Janis Joplin C/D, S/D

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2005 and ILM have never had a proper Janis thread? Wuh!? You guys are kidding me right? Anyhow, do what you gotta do, right here...

NickB (NickB), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Possibly the best female vocalist in all rock history.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That sort of the conclusion I reached today, sat by my window blasting "Summertime" on a Saturday afternoon, nothing else to do. How do rate the Big Brother as a band Tim?

NickB (NickB), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"the" wtf?

NickB (NickB), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The copy of Cheap Thrills that I have is soooo scratchy that I don't play it! The first album is not so hot (though it does have "Down on Me"). Big Brother seem to me like they could be great. "Piece of My Heart" has got to be, far and away, the greatest thing done by any of the SF hippie groups. There was a video of Big Brother playing live on a local TV show from real early on that I saw once which was really great. I think Rhino had released it on VHS a long time ago. I don't know what it was called.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"'Piece of My Heart'" has got to be, far and away, the greatest thing done by any of the SF hippie groups."

Fuck that, actually. One of the greatest songs in all rock history.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 April 2005 22:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The Erma Franklin original is also brilliant. Slightly more restrained than Janis'.

There's a fiery take of "Down on Me" on JJ's 'Greatest Hits,' also on the '18 Essential Songs' collection -- tops the one on the first album.

Also search 'Pearl,' of course, especially "Me and Bobby McGee" and her version of Howard Tate's "Get It While You Can."

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 16 April 2005 23:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

haha, yeah I had noticed that there was no Joplin thread. Thought about starting one once, but never got around to it. I'm totally lazy when it comes to starting threads.

Totally and utterly classic! She's awesome, love Big Brother the group. They were kind of sloppy but so great live. Gurley and Andrew got great acidic guitar tones. I'm a huge fan, I have 7 Big Brother bootlegs! And that's on top of all the official live spew that's come out over the years: the Joplin In Concert album, the stuff on the box, the live tracks appended to the recent CD reissues on Columbia/Legacy, and that awesome Live at Winterland set. They certainly were a well-documented group. I've got an awesome 8 minute "All is Loneliness" from a 1967 SF radio broadcast.

sat by my window blasting "Summertime" on a Saturday afternoon

Yes!! I'm proud to admit her "Summertime" is among my very very favorite versions of the tune. Out of the probably hundred or so versions must have in my collection.

There was a video of Big Brother playing live on a local TV show from real early on that I saw once which was really great. I think Rhino had released it on VHS a long time ago. I don't know what it was called.
-- Tim Ellison (timelliso...), April 16th, 2005 6:46 PM.

Yeah, I have this, it's great. It's called Ball and Chain. There is a fuckin great "Light is Faster Than Sound" on there. She was so damn sexy too. And I don't mean that in like a creepy "chick rockers are hot" indie dweeb kind of way, I just mean she had this way about her, she had this real self-possession and power when she sang, but was also kind of endearingly shy when the music stopped.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 16 April 2005 23:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

[Heh heh...Only a matter of time before Alex in NYC shows up & proclaims "Duddest of all duds. Worse than rectal cancer!" or something equally over-the-top.]

I think Janis was great most of the time, except for the rare occasion when she'd get too carried away, self-consciously so. (The Monterey version of "Ball And Chain" comes to mind.) She never had a better band than Big Brother backing her up, it's really too bad they didn't make more records together. Good thing there's lotsa live documentation.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Sunday, 17 April 2005 03:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

worse than rectal cancer. get ears.

caitlin oh no (caitxa1), Sunday, 17 April 2005 03:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stormy, who else do you rate really high on "Summertime"?

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Sunday, 17 April 2005 06:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Sunday, 17 April 2005 13:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I used to dismiss Janis and Big Brother as suede-denim hippy nonsense, until I saw a documentary featuring some very raw footage of BB. The crudity and sloppiness of the band makes them very accessible to ears raised on garage punk - they're nearer to Blue Cheer than CSNY - and Janis is an incredible blood'n'guts screamer. Up there with Lydia Lunch, Diamanda and Nick Cave, but without any element of camp.

Classic: Cheap Thrills, Live Winterland '68
Dud: I don't have much time for later recordings where she seems to be evolving towards a conventional rootsy soul vocal style.

Fascinating factoid - I believe that she hung out with and was even considered as a vocalist for the 13th Floor Elevators, but they were scared of her and her drug consumption(!)

Soukesian, Sunday, 17 April 2005 17:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"they're nearer to Blue Cheer than CSNY"

Indeed. Maybe even raunchier at times.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 17 April 2005 18:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The first album is not so hot

Stands up well in comparison to the first Grateful Dead for instance or maybe the first Jefferson Airplane though perhaps. What do you think?

I used to dismiss Janis and Big Brother as suede-denim hippy nonsense

Me too, I guess theyre one of those bands where preconceptions really get in the way and lead to them *now* being very much underrated.

Think I need to pick up that Winterland stuff. Got Cheaper Thrills quite recently, some nice performances but whatever edition it is that I have has awful shitty shitty shitty sound.

NickB (NickB), Sunday, 17 April 2005 20:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

DUD doesn't do her justice.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Monday, 18 April 2005 11:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
man, we had the work jukebox on random and some Eminem song came on and it sampled this song that i coulda sworn i knew, and it took me a minute and i figured out it was Janis' version of "Summertime", so i downloaded it and was fucking taken aback. i used to really like Janis in highschool, but like everything else from that period of my life, i just can barely listen to w/o feeling all gross inside. but this did it right. i'm gonna go home and steal my mom's copy of Cheaper Thrills this weekend.

plain ol' jaxon (jaxon), Thursday, 28 July 2005 20:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Fuckin rules. And yeah, Down on Me is grebt.

Masked Gazza, Thursday, 28 July 2005 21:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The re-mastered CD of "Cheap Thrills" is amazing - so loud! But please do not overlook the debut album by Big Brother & The Holding Co. Great stuff - the original vinyl rocks, but the re-mastered CD's that were in that boxed set are louder than hell and sound great! All hail Janis Joplin! To quote Bill Graham, "Three gentlemen and one great, great broad!"

SoHoLa (SoHoLa), Friday, 29 July 2005 02:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Zooey Deschanel's playing Joplin in a forthcoming biopic.

Alba (Alba), Wednesday, 9 August 2006 23:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You know, Zooey was still an egg when that film went into development.

Picnics and Pixie Stix (Charles McCain), Wednesday, 9 August 2006 23:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

search - Peggy Caserta's book 'Going Down with Janis'

It's got a trashy reputation, and everyone seems to quote the first line -

I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and the girl lying between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.

- but it's quite a thoughtful and interesting read.

Bob Six, Sunday, 16 September 2007 21:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Would have turned 69 today:


clemenza, Thursday, 19 January 2012 13:44 (six years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

This opens here tomorrow--can't wait.


clemenza, Friday, 5 February 2016 00:56 (two years ago) Permalink

Apparently the now-Amy Adams-starring biopic is still a thing, according to IMDB.

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 5 February 2016 02:14 (two years ago) Permalink

Possibly the best female vocalist in all rock history.
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, April 16, 2005 10:34 PM (10 years ago)

i like janis just fine but this is kind of a stretch imo

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 5 February 2016 02:16 (two years ago) Permalink

ran little girl blue last week and it's really something devotional on the big screen -- lots and lots of her face, singing. i thought it would have been better with no interviews, just concert footage and old home movies and cat power reading letters.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Friday, 5 February 2016 02:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Saw this yesterday. Good, but I think there was a better film there. Going by the one biography I read (not seeing it on the bookshelf--Alice Echols'?), they basically dodge the matter of her sexuality. One lesbian relationship is briefly acknowledged, another alluded to, but mostly the story is her unhappy attempt to find the right man (and, after she does, losing him). I didn't mind the interviews, and was glad they relegated Pink and Melissa Etheridge to the end-credits, but I thought there was one conspicuous absence: Grace Slick, who besides being the most obvious female contemporary of Joplin's, also shared that one iconic image with her. I'm guessing she was approached and declined. (Happily, no Johnny Depp; Dick Cavett, who I've seen in three recent documentaries, is apparently becoming the new Johnny Depp.) The "Ball and Chain" Monterey clip, which I've seen a million times, seemed especially sharp and powerful. I always like seeing the original photos that were used on famous album covers, like the Pearl shots here. Not sure why "Mercedes Benz" is only used in the trailer. Bob Weir looks about as cool as you can look at almost-70.


clemenza, Sunday, 7 February 2016 18:07 (two years ago) Permalink

I prob mentioned this way upthread, but Howard Alk's Janis is a very satisfying doc. Much better performance/talk ratio than usual, and the interviews are at least mostly, maybe all with her, and mainly the Cavett, where she seems quite at ease, in her wry way---"Did you entertain in high school?" "Only when I walked down the aisles." She's announcing that she plans to check out her 10th Anniversary Port Arthur High School Reunion, comin' up soon (her mom did not care for the conduct of Bobby Neuwith and other rowdy, unsolicted-and-then-some house guests) Performances incl. several famous ones, some interesting studio interaction with Big Brother, a moving, in several senses, finale, playing for the troops and their families in Germany (Frankfurt base, I think).
Bio-wise, enjoyed first and second editions of Myra Friedman's Buried Alive; the first attempted to grapple with issues of substance abuse (apparently teen J was sent to a shrink because of alcoholism) and sexual behavior (more about how she behaved than with who, although both men and women are referenced), in ways unusual to "rock bios" of the time. The second edition, published much latter, includes follow-ups on some of the people in the first, and clarifications, but estate administrator Laura Joplin somewhat characteristically withdrew permission for Janis's letters in the first edition to be reprinted (so they're paraphrased in the second). But this time, Laura's switch-up had a positive outcome: she did indeed give us Love, Janis , a collection of letters which I found well-worth tracking down (guess I'm a boffin, whatever that means exactly).

dow, Sunday, 7 February 2016 19:07 (two years ago) Permalink

The Howard Alk film--specifically the high school reunion footage--is the one I've been talking about for years, to the point where I started to wonder if I dreamed it up. It used to play on Canadian TV in the early '70s (makes sense, checking--Canadian film). But there it was yesterday, the same reunion footage (very poignant) I remembered from 40 years ago. Laura and Michael Joplin are featured prominently in the new one.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 February 2016 20:25 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Never really remembered this tune "Oh, Sweet Mary" off of Cheap Thrills, but hearing it today, it is quite reminiscent of something The 13th Floor Elevators would do.

earlnash, Thursday, 6 July 2017 22:11 (one year ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

How’s the movie?

Listening to pearl again for the first time in nearly 20 years


Blood roses (Ross), Saturday, 12 May 2018 13:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

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