Janis Joplin (Official Thread)

ladyislingering

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In honour of Janis Lyn Joplin
January 19th, 1943 - October 4th, 1970

Official Janis Joplin Website
Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin on Wikipedia

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Before becoming one of rock's most influential and legendary female musicians, Janis Joplin was a taunted outcast at her high school, who struggled with finding acceptance and credibility from anyone who crossed her path. Born to Seth (a petrol engineer) and Dorothy (a college registrar) Joplin in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis came into this world in early 1943. Within her Christian family, she grew up with two younger siblings: a sister (Laura), and a brother (Michael).

Her parents noticed her charisma at an early age; Janis seemed to require a little more attention and recognition than other children, despite being called names like "pig" in school for being overweight, or "creep" for her unfortunate complexion during her teenage years. It would later be recognized that her appearance meant the world to her; she often took note of recent clothing purchases in letters to her family while she was being acquainted with the music business.

Though Janis was different from her peers, she found her social niche in a group of beatniks; despite this generalization of a term, these kids were writers, painters, thinkers, and genuinely especially unusual. Janis was soon introduced to the likes of gritty, raw, rich blues performers; she would later cite artists such as Odetta, Bessie Smith, and Big Mama Thornton as some of her greatest influences.

After graduating from high school in spring of 1960, Janis pursued higher education at the Lamar State College of Technology (Beaumont, TX); for a short time, but without completion, she also attended Austin's University of Texas in 1962. During this time, the school's newspaper dedicated a page to the unusual Miss Joplin, interviewing the someday-superstar and entitling it, "She Dares to be Different". Within the same year, she recorded her first song, "What Good Can Drinkin' Do".


The following year, Janis left Texas for the trendy city of San Francisco, California. Once finding her home within an equally trendy social circle, Janis met future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen in 1964, and cut a session with a typewriter operated by a relative of Kaukonen's; this tape would later be popularly referred to by fans as The Typewriter Tape, containing seven songs accompanied by the machine then used as a musical instrument.

Within a year Janis became very ill; she regularly used psychoactive drugs, often with the consumption of her favourite drink - Southern Comfort. She developed an amphetamine habit that altered her appearance to the point where she would be described as "emaciated". Her friends in San Francisco were able to pool together enough for her to return to her home in Port Arthur, in order to become healthy again; in 1965 Janis worked to change her tune, avoiding drugs and alcohol to spare her life and enrolling in Lamar University as a sociology major.

Janis continued to perform, often by herself, and traveling to Austin every now and then for such purposes. She became engaged to a frequent visitor; sadly the relationship didn't last. This would prove to be an unfortunate trend in Janis' life.

In 1966 she was discovered by Chet Helms, who was managing Big Brother and the Holding Company. She agreed to relocate to the hip neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco) and proudly avoided drugs for several weeks, requesting that needles would not be allowed in her workspace. Within just a few months the band was in financial straits, and moved into a house with members of The Grateful Dead in Lagunitas, California.

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It was then that Janis was swallowed up into drugs once more; despite the release of the first Big Brother & The Holding Company album in 1967, nothing would compare to the breakthrough success of their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival shortly thereafter. With unrivaled energy and emotion, Janis delivered "Ball and Chain" which (according to the film) made songstress Mama Cass Elliot say "Wow, that's really heavy!"


At the height of Janis' success with Big Brother & The Holding company, they appeared at a concert especially in honour of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, and also appeared on ABC's variety hour, "The Dick Cavett Show". In December of 1968, shortly after the release of their second LP, "Cheap Thrills", Janis performed with Big Brother for the last time before embarking on a rollicking solo career.

"Cheap Thrills" turned out one hit single that has been covered dozens of times by several different artists hailing from a wide array of genres to this day, and would remain one of Janis' most well-known vocal performances. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks.


When Janis organized the Kozmic Blues Band, her sound changed for the likes of a brassier, funkier, and more soulful feel, a style that was found on many singles released under the Stax record label. Janis developed a ****** addiction that was costing her nearly 200 dollars a day by the beginning of 1969 despite her efforts to remain clean to record, "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again, Mama!". The producer of this record, Gabriel Mekler, took Janis under his wing (and under his roof) to keep her away from drugs. Though this album was not as successful as "Cheap Thrills" (and was slammed by many critics) Janis still had an established fan base that was receptive to the seduction of her musical prowess.
 
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ladyislingering

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

Janis and the Kozmic Blues Band performed at Woodstock in August of 1969, as well as several other venues throughout the United States.


Janis left the Kozmic Blues Band behind in December of 1969, and traveled to Brazil in February of 1970. She made another effort to become clean of drugs; she met an American schoolteacher named David Niehaus but their relationship ended once they returned to the states - and Janis began using ****** once more. However, she formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band, which was comprised mostly of young Canadian musicians. They began touring in May and received many a kind review from critics; perhaps for the first time in her musical career, Janis was satisfied with the results of her labour. She even briefly reunited with Big Brother and the Holding Company for a short time.

During June and July of 1970, Janis and the Full Tilt Boogie Band toured Canada on a show circuit called the Festival Express, playing in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary.

Removed dead video

In August, at the height of her popularity, Janis humbly attended her 10-year high school reunion. It wasn't a happy or pleasant experience for her at all; she was still taunted, humiliated, and discriminated against by her classmates. This was only two days after her last public appearance with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, in Boston, Massachusetts - however, their equipment had been stolen shortly before the show, and despite their modest efforts, their show gained positive reviews in that week's newspaper.

In September of 1970, Janis began recording her last record, "Pearl", with Paul Rothchild (who had also worked with Jim Morrison and the Doors) in Los Angeles. Due to Janis' untimely surrender to drugs and alcohol, for the very last time, the entire album was never officially finished, but she had managed to record just enough for its release in 1971. The album included a song published on its very first take, "Mercedes Benz".



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Janis actually had a Porsche. It was painted by the artist who had also rendered the psychedelic cover for Big Brother's "Cheap Thrills" album. The vehicle sits, alongside some artifacts from Janis' life at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where she was inducted in 1995).

Janis Lyn Joplin passed away in Los Angeles on October 4th, 1970 at the Landmark Motor Hotel. She was discovered by Jon Cooke, Full Tilt's road manager. Her battle with drugs and alcohol had finally come to a tragic end. Janis was cremated at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Mortuary and her ashes lay to rest in the Pacific Ocean.

She was only 27 years old, and survived by her parents, and both siblings.



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A little personal input:

I have loved the music of Janis Joplin since I was just a little girl. At times (like this, especially, for some reason) it can even bring tears to my eyes. Her life was taken much too soon; it has always broken my heart the way she suffered, and struggled with so many inner demons that eventually left this world with such an enormous void. Her legacy is quite impressive; though her time on earth was short she's still known to this day for the massive impact she made.

A few of my personal favourites:

"I Need a Man to Love"
"Piece of My Heart"
"One Good Man"
"Ball and Chain"
"Summertime"

I love you, Janis.

Yesterday, now, and for always.

Janis Joplin said:
You're supposed to be doin' an article on me, man! F&%# reality!

Pictures/videos/thoughts/input is quite massively welcomed. I'd like to think this is the most thorough, engaging version of any Janis Joplin thread presently on our forum.
 
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Cosmic Harmony

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

The one thing I love most about Janis can be summed up in one quote by her:


"I may not always sound pretty but I never hold anything back."

In some ways that careless for a singer but in other ways it's just something else all together. Yeah, Janis had a very dirty voice but the way she sang was just so expressive that I can't help but admire her.
 

Vic2010

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

She's one of the greats of classic, blues & R&B based, heavy rock. :bow:
 

Džedaj

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

I'm big fan of Janis and her work. Energy and emotion she put into "Cheap Thrills" (and her other albums, but especially CT) is just amazing, When I play that vinyl on my gramaphone or when I watch her at Woodstock, it almost brings tears to my eyes to see or hear that lovely hippie woman, how she's smiling all the time and singing with one of most beautiful voices ever. She had that whiskey-soaked voice that was just too powerful not to love. Janis, we miss you.
 

Soot and Stars

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

Great thread Lady! Janis is one of those essentials that I still haven't gotten at least a hits compilation for! I need to remedy that! :grinthumb
 

TheFeldster

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

I only own Pearl :( But I've got a few tracks of hers on compilation albums.

Janis is one of the best musicians from the 60's. Piece of My Heart is an epic :grinthumb
 

FretBuzz

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Re: Janis Joplin (an "official" thread)

Sweet! I just got a Janis Joplin songbook, and have been trying to play and sing some of her tunes... (but my singing is horrible, and she was the queen. )
 

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