“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers.” Janis Joplin
October 4th marks 49 years since Janis Joplin moved into spirit.
Janis Joplin exploded into the rock scene in 1967 and she took it by storm. She made a legendary entrance into massive public exposure by her performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. With her forceful, gutsy singing style, Joplin amazed many audience members. She was unlike any other white female vocalist at the time — folk icons Joan Baez and Judy Collins were known for their gentle sound.
She was arrested for using “vulgar and indecent language” while performing at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Florida, on November 16, 1969. Unlike Jim Morrison, who was arrested onstage in the middle of his Florida performance earlier in 1969, Joplin was allowed to finish her concert and then got handcuffed by police backstage. Was released on a $504 bond after spending approximately an hour behind bars. During the four days, she remained in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area awaiting a preliminary hearing, she went fishing. At the hearing, she was advised by a local lawyer she hired, Herbert Goldburg, that jail time was unlikely. A photographer for Associated Press captured the two of them leaving police headquarters after the proceedings. The image shows Joplin, clad in a fur coat, grinning and flashing a “V” sign with her fingers. Goldburg looks displeased. Joplin made a point of telling the AP that her sign stood for “victory, not peace.” The following March she was fined $200 in absentia and the case was closed without her ever returning to Tampa.
On October 04, 1970 Janis Joplin died all alone in a cheap motel in Hollywood from a heroin overdose; she was only 27 years old. A sad little girl who died like she lived most of her life — alone. She was a vulnerable young woman.
To me she was the greatest female singer to grace this planet. She used her entire soul when she sang. I always preferred male singers, but Janis was different than any woman I had ever heard sing at that time. She arranged all of her own music and wrote some of her songs, a true talent. Unfortunately I never got to see her perform live, but I followed everything about her as she lived. She struck me as an extremely sad and lonely young woman. I had always been intuitive and for some reason her death was not surprising, she was a known heroin user and heavy alcoholic. I said my private goodbye to Janis. Her latest album, which she was recording at the time of her death, was released right after her death and I played it all the time. It was such a beautiful album, “Pearl,” and she finally had a top hit with “Me and Bobby McGee.” No one ever did that song better than her.
For those of us who lived during this wonderful creative time we can never forget Janis who changed the world then quickly left. Her influence is felt even to this day and will continue to be felt for centuries to come. What if she never would have truly lived and expressed what she felt? The world would have missed out on so much. There are no limitations to your life when you truly live. We are supposed to live not just exist. Live today!
“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.” Janis Joplin
In recognition of her significant accomplishments, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a posthumous Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards in 2005.
Ranked #3 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She was voted the 47th Greatest Artist in Rock ‘n’ Roll by Rolling Stone.
Was friends with Jimi Hendrix.
Her friends called for Pearl. She was a rare gem!
Was good friends with Grace Slick and Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson wrote her song “Me and Bobby McGee”, which became her only 45 single to reach #1 on the Billboard chart.
Loved to drink Southern Comfort.
Made a provision in her will to pay for a party in her memory when she died.
Was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean.
Thank you for brightening the world sweet Pearl!
My favorite song by Janis Joplin