Sunday, February 15, 2009


"On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone." -Janis Joplin


The most creative people that ever inhabited this society of ours had most often been summed up in a tragic death! They came, they conquer and in the end flamed in their own blaze! One such person was 'janis'.She lived fast and died young, an American icon and souvenir of the 1960s. Janis Joplin (1943 - 1970) was one of the most popular and influential female singers to emerge from the West Coast "counterculture" that thrived in the mid- to late-1960s. Her compelling stage and recording persona effectively transcended any regional boundaries. Her trademark raucous performing presence, combined with the raw emotion conveyed in her bluesy singing style and her unconventional but trend-setting and highly personal taste in fashion, captivated a national audience who sensed both her toughness and vulnerability and, in turn, embraced her without condition. Joplin, who was given to emotional excess and susceptible to unhealthy indulgence, passed away at the height of her fame.


The initial period of Janis at her home was not at peace! She ran away from her home at an age of 17, to mark her own destiny after a series of clashes with her family who failed to understand her. A typical non-conformist, Joplin rejected traditional roles and expected behavior, and fell in with a group of like-minded, rebellious peers. While rejecting social norms of her community, she embraced causes such as equal rights and identified strongly with what was then termed the "beatnik” culture. Her interests included poetry and music, particularly jazz and blues. As is often the case with individuals who march to the cadences of a different drummer, however, Joplin often was overwhelmed by a sense of alienation and she suffered bouts of depression - feelings that she'd battle throughout her relatively short life.

The greatest white female rock singer of the 1960s, Janis Joplin was also a great blues singer, making her material her own with her wailing, raspy, supercharged emotional delivery. First rising to stardom as the front woman for San Francisco psychedelic band Big Brother & The Holding Company, she left the group in the late '60s for a brief and uneven (though commercially successful) career as a solo artist. Although she wasn't always supplied with the best material or most sympathetic musicians, her best recordings, with both Big Brother and on her own, are some of the most exciting performances of her era. She also did much to redefine the role of women in rock with her assertive, sexually forthright persona and raunchy, electrifying on-stage presence. Eventually, and predictably, the band broke up. Big Brother, with Joplin, made its final appearances together in December 1968, even as Cheap Thrills remained at the top of the charts and national audiences were just getting to know the group. The drink and the drugs began affecting both the performing and personal relationships. More significantly, however, the personal dynamics within the band were similar to those within a relationship or marriage that nears its end when one partner achieves greater success than the other. There was a widening gulf between Joplin and the rest of Big Brother. Albin recalled for Rolling Stone what is was like: "The kind of performance she would put out would be a different trip than the band's. I'd say it was a star trip, where she related to the audience like she was the only one on the stage, and not relating to us at all."

But to many observers, it did not appear that Joplin was on a ego trip. Rather, she simply outgrew the group. Big Brother was considered a good band that became a great band with Janis Joplin. The prevailing opinion became that the band was sloppy and informal, and Joplin was way out of its class.

ONE kind of an artist, always lonely... the drug addiction, the depression ... and the death(not the fall)

Joplin died of a heroin overdose in a Los Angeles hotel in 1970, two weeks after the death of fellow rock star Jimi Hendrix. For years, Joplin's life had been a roller coaster of drug addiction, alcoholism, and volatile personal relationships, documented in several biographies. Musically, however, things were on the upswing shortly before her death, as she assembled a better, more versatile backing outfit, the Full Tilt Boogie Band, for her final album, Pearl. Joplin was sometimes criticized for screeching at the expense of subtlety, but Pearl was solid evidence of her growth as a mature, diverse stylist who could handle blues, soul, and folk-rock.

Her rise was very fast and dramatic. With success came the usual pressures that would sink many a rock and roll band: ego conflicts, hurt feelings and the increased drug and alcohol use that often accompanied increased income. Joplin, with her fragile emotional state, was particularly susceptible to the entrapments of stardom. She reportedly used liquor and heroin to help ease the pain of a loneliness that never seemed to go away, even before an audience of adoring fans. She was never able to completely free herself from the lure of drugs, though, or her continuing affection for alcohol, and this resulted in her sudden death from an accidental overdose in a Hollywood motel in October 1970.

Joplin's body was found hours after she died, making it a sad and lonely death, all the more perplexing because of the affection she easily attracted both from her listening audience, fellow professionals, family and close friends. She was just 27 years old

The Pearl album was released posthumously several months later, becoming one of the best-selling albums of 1971. It held the number-one spot on the Billboard charts for nine weeks. The single released from the album, "Me and Bobby McGee," also reached number one.

SOME MEMORIES NEVER FADE, some tunes are never lost by the test of time... some voices were so brilliant that they will live on forever...

Joplin was a pioneer in the male dominated rock music scene of the late 1960s, influencing generations of musicians to come. Stevie Nicks commented that after seeing Joplin perform, "I knew that a little bit of my destiny had changed. I would search to find that connection that I had seen between Janis and her audience. In a blink of an eye she changed my life.

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." -Janis Joplin(Born: January 19, 1943 : Died: October 04, 1970)

Her enigma lives on... in her voice... in her songs... in my words!


PULKIT said...

dearest readers,
This post of mine is dedicated to my dearest sis, Malancha. She is the person from whose source I first came across 'janis japlin's' work! Malancha di! Had been an immense source of knowledge about music and artists ever since we had come in touch, a brilliant singer,presenter and radio jock!
For the past seven days I had been working extremely hard to compose this write up! Trying to write down the facts and info collected from various multi sources in an interesting manner!
There is something about these tragic stories of creative people with which I get myself related to and I love to feel this nostalgia while writing about them! Not an artist like van gogh or a performer like jimmy Hendrix but Somehow I just feel so much like them living every passing breath of my life!
Yesterday while completing the final write up of this post, I came across a very unique happening! Not just Its been me who had felt associated with janis listening to this particular song”summertime” but its just been a connection somewhere destined to happen between us!
“we both share our birth date, its 19th January, I got to know this while writing this”
hope you will like my work again!

With ocean of love and universe of blessings
Your best friend and most honest well wisher

Anonymous said...

great work bro.....

"SOME MEMORIES NEVER FADE, some tunes are never lost by the test of time... some voices were so brilliant that they will live on forever..."
very true....!


Ekam said...

Great article Pulkit . Didn't know so much about her. You really have done a great search on her. Thanks an lot. Keep it up :)

kartikey said...

heyy!!! nice one pulkit........i jus loved it reallyyyy roxxxxxxx like janis.....may she r.i.p.

nd heyy.....cover more artists like her......ur blog will get more nd more beautiful!!!!!

gr888 job man!!!

malancha said...

Pulkit - good job with the flow... :) Janis fr me became a spiritual connect when i was 17..and if i cn see flashes of that in this current teen generation then am happy - good music will always live on..
and they'll never make them like tht any more.. the 60's are framed in gold..
rock on sweetheart .. peace out ;)

PULKIT said...

@ khushi- thanks for the comments again sis! ur appreciation means a lot for me!

@ ekam - :)

@ kartikey - I am happy, that i was able to content u this time with my work! really relieved ... :D

PULKIT said...

thanks malancha di! for the comments and the inspiration to write this

rishabh said...

Her enigma lives on... in her voice... in her songs... in my words!!
very impressed bhiya
agreed with ekam!
dont know this much abt her i only knew ki died becoz of overdose of drugs!

very appreciative article!


PULKIT said...

thanks for the visit and comments brother! love u rishab!

priyanka said...

hey is fantabulous really ....u were so correct it really touched my heart.........keep up the gud work n all the best
god bless

PULKIT said...

hey priya! thanks again for the comments and everlasting eternal support sis!
tc god bless!