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My Dinner With Jimi

February 9th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Movies



If you’re a fan of funny films and/or sixties music — boy is there a new movie for you!  The comic docu-drama “My Dinner With Jimi“, features master Hendrix, The Beatles, Brian Jones, The Moody Blues, Donovan, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison and numerous others, all seen through the eyes of the writer, humorist and lead Turtle, Howard Kaylan, aka Eddie from Flo &, and the singer of many hit songs you’ve sung in your car, from “It Ain’t Me, Babe” to “Elenore” (“You’re my pride and joy, et cetera”).  He was the Abbie Hoffman of rock stars.  A prankster rebel with a microphone and band.

In 1967, their hit “Happy Together” knocked “Penny Lane” off the top of the Billboard charts, and The Turtles’ energized comedy-pop harmonies were the talk of Musicville.  So, they go to England for a tour, and on their first night end up hanging out with their Fab Four heroes, and ultimately having dinner (and lots of drinks) with Jimi Hendrix until dawn.

Of course you’re going, “Sure.  How does somebody portray Jimi Hendrix?!”  But that’s just one of the many home-runs of the film, because the actor, young unknown Royale Watkins, is Hendrix.  Plus there’s all these other funny acting cameos, including ‘Norm’ from “Cheers”, that insane, off-center comedian Taylor Negron, John Corbett from “Sex & The City” and “Northern Exposure”, and in the lead roller-coaster role of the narrating Turtle, Justin Henry, who was the little boy in “Kramer vs. Kramer”.

The film’s set in 1967 during the pivotal transformation period in the history of rock n roll and popular music – when the troops stormed over the bridge from lip-synching on variety shows to igniting guitars on Monterey stages, from the ubiquity of Tiger Beat to the birth of Rolling Stone, from matching ties and suits into the psychedelic uniforms of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — a bridge that the film’s writer himself crossed, going from the poppy Turtles into Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention.  This was the moment in rock n roll when it all went kerflooey — the Human Be-In, the Summer of Love, Monterey Pop, long hair, and “Are You Experienced?”  Nothing had gone wrong yet, the blush of youth was still rosy, and here were the architects of the future of music all partying together in the underground clubs in England.  Now in a film.  Written by a key player, and produced by Rhino Records, quality incarnate in the music business.

In fact, the movie itself is like the polarity of the era, with the first half set in the paper Tiger Beat home-of-The-Monkees L.A., and the second half in the surreal, edge-cutting speakeasy lairs of London.  And every bit of crazy dialog is based on real events;  a composite of months on the Sunset Strip, and a magical night with the Mount Rushmore of rock.

The movie’s been years in the making and is currently distributed on an ad hoc screening basis, but now that it exists this will be an eternal prankster’s delight as it eventually shows up at midnight screenings and on late-night movie channels.  “What in the hell is This?!” will be said many more times in the future because of this movie.

You’re eventually going to see it, but this is where you first heard about it.

This is not an outsiders take on the ’60s.  It’s “Spinal Tap”, written by a real rock star, about other real rock stars, set in the halcyon daze of 1967.  How can this not be great?

This is a working free live stream as of February 2023:

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Here’s a review of the brilliant surreal masterpiece interpreting Bob Dylan — I’m Not There.

Or here’s the “comeback” documentary of Johnny Winter made just before he left the building.

Or here’s the Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert filmShine A Light.

Or here’s a fairly unknown but perfectly offbeat comedy — Lucky Numbers — with a comedic Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth, Michael Rapaport, Richard Schiff, Michael Moore and many others.

Or here’s from the London premiere of On The Road in the courtyard of Somerset House.

And here was the world premiere of the new shorter version of On The Road at the Toronto Film Festival.

Or here’s an overview of all the Beat movie dramatizations ever filmed.

Or here’s a review of the lost footage of the historic roc n roll train trip that was finally released as Festival Express, starring the Grateful Dead, The Band and Janis Joplin.

Or here’s a bunch of films I reviewed on IMDB.

Or here’s a master list of Brian’s Hot 300 movies including all sorts of cinematic riffs and tips. 

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by Brian Hassett            

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rob Salmon // Feb 9, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    other movies to look out for…Neil Young’s CSNY Deja Vu (preview from

    and following on the Spinal Tap mention above: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (

    tanx Bri!!

  • 2 Brian Humniski // Feb 10, 2008 at 7:27 PM

    Love Flo & Eddie. Gotta see this.

  • 3 Joe Myles // Feb 12, 2008 at 11:42 PM

    How come all the best movies never play in theaters anymore? With all the crap out there you’d think they’d find room for the occasional decent film that actually gets made!!!

  • 4 Al Robinson // Feb 15, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    I loved “Head” and “200 Motels” and “The Party” … all those 60s era/style portrayals. This sounds right in the school of crazy misadventures.

  • 5 Andrew Corner // Aug 19, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    Finally caught this on Netflix — and yeah, it’s as good as you say. Well acted, great music … and really funny chit.

  • 6 Ben Nathan // Oct 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Would love to see this in a weekend double-feature with Spinal Tap. There needs to be even more spoofing rock stars movies — they’re ripe for the picking. This is a much welcome addition to the canon.

  • 7 Barb Wilkinson // Jul 9, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Just read his new autobiography “Shell Shocked” … and if this is 1/10th as good it’s gonna be hilarious.
    What a life old Howard lived. So glad they made part of it into a movie. (at least one) They could make about ten of them and never run out of material.

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