Jimi Hendrix heirs clash with producer over film project

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Jimi Hendrix's heirs clashed in court on Thursday with a producer they alleged reneged on a deal for a concert movie about the iconic guitarist.

Lawyers for the Hendrix family and producer Gerald Goldstein took verbal swings at each other at the Los Angeles trial over rights to the movie, based on a series of concerts in Europe in 1969.

Goldstein originally wanted a US$2 million (S$2.54 million) budget to cover film's print, advertising and distribution costs, and Hendrix's estate contributed more than half of that amount.

But the producer allegedly pulled out of the deal when he realised the limited release that was planned for the movie, which was to feature footage from concerts in Austria, France, Germany and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

"They pulled the rug out from under Mr Goldstein and destroyed his ability to present his vision of what he thought the film would be like," Goldstein's lawyer Brent Blakely told LA Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney.

But Hendrix family attorney Edwin McPherson said the Hendrix Experience, the business arm of the musician's estate, could not agree to Goldstein's demands for the project.

They are asking the producer to return their contribution to the movie.

"This is a great little film, but it's not Michael Jackson and it's not Titanic," he said, referring to Jackson's posthumous film This Is It and the Oscar-winning 1997 movie starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Hendrix's 43-year-old sister Janie - the CEO of Experience Hendrix - was present in court Thursday, and may testify on Monday, lawyers said.

Hendrix died of an accidental drug overdose aged 27 in September 1970.

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