‘Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church’ Documentary Headed to Theaters: Exclusive

After a run on Showtime last year and release on CD and DVD, the documentary Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church — about his legendary July 4, 1970 performance at the second Atlanta International Pop Festival — is headed to the big screen.

The film’s theatrical run — through Abramorama, which also did Ron Howard’s documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years — begins Jan. 31, including a special screening at the ArcLight Hollywood theater that will include a discussion by director John McDermott of Experience Hendrix, record producer and engineer Eddie Kramer, Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix and Steve Rash, the original producer/director of Atlanta Pop. Other openings will take place into early April, and the Feb. 25 screening in Nashville will feature a Q&A with longtime Hendrix bassist Billy Cox.

“For us it’s always about promoting Jimi and exposing him to as broad an audience as we can,” McDermott tells Billboard. “Nothing articulates Hendrix better than Hendrix. We can yack all day long, but he’s the guy who grabs everybody. To see him on a film screen, larger than life, you get to really understand what he was about. And there’s so little of Jimi talking about his motives, his vision. So it’s best for us to put him out there like this and show people what was going on.”

Besides Hendrix’s performance, Electric Church also features interviews with bandmates Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell, along with Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Rich Robinson (Black Crowes, Magpie Salute), festival organizer Alex Cooley and more. “The excitement of seeing this vibrant, unusually talented guy do these things, that’s what connects and inspires people,” says McDermott. “That’s what’s behind the strategy of trying to do this. If it gets the fan out who hasn’t paid attention in a while, or if it gets young people who are intrigued with Jimi and, obviously, never saw him perform live, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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