Watch Music History With My Dinner With Jimi

(conqueroo) A slew of films about the British rock scene of the 1960s will make it to the marketplace this year. Beating them to the punch, at least on DVD, is My Dinner With Jimi. The film was written by someone who was actually there: The Turtles' lead singer Howard Kaylan. In 1967 the Turtles, riding high with their mega-hit "Happy Together," were flown to England for promotion, and wound up hanging out with many of their heroes. The film follows the band as they encounter rock stars of the day, including the Beatles, Jim Morrison and ultimately, Jimi Hendrix.

Rhino Entertainment's co-founder Harold Bronson, the movie's producer, pushed the production to achieve a historical accuracy lacking in similar films. My Dinner With Jimi is the fourth feature directed by Bill Fishman (Tapeheads, Ramones videos). Produced for Rhino Films, the movie, with bonus material, will be released by Micro Werks on June 9, distributed through Infinity Entertainment Group.

Royale Watkins stars as Jimi Hendrix, whose performance Variety called "a completely believable turn." Academy Award Nominee Justin Henry plays Howard Kaylan, and Jason Boggs plays Turtle Mark Volman.

"It's an absolutely true story," Kaylan recounts. "It was our first trip to London and we met Graham Nash, Donovan, the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, and the Beatles all on the same night! Nash played us Sgt. Pepper's before it was released. I wound up having dinner with Hendrix at 4 a.m.!"

The Turtles' other hits include "Elenore," "You Showed Me" and "She'd Rather Be With Me," and they hold the distinction of having been the first rock band to play the White House. They still tour a minimum of 50 dates per year as the Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie.

According to producer Bronson, "In my 24 years co-running Rhino with co-founder Richard Foos my most enjoyable times were spent with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman working on various Turtles and Flo & Eddie (the groups they fronted) projects. One bonus was hearing their marvelous stories. For many years, I've not only wanted to tell their story in a feature film format, but to give the viewer more of an idea of this special time. I always wondered what it would be like to have been a fly on the wall in that magical time. With My Dinner With Jimi, I believe we've come close."

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