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Janis Joplin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (5)

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, USA
Died in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heroin overdose)
Birth NameJanis Lyn Joplin
Nicknames Pearl
The Queen of Psychedelic Soul
The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Janis Lyn Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the oil-refining town of Port Arthur, Texas, near the border with Louisiana. Her father was a cannery worker and her mother was a registrar for a business college. As an overweight teenager, she was a folk-music devotee (especially Odetta, Leadbelly and Bessie Smith). After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, she attended Lamar State College and the University of Texas, where she played auto-harp in Austin bars.She was nominated for the Ugliest Man on Campus in 1963, and she spent two years traveling, performing and becoming drug-addicted. Back home in 1966, her friend Chet Helms suggested she become lead singer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, an established Haight-Ashbury band consisting of guitarists James Gurley and Sam Andrew, bassist Peter Albin and drummer Dave Getz). She got wide recognition through the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, highlights of which were released in Monterey Pop (1968), and with the band's landmark second album, "Cheap Thrills". She formed her "Kosmic Blues Band" the following year and achieved still further recognition as a solo performer at Woodstock in 1969, highlights released in Woodstock (1970). In the spring of 1970, she sang with the "Full Tilt Boogie Band" and, on October 4 of that year, she was found dead in Hollywood's Landmark Motor Hotel (now known as Highland Gardens Hotel) from a heroin-alcohol overdose the previous day. Her ashes were scattered off the coast of California. Her biggest selling album was the posthumously released "Pearl", which contained her quintessential song: "Me & Bobby McGee".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Trade Mark (3)

Distinctive raspy voice
Mezzo-soprano vocals
Shoulder-length brown hair

Trivia (26)

Was a member of the Glee Club and the Future Teachers of America while in high school.
Was arrested for using "vulgar and indecent language" while performing at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Florida on November 16, 1969. Unlike Jim Morrison, who was arrested onstage in the middle of his Florida performance earlier in 1969, Joplin was allowed to finish her concert and then got handcuffed by police backstage. Was released on a $504 bond after spending approximately an hour behind bars. During the four days, she remained in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area awaiting a preliminary hearing, she went fishing. At the hearing, she was advised by a local lawyer she hired, Herbert Goldburg, that jail time was unlikely. A photographer for Associated Press captured the two of them leaving police headquarters after the proceedings. The image shows Joplin, clad in a fur coat, grinning and flashing a "V" sign with her fingers. Goldburg looks displeased. Joplin made a point of telling the AP that her sign stood for "victory, not peace". The following March she was fined $200 in absentia and the case was closed without her ever returning to Tampa. Curtis Hixon Hall has been demolished.
Was the oldest of three children: has a younger sister, Laura Joplin, and a younger brother, Michael Joplin.
In 2001, Topps trading cards, in their American Pie Baseball brand produced a "Piece of American Pie" memorabilia insert set that included a Joplin-worn dress that is seen on her album "Pearl".
Ranked #3 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She was voted the 47th Greatest Artist in Rock 'n' Roll by Rolling Stone.
Was friends with Jimi Hendrix.
Was good friends with Grace Slick and Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson wrote her song "Me and Bobby McGee", which became her only 45 single to reach #1 on the Billboard chart.
Loved to drink Southern Comfort.
Was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean.
Posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
October 4, 1970: Died of a heroin overdose while she was legally drunk in Room 105 of the Landmark Motor Hotel located next door to the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, California. After she mainlined the drug, she was able to leave her room, walk to the lobby, ask the desk clerk to change a five-dollar bill so she could spend 50 cents on a pack of cigarettes, pull the rigid knob on the cigarette machine, return to her room and remove some of her clothes. She then fell suddenly, breaking her nose. The desk clerk later stated that while he was giving her change she talked happily about the new album she was recording, although he believed, based on having interacted with her since her August 24 check in, that she "was not a happy person". Her body was discovered approximately 18 hours later by her road manager, who was the son of Alistair Cooke.
Wrote her will shortly before her death. Drawing up the document with her Los Angeles lawyer, she set aside $2500 for her friends to throw a party in the event of her death. After she died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, her friends followed her wishes and threw a party in her honor at a club in San Anselmo, California. The party invitations read: "Drinks are on Pearl". Younger sister Laura Joplin, six years her junior, was among those who attended.
The character Frankie Hart in American Pop (1981) was based partially on her and partially on Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick.
Was high school classmates, in Port Arthur, with former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, who gave her her nickname "Beat Weeds".
Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen penned "Chelsea Hotel #2" about her.
The manual dexterity displayed during the very last moments of life (changing a five-dollar bill, using a cigarette machine and undressing despite drunkenness and expectation of a heroin high) was a lifelong trait. Biographer Myra Friedman was told by Joplin's parents that when they interacted with other new parents in Port Arthur, Texas in the 1940s, everyone noticed their first-born child's dexterity with eating utensils, drinking glasses and napkins. The Joplins often took their toddler to the homes of other new parents to demonstrate these motor skills. Regularly drove drunk in California (in her custom-built Porsche) during the last two years of her life. No accidents were ever reported (in newspapers or several biographies), and only one instance of getting pulled over is noted (in a book by Peggy Caserta, who claimed the officer recognized the singer and let her go with a warning). Only one known injury during a performance, which happened in College Park, Maryland and turned out to be a source of humor on The Dick Cavett Show (1968). Manual dexterity and the appearance of controlling her own destiny, no matter how drunk or stoned, diverted many people's attention from the possibility of imminent death. However, personal manager Albert Grossman expected it and (in June 1969) took out a $200,000 insurance policy on his client in case of accidental death. Grossman, famous for signing the young Bob Dylan, collected $112,000 from the San Francisco Associated Indemnity Corporation almost four years after his female client's "accident". During a three-week trial in the New York State Supreme Court, Grossman swore under oath he had not known in June 1969 that Joplin used heroin. He won the 1974 case against the insurer despite its efforts to prove Joplin's death had been a suicide.
Her good friend and former lover, Kris Kristofferson, has on numerous occasions stated that he is absolutely sure she did not commit suicide, but also believes that the course that Janis had chosen to take was a dangerous, self-destructive one, a fact of which he knows she was also aware.
Played by Janelle Powers in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014).
Died at 27 years old, making her a member of the "27 Club"; the 27 Club is a group of prominent musicians who died at the age of 27. Other members include The Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, guitarist Jimi Hendrix, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
Along with Grace Slick, she was one of the first female rock stars and an important figure in the directed change of rock music in the late 1960s.
Pictured on a USA nondenominated commemorative postage stamp in the Music Icons series, issued 8 August 2014. Price on day of issue was 49¢.
She was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 4, 2013.
Her passing was acknowledged in Don McLean's classic song "American Pie": "I met a girl who sang the blues/And I asked her for some happy news/But she just smiled and turned away.".
Over the years there have been many unsuccessful attempts to film a biopic on Janis Joplin. Actresses who have been attached to play the singer include: Melissa Etheridge (circa 1996, in Gary Fleder's project Piece of My Heart); Brittany Murphy (in 1999, also in Fleder's project); Lili Taylor (in a competing 1999 project); Laura Theodore (also 1999; in a never-filmed adaptation of the off-Broadway play "Love, Janis" by Janis's sister Laura Joplin); Renee Zellweger (2003, in Piece of My Heart); Pink (2004) and Zooey Deschanel (2006) (both in Penelope Spheeris's The Gospel According to Janis); Reese Witherspoon (2007, in an untitled Catherine Hardwicke project); Nina Arianda (2012 in Sean Durkin's Janis); Amy Adams (2010 in Get It While You Can); and Michelle Williams (2016 in Durkin's Janis). As of July 2017, none of these projects have ever been filmed; most of them never even came close to going into production. Many were stymied by extensive legal problems with obtaining music rights to Joplin's songs.
The many decades of failed attempts to film a biopic on Janis Joplin eventually became such a publicly well-known Hollywood phenomenon that it was a running joke on the third season of the NBC sitcom "30 Rock": The character of Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) is cast in a Janis Joplin biopic. However, the producing company has failed to obtain Joplin's life rights or the music rights to any of her actual songs. The filming continues, but for legal reasons the main character has to take a series of names that are increasingly removed from the name "Janis Joplin": "Janet Joppler," "Janie Jimplin," and finally "Jackie Jormp-Jomp," in a movie that is eventually titled, "Sing Them Blues, White Girl: The Jackie Jormp Jomp Story." Jenna is also obliged to sing "sound-alike" songs and lyrics such as "Chunk of my Lung" (instead of "Piece of My Heart") and "Synonym's just another word for the word you wanna use" (instead of "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" from "Me and Bobby MCGee").

Personal Quotes (10)

My advice to everyone is come to California and I'll buy you a drink.
On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone.
[asked by a reporter what "acid rock" was] I wouldn't know. I'm a juicer.
You know, I have to have the umph. I've got to feel it, because if it's not getting through to me, the audience sure as hell aren't going to feel it either.
They're frauds, the whole goddamn hippie culture. They bitch about brainwashing from their parents and they do the same damn thing. I've never known a one of those people who would tolerate any way of life but their own.
I don't believe in gate-crashing. The people aren't up there when I'm sweating on a stage at a festival, breaking my ass. You can get the money to buy a concert ticket, man. Sell your old lady, sell your dope. Look at me, man, I'm selling my heart.
I'm a victim of my own insides. There was a time when I wanted to know everything. It used to make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn't know what to do with it. But now I've learned to make that feeling work for me. I'm full of emotion and I want a release, and if you're on stage and if it's really working and you've got the audience with you, it's a oneness you feel.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porches, I must make amends.
Tomorrow never happens. It's all the same fucking day man.
Most television shows are such shit, like selling plastic raindrops.

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