This extraordinary, often hilarious, re-enactment of one night in swinging 1967 London is "damn close to being a fly on the wall in a magical era," says Harold Bronson, producer of My Dinner With Jimi, coming to DVD June 23 from Infinity Entertainment Group.
The film follows the band’s British adventure and was written by someone who was actually there, the Turtles’ lead singer Howard Kaylan. In 1967, the Turtles – riding high with their mega-hit "Happy Together" (which replaced The Beatles’ "Penny Lane" at #1 on the Billboard charts and remained there for three weeks) – were flown to England for promotion and wound up hanging out with many of their heroes.
"It’s an absolutely true story," Kaylan recounts. "It was our first trip to London and we met Graham Nash, Donovan, the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and the Beatles all on the same night! Nash played us Sergeant. Pepper’s before it was released. I wound up having dinner with Hendrix at 4 a.m., getting ill and puking all over his red suit!"
My Dinner With Jimi, directed by Bill Fishman (Tapeheads, Ramones videos) achieves a historical accuracy lacking in similar films. Starring as Jimi Hendrix is Royale Watkins, whose performance Variety calls "a completely believable turn." Academy Award- nominee Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer) plays Howard Kaylan and Jason Boggs plays The Turtles’ vocalist Mark Volman. Also features special appearance by John Corbett (Showtime’s United States of Tara, HBO’s Sex and the City), George Wendt (NBC’s Cheers), Taylor Negron (The Last Boy Scout, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and Curtis Armstrong ("Snot" on FOX’s American Dad, ABC’s Moonlighting).
My Dinner With Jimi won Best Feature Film at the Ashville North Carolina Film Festival; Best Screenplay at the Slamdunk Film Festival and was an official selection of the Seattle International Film Festival.
My Dinner With Jimi is presented in full screen (1.178:1) and stereo. Special features include audio commentary with The Turtle’s lead singer Howard Kaylan and the film’s producer Harold Bronson; The Turtles in London documentary interviews; a featurette about The Turtles’ managers; a Turtles discography; and closed captioning.
The Turtles’ other top-10 hits include a cover of Bob Dylan’s "It Aint Me Babe" (1966), "She’d Rather Be With Me" (1967), "Elenore"(1968) and "You Showed Me" (1969). The group also holds the distinction of being first rock band to play the White House (Tricia Nixon’s favorite band) in 1969. Mark "Flo" Volman and Howard "Eddie" Kaylan continue to tour a minimum of 50 dates per year as "The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie."
Infinity Entertainment Group, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., is a multi-service home entertainment retail distributor specializing in independent films, television programming, special-interest, documentaries, anime and music. Clients include Smithsonian Networks, MOJO HD, Falcon Picture Group, Bandai Entertainment, Roxbury Entertainment, SJ2 Entertainment and Retromedia. Hit titles include the iconic Route 66 television series, now available on DVD for the first time, and Spike Jones: The Legend. The company was launched in 2006 and is a division of Infinity Resources, Inc., a privately-held, multi-channel marketing and service enterprise with general offices based in suburban Chicago, Ill.