Janis Joplin

joplin1January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970

“The Queen of Psychedelic Soul”

Janis Lyn Joplin worked her way through the 1960’s Haight-Ashbury scene with her Blues-influenced power-rock voice. Her love for Blues standards helped her make a name for herself in San Francisco and her native Texas. She was asked to join the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and Holding Company which, with Janis on lead vocals, collectively impressed the crowd at 1967’s Monterrey Pop Festival. Record labels came calling and Janis spent the next year on the road and in the studio with Big Brother. Audiences and critics couldn’t get enough of her unique power as a performer. Her public persona surpassed the band and she quickly went solo. During her brief time on top of the music world, she recorded dozens of songs including hits like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Mercedes Benz.”

Joplin’s life was full of struggle and substance abuse. She was a free spirit with acne scars who would go to class barefoot and carry an autoharp. Naturally, those who deemed such things as ridiculous made fun of her. She “escaped” to California only to get caught up in drugs and Southern Comfort. Despite a brief stint of sobriety prior to her breakout, the addictions would eventually take their toll. While recording her 2nd album “Pearl” (named after a nickname those close to her used) Janis received a delivery of heroin that was said to be, unknown to her, 8 times stronger than that which her dealer normally sold. She shot it up in her hotel room at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood, bought a pack of cigarettes and returned to her room for the night. Eight people who used that heroin that weekend died of overdoses…including Janis Joplin. Like Jimi Hendrix a few months earlier, Janis punched her ticket as a bona fide member of the Forever 27 club.


Cremated – 6 days after her death, Janis was cremated at Westwood and her ashes were scattered over Stinson Beach in Marin County, CA.



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