Copyright Sanford Hill 2013
All Rights Reserved
Maui, I know you've heard of it. Ever wonder what it was like back in the day when it really was a magical lost paradise? Years ago, in a past life, I stumbled on to Maui as a 20 year old escapee from the insane changes to Oahu where I was born and raised. In 1972,, Maui was still an undiscovered remnant of old Hawaii with one stop light, one hotel, and lots of empty waves. It was a place of wonder, adventure, experimentation, and hope for a new beginning that people wisper about now. Flashback with these real off the wall Maui Tales and photos from the far side of the good old days on Maui..
During the 1970's , Mother Maui provided its renegade, hippy, outlaw, surfer, Hawaiian poet, escapees a spectacular canvas to think, experiment, and create totally outside of the normal world back then. In 1971 when Jimi Hendrix released "Rainbow Bridge", Maui was unknown to most people. By 1984 it was the hip place for the rich and famous to hang and old Maui was fading away into history.
As the island began to change from "old Maui" to "Mauiland", I rode in the beautiful old Maui tube and took photos just ahead of the whitewater of progress that would wash up as today's "Mauiland".
The tales and photos are unique vignettes from my weird and wonderful trip on Maui far from most people's reality, then and now. The photographs were my attempt to portray the culture, people, history, and unreal beauty surrounding me back then. I wonder what the zillions of instagramy pictures will tell future generations about our digital life today?
I left Hana in 1989 to chase the brass ring and dragged these images and tales from closet to closet into the digital age. Ironically, the digital age is allowing me to create and share these images in a way I couldn't imagine when the photos were taken. Film photography is a real bitch compared to the digital imaging of today. While some of the photos have been featured in magazines, coffee table books, newspapers, exhibited in art galleries, and won critical acclaim, most have never been published.
The best part of the digital age is it lets me easily share my tales and images with a huge audience around the planet. The subway rider in NY, student in Beijing, or retro hipster in Europe can now trip out to Maui during its golden age 35 to 45 years ago on their digital screen. This is authentic local art from a era that is now long gone and mostly myth. These are not the slick, well branded, images created to market Mauiland.
I have been working on a Maui Tales book for 2 years and hope to publish it soon as an ebook. . The 6 chapters and 22 "Maui Tales" in the book provide the inspiration and images for these Old School Maui Tales. I tried to tell the tales from the viewpoint I had back when these photos were taken and the stories were fresh. That's not easy due to the brain damage and rose colored glasses of age. Good thing I have 1000's of photos from those days to shake my tree and remind me of what life was really like, good times and bad.
These photos and tales capture parts of my everyday life, which even back then seemed pretty radical. Yet, many of the then fringe concepts and lifestyles explored during this time are now common to today's 20 something generation. Self sustainability, surfing, cultural identity, the environment, Hobbits, weed, and Maui itself have been mashed up into today's corporate, media driven, consumer society. Maybe it will inspire a few people to question their own ideas of normal and explore the bleeding edge of our current reality.
Maui Tales is about chasing dreams, taking risk, over coming challenges, and exploring the cutting edge of creativity. So take a break from the madness and trip back to life on Old Maui in the 1970's . Young or old , I guarantee these Maui Tales and images will blow your mind and leave you smiling.....enjoy!