วันอาทิตย์ที่ 2 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2550

Janis Joplin : Early Year Pics

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Joplin is now remembered best for her powerful and distinctive voice — her rasping, overtone-rich sound diverged significantly from the soft folk and jazz-influenced styles that were common among many white artists at the time. To many, she personified that period of the Sixties when the San Francisco sound, along with (then considered) outlandish dress and lifestyles, jolted the rest of the country via magazines and television. Many Joplin fans remember her appearance on The Dick Cavett Show with an obviously delighted Cavett.

Joplin's contributions to the rock idiom were long overlooked, but her importance is now becoming more widely appreciated, thanks in part to the recent release of the long-unreleased documentary film, Festival Express. Janis's vocal style, her flamboyant dress, her outspokenness and sense of humour, her liberated stance (politically and sexually) and her hard-living image all combined to create an entirely new kind of female persona in rock and challenged prescriptive gender stereotypes.

Joplin followed the precedent set by her white male counterparts in adopting the image, repertoire and performance style of black blues and rhythm and blues artists, both male and female. Alongside Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, she also pioneered an entirely new range of expression for white women in the previously male-dominated world of post-Beatles rock.

Her body decoration with a wristlet and a small heart on her left breast, by the San Francisco tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, is taken as a seminal moment in the tattoo revolution and was an early moment in the popular culture's acceptance of tattoos as art. Another trademark was her flamboyant hair styles, often including colored streaks and accessories such as scarves, beads and feathers.

The 1979 film The Rose was allegedly based on Joplin's life. The odd choice for the lead role was Bette Midler and earned Midler an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. In the late 1990s, the musical play Love, Janis was created with input from Janis' younger sister Laura and Big Brother guitarist Sam Andrew, with an aim to take it to Off-Broadway. Opening there in the summer of 2001 and scheduled for only a few weeks of performances, the show won acclaim and packed houses and was held over several times, the demanding role of the singing Janis attracting rock vocalists from relative unknowns to pop stars Laura Branigan and Beth Hart. A national tour followed. Gospel According to Janis, a biographical film starring Zooey Deschanel as Joplin was scheduled to begin shooting in early 2007 but was postponed indefinitely.

Not recognized by her hometown during her life, she was remembered much later. In 1988, her life and achievements were showcased and recognized in Port Arthur, Texas by the dedication of the Janis Joplin Memorial, with an original bronze, multi-image sculpture of Joplin by Douglas Clark.

Joplin was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
from wikipedia

Relapse and death

The last recordings Joplin completed were "Mercedes Benz" and a birthday greeting for John Lennon on October 1, 1970; Lennon, whose birthday was October 9, later told Dick Cavett that her taped greeting arrived at his home after her death. Joplin made an unlikely choice for the song she transformed into the birthday greeting for the ex - Beatle: Happy Trails composed by Dale Evans. On Saturday, October 3, Joplin visited the Sunset Sound Studios to listen to the instrumental track for Nick Gravenites' song "Buried Alive In The Blues" so she could lay down vocals the next day. When she failed to show up at the studio by Sunday afternoon, producer Paul Rothchild became concerned. Full Tilt Boogie's road manager John Cooke drove to the Landmark Motor Hotel (since renamed the Highland Gardens Hotel) where Joplin had been a guest since August 24. He saw Joplin's psychedelically painted Porsche still in the parking lot. Upon entering her room, he found her dead on the floor.

She overdosed on heroin at the age of 27 while drunk on cocktails she had finished approximately an hour earlier at Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood. It is said that she purchased the heroin on Saturday afternoon in an effort to console herself when her boyfriend Seth failed to arrive for a scheduled date. Joplin bought the drug from "George," a large African-American man who made deliveries to her and other guests at the Landmark. The hotel attracted many drug users despite the fact that it was next door to the Magic Castle, which drew a very different crowd. George depended on a "taster" to cut the pure heroin with another substance, but the regular taster was out of town, and a substitute made the batch too pure. The same batch that killed Joplin also led to other deaths in Los Angeles.

During a conversation with the desk clerk of the Landmark Motor Hotel sometime that Saturday, Joplin told him not to put any phone calls through to her room phone. Her friend Peggy Caserta claims in her 1973 book Going Down With Janis that she tried to telephone Joplin that night but the desk clerk refused to transfer her call to the singer's room, citing "strict instructions from Miss Joplin" that no calls be put through. Caserta herself was a guest at the Landmark at the time, but she was partying elsewhere in Hollywood after having missed a meeting with Joplin just as Seth had. Seth was in Joplin's house in Marin County, California that night playing strip poker with a waitress he had just met.

Bobby Womack, Paul Rothchild, members of Full Tilt Boogie and others present at Sunset Sound Studios that night heard Joplin yelling angrily into the studio's telephone during a long-distance conversation with Seth, probably aware that he had cheating on his mind. Before and after the call she seemed to be in great spirits. Joplin even ate at a nearby Chinese restaurant with the group during a meal break.

Upon publication of Peggy Caserta's book three years later, someone connected with "George" knocked on her door and inflicted multiple knife wounds on the woman who answered. Though the book omitted George's last name, it described his looks and speech patterns, identified places where he made deliveries by car and explained that his customers telephoned him, as had Joplin. (This option was uncommon for drug-oriented hippies in the vicinity of the Landmark Motor Hotel at the time.) Unbeknownst to the assailant, his victim was not Peggy Caserta but rather a friend of hers who had never used heroin and had never met George.

As Janis Joplin tried persistently to contact George on October 3, 1970 (she got no answer twice and reached him on her third try ) a color photograph of her smiling and wearing feathers in her hair graced the cover of Circus. Inside pages featured color images of her looking delighted with the musicians in Full Tilt Boogie. Unlike Jann Wenner, whom Joplin despised, Circus publisher Gerald Rothberg was not a hippie, preferred listening to classical music and ignored for many years lucrative offers to reprint the Joplin photographs or text.

Joplin was cremated in the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Mortuary in Los Angeles, and her ashes were scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean and along Stinson Beach. Her parents traveled from Texas to Los Angeles to make arrangements at Pierce Brothers; Mrs. Joplin had a sister, Mimi, who lived in Los Angeles and who had attended Janis' 1969 Hollywood Bowl concert. Mr. and Mrs. Joplin told a Los Angeles reporter they had "no comment for the press." The only funeral service they would allow was held at Pierce Brothers and attended by themselves and Mimi. Janis' younger siblings remained in Texas. Several weeks later the parents gave long interviews to Rolling Stone, the NBC news magazine First Tuesday and Janis' publicist-turned-biographer Myra Friedman.


During September 1970 Joplin and her band began recording a new album in Los Angeles with renowned producer Paul A. Rothchild, who was famous for his work with The Doors. Although Joplin died before all the tracks were fully completed, there was still enough usable material to compile an LP. "Mercedes Benz" was included despite it being a "first take", and the track "Buried Alive In The Blues" — to which Joplin had been scheduled to add her vocals on the day she was found dead — was kept as an instrumental.

The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971). It became the biggest selling album of her short career and featured her biggest hit single, the definitive version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" (which she learned from Arlo Guthrie), as well as the wry social commentary of the a cappella "Mercedes Benz", written by Joplin, close friend and song writer Bob Neuwirth and beat poet Michael McClure. In 2003, Pearl was ranked #122 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Among her last public appearances were two broadcasts of The Dick Cavett Show on June 25 and August 3, 1970. On the June 25 show she announced that she would attend her ten-year high school class reunion, although she admitted that when in high school, her schoolmates "laughed me out of class, out of town and out of the state, man". She made it there on August 14 accompanied by fellow musician and friend Bob Neuwirth and road manager John Cooke, but it would be one of the last decisions of her life and it reportedly proved to be a rather unhappy experience for her.

Janis Joplin's last public performance, given with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, took place on August 12, 1970 at the Harvard Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts. A glowing review appeared on the front page of the Harvard Crimson newspaper despite the fact that Full Tilt Boogie performed with makeshift sound amplifiers after their regular equipment was stolen in Boston.

Solo career: Woodstock to Festival Express

After splitting from Big Brother Joplin formed a new backup group, modeled on the classic soul revue bands, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969: the year she played at Woodstock). Their first public performance, which clearly signaled the group's soul connections, was at the Stax-Volt Christmas Show in Memphis, Tennessee on December 21, 1968, with The Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Albert King, Rufus Thomas and Carla Thomas, William Bell and Eddie Floyd.

The band contained a horn section and although many reviewers felt the horns competed with her voice, she toured solidly with the band across North America and Europe throughout 1969. The Kozmic Blues album was released in September of 1969 and the album was certified gold later that year but was a more modest success than Cheap Thrills. The group was not as well received as Big Brother — at least by some people — and it broke up after a year; their final gig with Joplin was at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 21, 1969.

Ralph Gleason and other musically trained critics pointed out the group's flaws, infuriating Joplin, who was under a lot of pressure as the first female in a hard rock band to leave the band and then get solo billing. Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post and other roving reporters in 1969 ignored the flaws and devoted their entire articles to the singer's magic. . In August 1969, Janis performed at the legendary Woodstock Festival giving one of her most memorable performances. For 25 years after Woodstock, the only portion of her performance there that was available commercially -- in either sound or picture -- was a spontaneous dance she did with her band's African-American tenor saxophone player, Cornelius "Snooky" Flowers, during an instrumental break. It is part of the 1975 theatrically released documentary Janis (film). Woodstock includes several seconds of Janis walking with her friend Peggy Caserta to the festival site in broad daylight hours before she went onstage, but this film -- a box-office hit that Janis saw in a theater in 1970 -- omitted her entire performance, even the dance with Flowers. These omissions of her singing at the festival, along with comments from Janis' devoted publicist Myra Friedman (present at the event) and from the post-production crew of the movie, suggest strongly that Janis was not at her best that weekend. At least one clean and sober audience member, however, remembered her performance fondly twenty years later. The 25th anniversary director's cut of Woodstock includes just one of her selections from the concert: Work Me, Lord.

In February 1970, Joplin got clean and sober in Brazil accompanied by her clean-living friend Linda Gravenites, who had designed the singer's stage costumes from 1966 to 1969. Janis was romanced by an American schoolteacher named David Niehaus, also drug-free and responsible, who was traveling around the world. They were photographed together in a crowd at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, where Janis' only vice appears to have been a cigarette. Returning to the United States, the singer then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Composed mostly of drug-free Canadian musicians who didn't associate with Janis' friends from Big Brother and its San Francisco entourage, the band included an organ but no horn section. Prior to beginning a summer tour with Full Tilt Boogie, she performed in a reunion with Big Brother at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on April 4, 1970. Recordings from this concert were included in an "in concert" album released posthumously in 1972.

In late June 1970, Joplin and her new band joined the all-star Festival Express tour through Canada, performing alongside The Band, The Grateful Dead and others. However, the financial and other problems that led to the tour being cut short also resulted in most of the concert footage remaining unseen until more than thirty years after Joplin's death. Footage of her performing the song "Tell Mama" in Calgary became an MTV video in the 1980s. The audio portion of same was included on the "in concert" album as were other performances from the Festival Express.

MTV viewers saw Joplin wearing feathers in her hair and a loose-fitting costume, all of which had a vaguely psychedelic color pattern. This was her new standard stage costume in the spring and summer of 1970, and it was captured in all the color footage from the Festival Express and on the color videotape used by The Dick Cavett Show. Members of her band and her entourage called her "Pearl" at her request to describe her new public image, but she did not want the media to report the nickname. Color graphics in the print media were in their infancy at the time, and it was not until the last week of Joplin's life that Circus did her image justice with a color photo on the cover. One reason she used her imagination to create her new appearance was that her designer, Linda Gravenites (whom Joplin had praised in the May 1968 issue of Vogue), resigned shortly after their return from Brazil.

As with the hostile reaction of some reporters to her first back-up band, not replacing Linda said a lot about Janis' tough position as the first wild woman who sang to white audiences. She didn't know whom to believe when she assessed people's reactions to her music and physical appearance. The feathers and clothes in 1970 did not showcase her cleavage or sexuality as much as they introduced new people, even those over the dreaded age of 30, to ... the unique celebrity "Janis."

Regarding those under 30, a 1970 issue of Newsweek quoted her as saying that hippies had no more right to attend outdoor rock concerts for free than anyone else. She said, "You can get the money. Sell your old lady. Sell your dope. Look at me. I'm selling my heart." This and other Janis quotes came from her, never from her publicist Myra Friedman.

Big Brother and The Holding Company

In 1966, her bluesy vocal style saw her join the psychedelic band Big Brother and The Holding Company, a band that was gaining some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury.

She was recruited to join the group by Chet Helms, who had known her in Texas. At the time he was the manager of Big Brother and, as a promoter his Family Dog Productions company, was quickly becoming a major force in the San Francisco scene alongside Bill Graham. Janis joined Big Brother on June 4, 1966 and her first public performance with them was at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco on June 10.

On August 23, 1966 the group signed a deal with independent label Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymous album in the fall of 1966. However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. Their self titled debut was eventually released in August 1967, shortly after the group's breakthrough appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 18, 1967. The Big Brother set included a version of Big Mama Thornton's "Ball and Chain" and featured a barnstorming vocal by Joplin. Like Jimi Hendrix, Joplin's performance at Monterey made her an international star virtually overnight. (The D.A. Pennebaker documentary Monterey Pop captured Cass Elliot in the crowd silently mouthing "Wow, that's really heavy" during Joplin's performance.)

In November 1967, the group parted ways with Helms -- who can be heard introducing them to the audience on the Monterey Pop CD but not the DVD -- and they signed with top artist manager Albert Grossman, who had become famous in his own right as the manager of Bob Dylan. Up to this point, Big Brother had performed only in California (mostly in San Francisco) but they had gained national prominence with their Monterey performance. On February 16, 1968 the group began its first East Coast tour in Philadelphia, and the following day they gave their first performance in New York City at the Anderson Theater. On April 7, 1968, the last day of their East Coast tour, Janis and Big Brother performed with Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens, Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop at the "Wake for Martin Luther King Jr" concert in New York.

Their second album, Cheap Thrills, was recorded in New York and Los Angeles between April and June 1968 and released in August, featuring cover design by noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. Consisting of concert performances and studio recordings, it had a raw quality, including the sound of a cocktail glass breaking and the broken shards getting swept away during the song "Turtle Blues." Together with a documentary film of the Monterey performance that played in repertory cinemas in the spring of 1969, the album made Joplin into one of the leading musical stars of the late Sixties. It also produced the band's breakthrough hit single, "Piece of My Heart." Cheap Thrills debuted at the number one spot and stayed there for weeks selling over one million copies in its first month of release alone. Live at Winterland '68, recorded at the Winterland Ballroom on April 12 and 13, 1968 shows Janis and Big Brother and the Holding Company at the height of their mutual career working through a selection of tracks from their studio albums.

The group made another East Coast tour during July-August 1968, which included performances at the Columbia Records convention in Puerto Rico and the Newport Folk Festival. After returning to San Francisco for two hometown shows at the Palace of Fine Arts Festival on August 31 and September 1, Joplin announced that she would be leaving Big Brother at the end of fall 1968. The group continued touring through the fall and Joplin gave her last official performance with Big Brother at a Family Dog benefit on December 1, 1968.
from wikipedia

In San Francisco and return home

Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as "liberated," Joplin styled herself in part after her female blues heroines and, in part, after the Beat poets. She left Texas for San Francisco in 1963, lived in North Beach and in Haight-Ashbury as well as Corte Madera. In Haight-Ashbury Joplin lived in the same building as the chess master Jude Acers. On June 25, 1964 Janis and future Jefferson Airplane guitar player Jorma Kaukonen recorded a number of blues standards, further accompanied by Margareta Kaukonen on typewriter (as percussion instrument). These sessions, recorded in non-stereo sound, included seven tracks: "Typewriter Talk," "Trouble In Mind," "Kansas City Blues," "Hesitation Blues," "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out," "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" and "Long Black Train Blues," and were later released as the bootleg album The Typewriter Tape. More early recordings are found on the album collection Janis, including the tracks "What Good Can Drinkin' Do", "Mary Jane" and "No Reason For Livin'".

Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. She also used other intoxicants. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort.

Several months after recording the tracks with Kaukonen, however, Janis' friends, noticing the physical effects of her speed habit (she weighed 88 pounds), paid for her to travel by Greyhound bus to her parents in Port Arthur, Texas. Whether she required medical assistance in her hometown at this time (April of 1965) is not known, but it is a fact that she changed her entire lifestyle, began wearing relatively modest dresses, a beehive hairdo and enrolled as a sociology major at Lamar University in nearby Beaumont, Texas. Though she avoided drugs, alcohol and bars that she had frequented years earlier, she still corresponded by mail with a methedrine dealer she had known in San Francisco and still considered his proposal of marriage. Shortly after the man visited the Joplin household wearing a conservative suit and tie, charming the entire family and asking Mr. Joplin for permission to marry his daughter, the man broke off contact with Janis. Very possibly, this heartbreak fueled the pain Janis displayed in her music. During her year at Lamar University, she commuted to Austin to perform solo, accompanying herself on guitar. One of her performances was reviewed in the Austin American-Statesman.
from : wikipedia