Vivid Entertainment is releasing a sex tape allegedly starring Jimi Hendrix.
The Los Angeles-based adult entertainment company said they obtained the sex tape from a memorabilia collector.
The 11 minutes of footage of a man resembling Hendrix cavorting with two unidentified brunettes in a dimly lit bedroom is packaged in a 45-minute DVD by Vivid.
Vivid, which also distributed the notorious sex tape of actress Pamela Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee, among others, said in a press release that its Hendrix footage was shot about 40 years ago in a hotel room and was unearthed by a rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia collector.
“This new movie shows that Jimi Hendrix could have been as great a porn star as he was a rock star,” Vivid co-chairman, Steven Hirsch, said in the release.
The company said they consulted with experts to authenticate the footage. But Charles R. Cross, author of the Hendrix biography “Room Full of Mirrors,” has seen the film and doubts the man is Hendrix.
Cross said the face and nostrils of the man depicted in the video don’t match Hendrix. He also said the man in the tape is wearing more rings that Hendrix was known to wear.
“This is somebody that looks like Jimi or is pretending to look like him, but it certainly didn’t look like a dead-on match to me,” Cross told The Associated Press during a telephone interview Tuesday.
The musician’s longtime girlfriend during the 1960s, Kathy Etchingham, told the New York Times after viewing still photos taken from the footage: “It is not him.”
“His face is too broad and nose and nostrils too wide for Jimi,” she was quoted as telling the Times via e-mail.
But Vivid consulted with Pamela Des Barres, author of the book “I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie,” and Cynthia Albritton, better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster, famed for making plaster molds of celebrities’ genitals, including those of Hendrix.
Both women appear on the DVD, titled, “Jimi Hendrix the Sex Tape,” offering their commentary.
“They both immediately had the same reaction: ‘I can’t believe it, it’s Jimi Hendrix,”’ Hirsch quoted the two women as saying when they first viewed the footage.
Deal for rightsVivid bought the tape from an individual distributor, Howie Klein, who had approached Vivid after purchasing it from the collector who found it, Hirsch said.
Hirsch told Reuters that private investigators hired by Vivid’s lawyers tracked down the man who claimed to have shot the footage in 8-millimeter color film, and Vivid struck a deal with him for rights to commercially distribute it.
“That’s why we believe in fact that we own the copyright,” he said.
Bob Merlis, spokesman for Experience Hendrix, the Seattle company owned by the musician’s relatives that controls rights to his music, said, “We’re in no position to verify” the tape’s authenticity. He declined further comment, saying only that rights to Hendrix’s likeness remain an unsettled legal issue.
The sex tape DVD, which retails for $39.95, was available for sale online at www.hendrixsextape.com and will be available in stores starting next Tuesday, Hirsch said.
Distribution of the Hendrix tape comes two weeks after a New York businessman purchased a 15-minute film of Marilyn Monroe engaging in oral sex. But the broker of that deal said the buyer planned to keep the film out of public view.
Hendrix, who headlined the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969, died of a drug overdose in 1970 at age 27 in London.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.