Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Miss Janis!

 Man, I really thought I was done with this damn blog thing until next week but then...I remembered...Today is the 19th and that means that today Janis Lynn Joplin would have been seventy years old. Yes, our beloved whiskey drinking, hell raising, blues mama would have likely been a blues grand-mama or even great-grand-mama today. And I will bet if she had lived she would still be every bit as wild and Janis-like as she was back in '67. Right? 
I am going to get to my usual stream of videos, pictures, and all that bullshit momentarily but first I think it would be appropriate for me to tell you, good blogger people, why this one woman, many years after her death, continues to mean so much to me that should I ever a have a daughter I intend to name her Janis Pearl after both sides of the one and only....(Don't touch the name, people. I do have it copyrighted...lmao)

I can always remember knowing who Janis was. I remember when I was very little I watched The Rose for the first time and my mom and my grandmother were talking about how similar The Rose was to Janis and her life...I remember when Faith Hill (slaughtered) remade Piece of My Heart (I was about six at the time) I knew it was Janis's and though I had never heard it I somehow knew it didn't sound I always knew that there was this woman and once she had been a rock star and she had been great until drugs got her. But I never heard one of her songs until I was about thirteen years old and I was scanning channels when I came to the True Chanel  (not the same as the Tru TV we have now...this one showed documentaries and they were heavy on the music) and I heard this sound...this...voice that made me stop. In fact, I always had a blank tape in my VCR and I hit record immediately because somehow I knew that if I listened long enough, it would change my life...
was what I heard and in many ways that moment and the rest of the documentary that followed (The UNCUT Woodstock movie) did change my life and my mind along with it. It opened it up to the amazing talents of Janis and the blues singers who inspired her, to The Doors and the blues singers Morrison dug, to Jimi and The Beatles and all the rest...and to the world of the hippie. Well, hop over to my other blog if you are curious to see part of where that led me and oh yeah...I AM the Happy HIPPIE Witch, aren't I? hehehehe This is one of those perfect moments people talk about of being in the right place at the right time? And probably the only one I will ever have because of a television set but I am eternally grateful to it.
After that chance encounter I wanted MORE! I bought her greatest hits CD, I swiped another from a friend, and when Christmas came the following yet I went to FYI and pointed out to my aunt the beautiful box set I wanted for my very own. You see, I was a young girl madly in love with someone I could not have and that hurt like hell. I had had rough times already and that sucked too. I also had a drinking problem. And when days were long and I felt like crying there was nothing better for it than my 40 of King Cobra and Janis's beautiful songs, her hard edge, her bluesy voice to give me my escape from unrequited love and all the rest. Songs like Ball N' Chain for when I was pissed at this poor guy who was doing nothing but the right thing, Maybe and To Love Somebody for when it hurt, and Trouble in Mind and Kozmic Blues for when life in general was pretty shitty...they got me through. They also taught me how to be hard even as my heart was aching. They let me sing at the top of my lungs whatever it was that was ailing me. And I got to do it with a legend. 

Janis had many sides to her as most of us crazy bitches tend to. There was the hard side she showed the world, the side that could drink and laugh and make the boys blush...but there was so much more underneath all of that. I have come to see Janis as a close friend over the years and I know basically all that is out there about her, the truth and the bullshit. She was treated like shit, even by those who were supposed to be her friends. She was cast out, left behind, and kicked around. And all she wanted was to be loved but I also think that the idea of love scared the hell out of her. So in the end, one of the greatest female rock singers this world will ever know, beloved by her fans, her true friends, and her family, died alone on the floor of her motel room with a needle in her arm before she ever saw her 28th birthday. But it doesn't end there, does it? Because Janis....
She's a fucking legend, now isn't she? So, happy birthday, Janis Lynn! We love you still...


  1. In 1988 Time magazine came out with an issue on ‘1968- Year That Shaped a Generation’ and Janis was there alongside Vietnam and Robert Kennedy. This was an indication that she was a representative figure of phenomenon of Rock. She told Time “"We’re not dispassionate professionals. We’re passionate and sloppy. I’m untutored native folk talent- I like that phrase, it’s so pretentious." Generations have responded to this earthy charm of a mercurial talent in sync with the desperation and anarchy of her time. Yes I agre She was legend (you were more delicate about it;-))

    1. lol I had to find nice ways to say she was a bad ass bitch...because she was...and always will be. :)

  2. I have to say I didn't appreciate her when she was alive. I'm from the 60's and about 60. I love her now. I was more a Little Feat CCR type person then. I do have every Pink Floyd album now but never listen to them any more. Like your personality, but I bought that tee shirt. You would probably like Captain Beefheart, if you ever find time. You never really get over being a hippie.

  3. I've actually listened to Captain Beefheart...I wrote a book about the '60's and Captain Beefheart was a band I had never heard before I started writing (one of few...I love music from all decades because I am a HUGE music buff but tunes from the '60's and the bands who made them are among my favorites). I actually wasn't fond of Captain Beefheart. I don't like The Dead either which tends to surprise people because of my taste in music. lol I LOVE CCR though and Pink Floyd as well. I wasn't even there and I can't get over my hippie side so I can imagine that someone who lived through it would never let those years go, no matter how bitter sweet they were. :)