Rainbow Bridge Colour-Sound Experiment
Haleakala Crater, Maui, HI – July 30, 1970
Disc 1 (61:40): Gemini Twins, Introduction by Chuck Wein, Spanish Castle Magic, Lover Man, Hey Baby (Land Of The New Rising Sun), In From The Storm, Foxy Lady, Hear My Train A Comin’, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Fire, Purple Haze
Disc 2 (53:50): Introduction, Dolly Dagger, Villanova Junction, Ezy Rider, Red House, Freedom, Beginnings (Jam Back At My House), Straight Ahead, Hey Baby (The Land Of The New Rising Sun), Midnight Lightening / Race With The Devil, drum solo, Stone Free
The film Rainbow Bridge received limited theatrical release in March 1972. It was already a relic of the self indulgent and narcissistic hippie ideology. Narrated by Chuck Wein, who prattles on about reaching a cosmic consciousness (reserved only for them), the actual film is a boring mess. Jimi Hendrix’s ninety minute concert was edited down to about eighteen minutes featuring “Foxy Lady,” “Hey Baby,” “Voodoo Chile (slight return),” “Land of the New Rising Sun” and “In From the Storm.”
That Hendrix was featured on the movie posters reveals another boomer-demographic trait of exploiting their self-created mythos for profit.
Regardless of the film, this was one of Jimi’s final live concerts before his passing two months later. He held a special relationship to Hawaii and the philosophizing surrounding Wein and these people. Anu Yagi posted a detailed and fascinating article giving extraordinary background on this event titled Remembering “Rainbow Bridge” – Extended Mix.
The professional recording of Jimi’s set has been featured on several pressed titled before. In 1990 it came out on Live 1970-07-30 Maui, Early Show (Last American Concert Vol.1) (TSP-CD-062) and Live 1970-07-30 Maui, Late Show (Last American Concert Vol.2) (TSP-CD-072) and a year later on Incident At Rainbow Bridge (Triangle Records PYCD060-2). The Rainbow Bridge Concert (HAZE 01) also features the complete professional recording and Jimi Hendrix Rare Masters Series Vol. 3 (TSP-CD-134) has several tracks from the soundtrack.
Scorpio released Maui Hawaii (JH – 07010) several years ago with a portion of the soundboard, an audience tape and a DVD with footage of the event. But they weren’t edited together leading wgpsec to conclude “Overall, Maui Hawaii on Scorpio is a good way to obtain a nice pressed copy of the DVD and the rare audience source but the soundboard source, although excellent sounding is too incomplete. I am certain someday the Experience Hendrix camp will give this the deluxe treatment it deserves.”
Rainbow Bridge Colour-Sound Experiment is the latest and definitive silver pressing. It is a professional edit of the two sources to present the complete show and utilizes a cleaner soundboard source. It’s perhaps the best ever version of this show with all the songs present complete and in proper sequential order. There is also a track from the opening act The Gemini Twins, a female folk singing duo.
This is also an excellent example of the direction Hendrix was headed in before he passed away. His initial success was built upon seemingly spontaneous improvisations and use of feedback and distortion. But much of the impact was concentrated on the visuals (guitar burning, playing with the teeth, etc) was was lost on actual musical composition.
After the Experience and working with Billy Cox saw him move into more structured music with funk and jazz influences. It’s interesting to hear the newer songs “Freedom,” “Ezy Rider” and “In From The Storm.” Even more interesting is his reinterpretation of his older material such as “Foxy Lady” and “Voodoo Chile” and its segue into a spacey version of “Fire.”
Rainbow Bridge Colour-Sound Experiment is a solid Hendrix title without any identifying label and is a worthy upgrade over past releases.