My Dinner With Jimi

January 01, 1970

(Rhino; 90 minutes)

 

www.rhino.com

 

BY STEVEN ROSEN

 

Royale Watkins gives a charismatic, sexy and endearing
performance as Jimi Hendrix in this wryly comic, sweet-natured reverse-Don’t
Look Back
remembrance of a trip to Swinging London by California popsters
the Turtles in 1967, at the height of their “Happy Together”/”She’d Rather Be
With Me.”

 

On their arrival, the night before Sgt. Pepper is
released, wide-eyed Turtles singer Howard Kaylan (a very effective Justin
Henry, child star of Kramer vs. Kramer) meets the Beatles, Graham Nash,
Donovan, Brian Jones and Hendrix at a nightclub. More fan than rock star,
chubby and poorly dressed and not especially hip, Kaylan is both an outsider
and – because he has a pop hit – an insider in this rarified world. John Lennon
(Brian Groh) is drunk and cruel, Jones (Jay Michael Ferguson) proves a
gentlemanly fan of Southern California pop, Hendrix – not yet known in the U.S. – imparts
wisdom during an alcohol-fueled dinner.

 

Made in 2003 on a restrictive budget by Bill Fishman (Tapeheads), with a screenplay by Kaylan that relies too heavily on narration, it
transcends its limitations and feels real because of superb casting and acting.
It casts a spell.

 

Special features: Commentary by Kaylan and producer Harold Bronson, short film about the Turtles’
British trip.

 

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