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Watch Jimi Hendrix Erupt While Performing “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” on a Volcano

Jimi Hendrix
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Galloping horses; a few hundred seated hippies arranged in order of their astrological sign; and the weirdest mic muff you’ve ever laid eyes on – all part of the scene in this incredible clip of Jimi Hendrix playing "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" during the first of two afternoon performances on the edge of a volcano in Hawaii.

Captured on July 30, 1970 – just a few weeks prior to Hendrix’s untimely passing at the age of 27 – this spontaneous free gig took place a couple of days before the band’s scheduled arena concert in Honolulu and was shot with the intention of collating footage for the now infamous Rainbow Bridge film.

While the original recording was plagued with problems (to be expected in 50 mile an hour winds on the side of a volcano!) Hendrix delivers a fiery performance alongside his red-hot rhythm section, comprising bassist Billy Cox and longstanding/sitting drummer Mitch Mitchell.

“Jimi loved adventure and there was certainly no shortage of it during his time in Hawaii,” said Janie Hendrix 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!”

Jimi Hendirx Experience 'Live in Maui' album cover artwork

(Image credit: Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

Last year saw the release of these historical recordings in the form of the Jimi Hendrix Experience Live in Maui album, which was accompanied by the unmissable Jimi Hendrix documentary Music, Money, Madness… Jimi Hendrix in Maui. A must for any Hendrix fan or student of the electric guitar, if you enjoyed this clip, we recommend grabbing yourself a copy here (opens in new tab).

Visit the official Jimi Hendrix website (opens in new tab) for more information.

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.