Documentary Explores JIMI HENDRIX's Influence On Nashville

Tim Ghianni of Tennessean.com is reporting that fimmakers Dan Heller and Valerie Reynolds are currently working on a documentary exploring guitar legend Jimi Hendrix's time spent spent as part of the storied north Nashville R&B scene.

They also want to find out the impact the innovative guitarist had on his nightclub cohorts.

The pair of filmmakers have not found definitive answers yet, but along the way they are discovering much about the folks who played or sang with the sliver of a man who aped the styles of George Yates and Johnny Jones.

To form this portrait of the shuffling wannabe — the failed Army paratrooper who became a casualty of the drug-hazed age he helped define — filmmakers have interviewed Yates, Jones and many other contemporaries. The opinions of Frank Howard, Nick Nixon, Marion James, Earl Gaines, Freeman Brown, heck, even B.B. King, were solicited,

As Heller and Reynolds near a score of filmed interviews, the focus is coming clear: The movie is about Hendrix … but it's also about these souls who still make music here, guys ''rediscovered'' by the masses in part thanks to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Night Train to Nashville exhibit.

These people's recollections first of all help the filmmakers form a picture of Hendrix: "Jimi had a sense of himself that was very powerful, but very quiet at the same time," says Heller.

"His passion was guitar. He never went anywhere without it. He would carry it into the movie theater. He'd get on the bus with it either over his shoulder or in a potato sack.

"He was living here hand-to-mouth, day-to-day, borrowing money. He was a bit of a loner."

Many of the folks who continue to make music here, working 9 to 5 and then hitting the nightspots, literally helped keep Hendrix alive, providing him food and funds.

"It's a poignant, kind of semi-tragic story," says Heller. ''He had so much talent, but he was before his time."

And while Hendrix called Nashville home for a couple of years after he and Army buddy Billy Cox kicked into town, the significance of that time remains unclear.

"Some say Nashville was significant in his life. Others say it was not significant at all. It depends on who you talk to," says Heller.

Read more at Tennessean.com.

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