumptown emerged as the one true new hit; not one of NBC’s new shows was a hit; and, old stalwarts like The Blacklist; This Is Us; New Amsterdam; and, FBI held strong.NBC’s Law & Order: SVU in its record breaking 21st season, delivered some brilliant shows, including last week’s Murdered At A Bad Address, written by none other than former Daily News-scribe Denis Hamil, with showrunners Warren Leight and Julie Martin. Just an amazingly well written show. Bravo! … Robert Millers Project Grand Slam just locked in two more dates at The Groove in NYC: November 17 and December 8 …

Micky Dolenz

Did you catch Micky Dolenz on AXS’ Mixtape show Friday? He heads out this week for two solos shows and next week, is The James Burton Foundation show in Nashville, with Joe Walsh and Paul Shaffer … 

David Salidor

Billboard’s Joe Lynch finished his interview with PR-pasha David Salidor last week. According to Salidor, they spoke a lot about his tenure as publicity-man for the visionary Ze Records in the 80’s, where he worked on Cristina; Kid Creole & The Coconuts; Suicide; and, Was (Not Was). He also spoke about his representation with the major DJs at the time, including, Jellybean; Jim Burgess; Shep Pettibone; Scott Blackwell and Mark Berry. Should be a fascinating read. Stay tuned … The Mary Wilson/Mark Bego reception at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room, for the #1 success of their book Supreme Glamour (Thames and Hudson), is moving along swiftly. Guests will be served Wilson ‘s Bourbon Passion cocktail, as detailed in Bego’s East Like A Rock Star book … As predicted, Netflix’s Stranger Things will be back for a fourth season; no doubt rescuing Jim Hopper from Russia …

Wendy Stuart Kaplan; Dennis St Germain; Eileen Dover and Michael Musto

One more picture from Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s Reading For Filth, at Bedlam last week; with Eileen Dover (who did the brilliant casting); and, Brian Balthazar and Michael Musto … A great article on one of my personal faves, Blade Runner;the original. If you recall that posited a future … in November 2019. A good read: https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/1198613/Blade-Runner-setting-predictions-November-2019-Los-Angeles-Harrison-Ford-Rick-Deckard … Coldplay just superb on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Chris Martin: what a voice. Their eagerly awaited new album Everyday Life is out in a week … Happy Bday Alan Kaplan … Emmy-winning Pose actor Billy Porter, Latin singer Ozuna and Grammy-winning performers Black Eyed Peas, TLC, Chicago and Kelly Rowland will be among the stars celebrating at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Macy’s said Friday that Ciara, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Debbie Gibson (her second), Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and former NASA astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi also will participate in the 93rd annual parade on Nov. 28.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Bruce Grakal; Man Parrish;  Gino Soccio; Charlie Sheen; Donnie Kehr; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Anthony Noto; Eppy; Robert Funaro; Randy Alexander; Barry Fisch; Jeff Smith; Jacqueline Boyd; Peter Abraham; and, Ziggy!

G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

A TARNISHED TIFFANY — CBS is having a tough month. First, their much-ballyhooed Billy Joel concert -the initial showing- was cut off abruptly while Joel was doing “Piano Man” no less. It was re-run Friday to somewhat meager numbers and, also Friday, CBS canceled their show So Help Me Todd, which was a breath of fresh air in the TV-world. Last year, its debut year, it was a rave and a ratings winner.

CBS has several new shows set for September and the ratings for Todd had fallen dramatically. Now, not that network apparently cares, but there’s been an outpouring of both sympathy and bewilderment for the cancellation and downright hate, if you will. The show starred Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Austin and was totally unique.

Roger Friedman disparaged the cancellation as well and said it was a perfect Sunday night show – although it would have kept getting pushed back by virtue of CBS-sports.

It was a totally brilliant and innovative show about a mother and a son working together and not always in harmony. An episode Dial M For Margaret (directed by Robin Givens no less) was simply brilliant. To be candid, I think CBS stepped it again – last year it was their canceling East New York with Jimmy Smitsbut stay tuned … sometimes the cancellations are un-canceled and it could just happen with SHMT.

Tiffany no more.

HEART ON — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Heart kicked off their Royal Flush tour on Saturday at Greenville, South Carolina’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena with support from Cheap trick.

In addition to classics like “Magic Man,” “Straight On” and “Barracuda,” Heart also performed a few of Nancy and Ann Wilson’s respective solo songs, plus covers of Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

The Royal Flush tour marks Heart’s first extended trek since 2019 and will keep them on the road, primarily in North America, through late September. The rockers will also head to Europe in June and July with Squeeze opening select dates, and they’ll support Def Leppard and Journey on a handful of stadium dates in July and August.

It’s been a turbulent decade for Heart, who haven’t released a studio album since 2016’s Beautiful Broken. Ann and Nancy Wilson put the band on hold that year after Ann’s husband was arrested for allegedly hitting one of Nancy’s children during their 2016 tour.

The sisters mended fences and embarked on the Love Alive tour in 2019, followed by another extended break during which they both released solo albums. However, Nancy Wilson said last June that Heart was working on new material that is “closer to what you would have heard us originally do in the ’70s, late ’70s. So, it’s really fun, it’s just exciting and inspiring.”

Danny Fried

SHORT TAKES — Danny Fried’s Sweet Mary Jane stage-presentation never got off the ground, sadly. What with the proliferation of weed shops and weed culture;it’d would have fit right in …

Johnny Rzeznik

Funny to see Travis Kelce say ‘when her album drops.’ Wonder if he even knew what that meant before he met her … Johnny Rzeznik’s song “Iris” (1998 from the movie City of Angels) has got to be one of the most beautiful songs ever. He teamed up with Daryl Hall for a duet on it for Daryl’s House.Just amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPlg6aSFzg0

Hannah Waddingham

Great Hannah Waddingham profile on Sunday’s Willie Geist gabfest. She’s terrific …

Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo back on CNN? With different management now in place there, discussions are indeed being held. He was the station’s #1 air-personality. Sorry Anderson. personally, I loved him … Big news from Rascal Felix Cavaliere later this week … Roger Friedman gave a race to Alicia Key’s Hell’s Kitchen musical: ‘Is a High End Jukebox Musical with Soaring Voices.’ Bravo! … Adios to the New York Post’s TV-man Michael Starr who has been there for 29 years. He used to have a daily column in the paper’s heyday called The Starr Report that was sensational; almost like a mini-Army Archerd. PR-pasha David Salidor got Starr his caricature up on the wall of The Palm on 50th street in NYC near booth 24. He’s done a series of books, including Joey Bishop, William Shatner; Don Rickles;  and his next one is on Rodney Dangerfield. Good man!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Ed Steinberg; Peter Brown; Amanda Naylor; Thomas Silverman; Scott Anderson; Lenny Kalikow; Terry Jastrow; Anne Archer; Sam Rubin; Doug Breitbart; Nosia Mamet; Lush Ice; Kent & Laura Denmark; Felix Cavaliere; Dolly Parton; Melissa Manchester; Mark Bego; Lamar Fike; Obi Steinman; and CHIP!

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G.H. Harding

LET IT BE AGAIN — (Via SHOWBIZ 411) I told you yesterday the Beatles are releasing a restored version of “Let it Be,” the film, on Disney Plus. Peter Jackson, who made the “Get Back” series, did the work with his lab of mad scientists. “Let it Be” will begin streaming on May 8th.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot all the footage in 1969 and then made the final film. It played in theaters briefly, then disappeared. The rumor always was that Paul McCartney didn’t like the film. But when Jackson released “Get Back,” those reasons didn’t make sense.

Now the general public will see the film. (I saw it back in the day.) It should be exciting.

“Let It Be” contains footage not featured in the “Get Back” docuseries, bringing viewers into the studio and onto Apple Corps’ London rooftop in January 1969 as The Beatles, joined by Billy Preston, write and record their GRAMMY Award®-winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award®-winning title song, and perform live for the final time as a group.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Michael Lindsay-Hogg says, “’How often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs. And then you get to the roof and you see their excitement, camaraderie and sheer joy in playing together again as a group” …“I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with ‘Get Back,’ using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, ‘Let It Be,’ has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades,” says Peter Jackson. “Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and ‘Let It Be’ is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970.”…“I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: ‘Let It Be’ is the climax of ‘Get Back,’ while ‘Get Back’ provides a vital missing context for ‘Let It Be.’

As much as I liked the Peter Jackson-version, the original still burns in my head. I well remember when it came out – with a greatphoto book I still have on my shelf. When all the chatter began about how much fun they really had come out; I sort of didn’t believe it. Face it, if the Fab Four didn’t like Hogg’s version back then … it never would have come out.

I think there was a backlash of sorts and that’s why the original is finally coming out again, though Jackson ‘s involvement is curious. The first time in 50 years no less!  If you want to see it unvarnished and how it really was … watch it.

DON IS BACK — (Via Deadline) Don Johnson is set to star opposite Joshua Jackson in Dr. Odyssey, a new ABC drama series from Ryan Murphy, which is targeting a fall launch. It hails from 20th Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television.

As is the case with any Ryan Murphy series, no details about the premise are being revealed. As the title suggests, Dr. Odyssey is believed to be a medical procedural. According to sources, it is set on a cruise ship.

Details about Johnson’s character are being kept under wraps.

Dr. Odyssey is written, and executive produced by Murphy, Jon Robin Baitz and Joe Baken. Paris Barclay is directing and executive producing. Eric Paquette, Alexis Martin Woodall, Eric Kovtun, Scott Robertson and Nissa Diederich also executive produce alongside Jackson.

Johnson is known for his roles as Det. Sonny Crockett on the classic 1980s NBC series Miami Vice and as the title character in the 1996 CBS series Nash Bridges, which he also reprised in the 2021 Nash Bridges movie for USA. Recent credits include the Emmy-winning HBO limited series Watchmen, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and the Book Club feature franchise. He has coming up Book Club 2: The Next Chapter and Rebel Ridge.

Tokyo Vice

SHORT TAKES — Watched the second season of MAX’s Tokyo Vice-toplining Ansel Elgort; Ken Watanabe and Rachel Keller. Was a great run, though the ending seemed somewhat somber. Sure the bad-guy was offed, but it was his wife who did the most damage. Great show. Michael Mann is one of the Executive Producers and you can see his hands on everything … Felix Cavaliere and The Rascals at SONY Hall on May 17 …

(Via Deadline) Financier and producer Participant is shuttering after 20 years. Founder Jeff Skoll alerted staff at 10:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Deadline has confirmed. Sources say Skoll did an audit of the company and wanted to pivot from entertainment. We understand that most of the 100-person staff is being let go except for core employees who will settle out remaining productions and oversee outstanding commitments to the catalog. Participant’s m.o. was to bring content to the world that was socially conscious, read its Oscar Best Picture winners Spotlight from Open Road and Universal’s Green Book, as well as DreamWorks’ Oscar winner Lincoln. All in, Participant counts 135 films, five series, 21 Oscars — including the two Best Pictures, four Best Documentaries and two Best International Features — 18 Primetime Emmys and north of $3.3 billion in global box office

Pam Anderson joins Liam Neeson in a Naked Gun re-boot? Yes indeed …

Ripley

Steve Zaillian’s Ripley on Netflix is a staggeringly spellbinding take on Ripley; the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Not quite the often comedic-romp that was Matt Damon’s take, but rather a very stylish re-construction. Michael Scott as Ripley is pretty awesome and shot in black-and-white, the images are stunning. After the first few episodes that meandered a bit, I’m definitely into it. Very much recommended.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — John Boulos; Manny’s; Al Roker; Roger Friedman; Roy Trakin; Alec Baldwin; Ken Sharp; Surf Ballroom; My Father’s Place; Eppy; Chuck Pulin; Joel Diamond; Billy Amato; Ray Free; Al Teller; Joel Diamond; Robey; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Glenn Friscia; and SADIE!

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Kjersti Long (David Kaptein)

G.H. Harding

GO LONG —- We’ve spoken before of 17-year-old Kjersti Long – on Origin Entertainment/ModSquad (ADA) Records. Her latest single “Sad Song” has become a digital-hit and a new album (her second) is in the works.

She’ll also be in NYC for June’s Tribeca Festival and a prominent agency is stepping up to rep her and her play Relative Space is prepping for an opening in the West End.

Said NEW HD’s Zach Martin: “Kjersti Long, at just 17, stands as a beacon of talent and ambition in the music industry. Her journey from a prodigious debut at the tender age of 11 with the album “Stronger Than You Think I Am” on Broadway Records to becoming a significant influencer on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Kjersti’s career trajectory is nothing short of remarkable​​. Her engagement with her fans and the music community through platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where she has garnered over 50 million views and more than 160,000 new followers, underscores her magnetic appeal and the resonant connection she forges through her music​​.”

She also has a song on the new Vanessa Williams album, “Legs.” Williams’ official video will be out April 26, but here’s an update on her from LifeMinute TV:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD-Okb_T8CM

www.kjerstilong.com


RASCAL-ING AROUND —
(Via Forgotten Hits) Look for a new Rascals box set coming out May 31st.

The 7-disc set encompasses their entire recorded output with Atlantic Records, 1965 – 1971, including mono and stereo copies of their albums, special singles mixes and some previously unreleased tracks.  (I remember shelling out big bucks for an earlier CD edition of this set … but I’ve gotta tell you, this one has got the COOLEST looking cover!!!).

“The Rascals:  It’s Wonderful: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings features 152 remastered songs, including 14 previously unreleased tracks. The first four albums are presented in both stereo and mono, along with significant single edits and foreign language versions. The collection includes a 60-page booklet with detailed notes and rare illustrations from The Rascals archives.

Amazon’s got it for $69.99 (I paid 2 ½ times that much way back when for the original!) so pre-order now.  This is quite the collection!

Interesting that this box set is from the UK-based Cherry Red Records. Founded by Iain McNay in 1978, Cherry Red Records has continued to uphold the same fiercely independent values since day one. Check them out here: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/about

And don’t forget about Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish and The Rascals at SONY Hall on May 17.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Atlantic-Recordings-Rascals/dp/B0CZ3NHLGG?crid=3S8UG8TZCIC3M&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.fcz-QxVsrVNGCoS-EbSPkg.htVhtZLFLUN8n9NrR1H-6rJi5fsjLvQexjIPS6c2Ges&dib_tag=se&keywords=B0CZ3NHLGG&qid=1712320481&s=music&

Micky Dolenz at Troubadour (Stevo Rood)

SHORT TAKES — Check out Tone Scott’s review of Micky Dolenz at LA’s Troubadour in Goldmine: https://www.goldminemag.com/columns/micky-dolenz-songs-and-stories-raises-the-roof-off-the-troubadour-all-for-make-a-wish#gid=ci02dac725a00025c5&pid=thumbnail-3

RIP Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis Ford Coppola at 87. Years ago, I was at a screening of Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind Of Charles Swan with Charlie Sheen. I loved the movie and at a post-screening event, I met Francis Ford Coppola, who could not have been more approachable.

He invited me to sit at his table with his wife Eleanor. Both were terrific. She’ll be much-missed by the film community as well. From Deadline: https://deadline.com/2024/04/eleanor-coppola-dead-hearts-of-darkness-francis-coppola-wife-1235883537/Happy Bday Brit Brashear.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Melinda Newman; Barry Fisch; Toby Rasmussen; Roy Trakin; Joel Diamond; Fred Armisen; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Richie Kaczor; Jim Burgess; Tom Scott; Steve Walter; Dan Zelinski; Herb Alpert; Hubert Laws; Eppy; Craig Newman; Jane Blunkell; John Billings; Lora Evans; Andrew Sandoval; Chris Carter; Wen Fernandez; and ZIGGY!

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Patti LuPone Returns to Broadway and The Big Screen

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Three-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who gave up her Equity card in 2022, will star opposite Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play, The Roommate. The production will be directed by Jack O’Brien and will begin previews at the Booth Theatre in August ahead of a September opening.

The Roommate tells the story of Sharon, in her mid-fifties, who is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in March 2015, and has had several regional productions including at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017.

Ms. LuPone will star in the upcoming Marvel series, WandaVision spinoff series Agatha: Coven of Chaos. She’s in a coven of witches, playing Lilia Calderu, who is hot, with a great body and hair. Calderu, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973 as a 450-year-old Sicilian witch whose power is divination and whose trial is tarot. The other witches are Kathryn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and a familiar who is played by Joe Locke. Locke, is currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd.

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David Kramer Presents Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary/ The Review

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by John Muller ( Blue Notes and Conversations)

 “There’s so much misinformation out there in movies, documentaries and the internet, it’s as if there’s a deliberate campaign of disinformation to mislead in an attempt to rewrite history” says David Kramer. “The Hendrix-story has taken on urban myth-like proportions – stories abound that many people believe to be true but largely are not.”

I had the good fortune of seeing Emmy-Award winner David Kramer’s truly remarkable “Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary” at the Nyack International Film Festival. Hard for me to believe that the sensational 2-hour film that we were able to view is part of a much larger, even more extensive 12-plus hour, multi-part series covering the life and times of Jimi Hendrix. This is unauthorized, and that point was made by David at the screening on Saturday night, the Hendrix Estate legally trying to suppress the entire series, so far, thankfully unsuccessfully. It is a truly incredible slice of history, an amazing look into the life of Jimi Hendrix, without the hype and the canonization, without the beatification, leaving the legend behind so we get a deeper and closer look at the man himself. No bullshit – just the truth from those who knew him, performed with him, and were close to him.

Kramer has spent the last 30 years, with a small team, pulling together, unearthing, discovering hours of unseen Jimi Hendrix footage, well over 400 on-camera interviews, music clips and celebrating Jimi Hendrix – his joy, his humor, the tragedy, the mystery and all that surrounded Jim’s life and music.

I was fascinated by the segments presented on the screen, details many of which were unknown to me, a Jimi fan for decades. From the days when the Isley brothers auditioned an up and coming guitar player in the early 1960’s he already had quite a reputation for his unorthodox style of guitar work – left handed and upside down – onto the times Jimi spent living with the Isley Family in Teaneck, New Jersey; his performance at the Paterson Armory that had fellow musicians thunderstruck and amazed and the fans crazed with delight; his early days performing, including  a date with the Isley’s in West Nyack, New York at a battle-of-the-bands held outside on a flatbed truck. Those acid-dripping and alcohol-fueled performances at the legendary nightclub: The Scene, located in the basement of 301 West 46th Street where bands like The Animals, the Who, Young Rascals, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck, Traffic, Muddy Waters, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Led Zeppelin, all performed nightly where jam sessions always followed. Jimi regularly jamming into the wee hours of the morning with folks like Janis Joplin, Stephen Stills, Jim Morrison. On one particularly wild night Morrison was deep into drugs and alcohol, his performance with Jimi incoherent as Morrison screamed into the mic, going so far as to try to sexually seduce Jimi on stage with bouncers dragging him out of the club, as Morrison continuing to howl like a banshee on the mic as he was dragged outside.

Hendrix jamming with anyone, Johhny Winter among so many others mentioned in the film, and everyone who was lucky enough to make it inside the cramped and packed basement club on any given night of the week. Seemed like everyone wanted to outperform Jimi up on that dimly lit stage – and both the interview with, and video of Larry Coryell and Hendrix really illuminates the rivalry that many felt. The interviews with musicians who were there, those who performed with Hendrix, managers, friends and musicians, give a real keen insight into the real-life Jimi Hendrix, tossing aside the myths and the halo. He was a quiet, unassuming guy, who loved to perform, thrilled to play his guitar and have fun on that small basement stage, drinking his red wine, blending into the crazy scene of hangers-ons, groupies, friends, musicians, managers, cultural icons and lovers.

Sitting there watching the documentary I was transfixed by the interviews, by the footage and details from the “Isle of Wight” concert, the mysterious gentlemen who surrounded Jimi just before he was found dead in London, the reminiscences that were carefully compiled, interviews that came straight from the heart from so many who knew Jimi, performed with him, hung out with him, slept with him, and deeply cared about him – and many who were very worried about so many strange events that were part of Jimi’s life towards the end of his life.  The details about “The Monkees Party ” where Jimi was rescued by John Sebastian, a good friend, the infamous opening night party held at Electric Lady Studios where Japanese food was served spiked with acid unbeknownst to many, an event few remember, but those who do, say it was quite a trip!

As I sat there watching the film I could hear yells and cheers, cries from the audience as folks like Ginger Baker, Todd Rundgren, Jorma Kaukonen and Stephen Stills, to name but a few and many regional musicians from the New York area who were interviewed known to the audience as some were in attendance on Saturday night.

David Kramer Presents: Jimi Hendrix-The Documentary is a fascinating film, a project filled with enormous amounts of love and respect, dedication and perseverance. We get to see another side of Hendrix, stripping away the facade, hacking apart the legend, breaking down the walls of historical inaccuracies and legendary misinformation.

Jimi was a performer, a musician with other-worldly talent, who enjoyed playing the guitar, hanging out with friends, loved his women and up to a certain point in his life, was really enjoying himself as a regular person. We are welcomed into a world of intrigue, mistrust, free love, psychedelic-drug fueled jam sessions, explosive stage performances, explosive tirades, mafia influences, complete meltdowns, unbelievable guitar pyrotechnics and electrifying stage theatrics from a guy named James Marshal “Jimi” Hendrix.

A must-see for music fans worldwide. Seek this movie out immediately! I was captivated, mesmerized, and thoroughly entranced by the 2-hours that passed by as magically as the notes from “Purple Haze.” Outstanding achievement!

Rock guitarist, singer, composer, bandleader Jimi was gone by September 18, 1970 at the young age of 27.  He certainly lived a remarkable life.  Thanks so much David Kramer for giving us a chance to know Jimi a little bit better as a person, as a gifted and somewhat troubled human being, seeing him warts and all for the first time, a journey that was certainly worth the wait. What a trip!

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