Jimi Hendrix's strange volcano-side Maui concert documented in new film

Publish Date
Monday, 14 September 2020, 9:30AM

A new Jimi Hendrix documentary, Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui, exploring the guitar icon's strange experience in Hawaii in 1970 is coming November 20.

The film chronicles an ill-fated hippie film project that led to two stunning Hendrix performances at the foot of a Maui volcano, complete with interviews and never-before-seen live footage of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Hendrix was still building his Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan and working on the follow-up to the Electric Ladyland album when his manager, Michael Jeffery struck a $500,000 deal with Warner Bros.

Under terms of the deal, Warner Bros. would fund the remaining construction of the studio and finance a film called Rainbow Bridge, which was shooting in Maui. In return, Hendrix would provide the label a soundtrack album for the movie.

Rainbow Bridge was meant to explore the idea of enlightenment but ended up unfolding on set and on screen as a mess of half-baked hippie ideology and excess. Understanding that his investment was likely doomed, Jeffery tried to cut his loses by arranging for Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox to appear in the film.

The Hendrix Experience was already scheduled to perform in Honolulu, but Rainbow Bridge director Chuck Wein devised a plan to film a free concert on Maui at a cattle ranch on the dormant Haleakala volcano.

The Several hundred locals showed up to take in the unique concert, which as far as the Experience was concerned was a success.

Hendrix tragically died in London a few months later, making the Maui performance one of his last ever filmed concerts.

Rainbow Bridge, of course, was a huge commercial flop. Confused moviegoers thought they bought tickets to a concert film, but were treated to only 17 minutes of poorly edited performance footage amid the utterly strange film.

The new Live In Maui documentary explores the factors that led to the Rainbow Bridge debacle and includes two never-before-released Jimi Hendrix Experience live sets.

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission