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EARLY 2014


THROUGH JIMI'S EYES


By

Lance Jost and Donna Jost

 

          Just about every angle of the Jimi Hendrix story has been talked about for decades, but there are two significant missing pieces that occurred months before his death that have been swept under the rug; the movie and the mural.

  • The movie, Rainbow Bridge, featuring Jimi Hendrix, was filmed on Maui by a band of hippies over the summer of 1970 and cost Warner Brothers $1 million, doubling their initial investment.

  • The idea for the mural was conceived during pre-production of Rainbow Bridge when Hendrix commissioned an 800 square foot painting in his Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. As the soul of the studio, the mural has served as a backdrop for recording musicians for the past 43 years; John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, just to name a few.

          The story began in May 1969.

          THE SURFER: Mike Hynson, star of The Endless Summer, came up with the concept; Have Hendrix (who he had never met) score his small surfboard demo film. After two failed attempts to connect at concerts in San Diego and three more in Honolulu, Hynson flew to Lahaina, Maui. Relaxing on a friend's lanai, buddy, Les Potts burst in out of the blue, "Mike, Jimi Hendrix' manager is at the Pioneer Inn and he wants to buy some acid!"

          THE HARVARD GRAD: Chuck Wein, Director of Andy Warhol's My Hustler and Poor Little Rich Girl, met Hynson in Guadalajara in the Fall where they discussed the surfer's idea. Early in 1970, Hynson, Wein, and Hendrix' manager, Michael Jeffery met with Mo Austin at Warner Brothers. Pitching Rainbow Bridge, Chuck explained, "The film will be a color vibratory sound experiment where Jimi's notes would be converted into colors to slow down the rotational rate of the planet." Confused, but highly interested in the profits gained from a soundtrack, Mo spoke, "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about Chuck, but I'll give you the money anyway!"

          THE ARTIST: Lance Jost, an unknown painter and sculptor from Southern California, was suggested to Michael Jeffery by Hynson to create the movie title and credits for Rainbow Bridge. Hendrix' manager was so floored by Jost's portfolio, though, that he proposed to Lance, "Jimi wants a mural painted in his recording studio. Why don't we send you to New York instead?"

          On September 19, 1970, Jost was running the last few errands before boarding a plane for New York City when he ran into a friend in Laguna. “Hey, Lance, did you hear that Hendrix died?”

          And the story continues...

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