A New Documentary on Jimi Hendrix's Famous 1970 Maui Performances Is on the Way

Jimi Hendrix
David Redfern/Redferns

Jimi Hendrix

Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings announced on Thursday (Sept. 10) a new documentary titled Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui, plus an accompanying album Live In Maui.

The film will feature the story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's famous visit to Maui, Hawaii in 1970 and the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge film. 

Hendrix was working on a follow-up album to Electric Ladyland with his bandmates Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox, and building Electric Lady Studios in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Since completing the recording facility was proving to be quite expensive, his controversial manager Michael Jeffery procured a $500,000 advance from Warner Bros. to fund the remaining construction. At those same meetings, Jeffery convinced the label to finance the Rainbow Bridge film in exchange for rights to its Hendrix-filled soundtrack.   

The Chuck Wein-directed and Jeffery-produced film centered around the idea of a “rainbow bridge” between the unenlightened and enlightened worlds, but instead of its vision of featuring everyday people taking part in everything from surfing and yoga to meditation and Tai-Chi, the shoot began diminishing to an unorganized assemblage of hippie life. As Jeffery grew concerned that his investment was in jeopardy, he became desperate to feature Hendrix in the film.

The Experience were already booked to perform a concert in Honolulu at the H.I.C. Arena on August 1, 1970 and Wein came up with a plan to film a free "color/sound vibratory experiment" on the lower slope of the dormant Haleakala volcano. A few hundred Maui locals gathered for a successful performance, and Hendrix soon returned to New York and his work at Electric Lady Studios before he tragically died in London on September 18, 1970.  

 Jeffery prepared Rainbow Bridge and its accompanying soundtrack to follow up to acclaimed posthumous The Cry of Love. The film was a commercial flop as moviegoers were under the impression they were going to see a concert film. 17 minutes of heavily edited Hendrix concert footage was used in the final cut.

The Blu-ray will include the full documentary as well as bonus features featuring all of the existing 16mm color film shot of the two performances that afternoon mixed in both stereo and  5.1 surround sound. Included in the package will be Live In Maui spread across 2 CDs or 3 vinyl LPs, restored and mixed by longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, and mastered by Bernie Grundman.

Watch the trailer, and watch the "Voodoo Child (Slight Return) performance here, and pre-order both the documentary and album here.