New Jimi Hendrix Documentary Chronicles Ill-Fated Film ‘Rainbow Bridge’
Jimi Hendrix’s participation in the 1971 box office flop Rainbow Bridge — which included an outdoor Hawaiian concert with the Jimi Hendrix Hendrix on July 30th, 1970 — will be chronicled in the new documentary Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui. It will come out on November 20th along with the accompanying album Live in Maui.
The Blu-ray edition of the movie will include all of the available concert footage from the film shoot. Check out a preview of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” from the show.
Rainbow Bridge was an Easy Rider-inspired film produced by Hendrix’s manager Michael Jeffery and filmed on the Hawaiian island of Maui. But director Chuck Wein, a close associate of Andy Warhol, had little experience and the film, which centers around a New York model that travels to Hawaii, was dismissed as a pompous, impenetrable mess by most critics.
Its saving grace was footage near the end of the Jimi Hendrix Experience playing on a makeshift stage on the lower slope of the dormant Haleakala volcano. The original drum track wasn’t properly recorded at the time, so Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell overdubbed a new one at Electric Lady Studios.
“Mitch did a tremendous amount of work on the overdubs,” producer Eddie Kramer said in a statement. “If he didn’t get it in one take, he certainly did in the second one and I was so blown away by his ability to duplicate the parts he had already played! He was determined to fix what suffered on the recordings due to the 50-mile-an-hour winds because they were playing on the side of a bloody volcano!”
Hendrix died before Rainbow Bridge reached theaters and the soundtrack doesn’t feature any music recorded at the Maui shows. The two sets he played that day have never been released prior to this and much of the footage has never been seen.
Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui was directed by Hendrix archivist/author John McDermott and weaves together new interviews with the surviving Rainbow Bridge players along with never-before-seen archival footage from the shoot.
“Jimi loved adventure and there was certainly no shortage of it during his time in Hawaii, a place he also loved,” said Janie Hendrix, the CEO of Experience Hendrix. “The back story of Rainbow Bridge and these recordings paint a picture of Jimi’s uncanny ability to turn the bizarre into something amazing! We’re excited about this release because it gives the world a closer look at Jimi’s genius.”
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