Thursday, February 7, 2008

Conversations with Famous Dead People-Janis Joplin





I don't really expect Janis to talk back, but I am going to make this a semi regular feature. Why? Because famous people give us a common point of reference, and this is my blog and I want to.


The pain that eventually killed Janis (along with the drugs) was what made her soooooo damn good. I think maybe she was the so much the heavyset, kind of plain girl that she might not have heard her own beautiful voice. But would it have been beautiful without the pain? Janis, did you ever really hear yourself sing?
Janis on stage was mesmerizing. I believed it when she sang the blues. I still do, because I think it was truer than true. But I wonder, did she forget that the thousands of people who connected with her because of her music, also believed it, lived it, understood it? Janis, did you think you were the only one who was looking for love?
Today she'd have handlers, probably a plastic surgeon-then she was pretty much alone. But would it matter? Janis, would you have been alone anyway?
Janis, taking about her highschool reunion was probably more like most girls than she realized. That was on a talk show. A later interview, when she was back at home for the reunion, is painful to watch, because her pain is so out there. Janis, did you ever resolve those parental issues, or did you take them with you when you left?
I guess the question I'd most like answered is-Janis, would you trade the brilliance and the pain for....what? What didn't you get?

9 comments:

Mim said...

I saw her in concert once and it was so good it was painful

Debra Kay said...

That would have been fabulous. I saw Joan Baez in concert in Berkley once-she was amazing in her own way too. Ah, those were the days.

RED MOJO said...

I certainly can't answer for Janis, but I think anyone with pain that great, would gladly trade anything to get rid of it.

Forever Young said...

she is one person i have very little recollection of....listened to joan baez a lot though ('the night they drove ole dixie down')...

have seen diana ross and michael jackson live (separately) she has no personality, he is a whizz kid (or was once).

Debra Kay said...

Red-I think people hang on to their pain sometimes because it's what they know and there is that whole tortured artist vibe. I'd like to be a joyful artist myself.

Janis sang a lot about love and the pain therein, but back then you were still considered lame if you "didn't have a man."

FY, Michael Jackson was brilliant at one time.

I would love, just once, to stand up and be able to belt out a song (and have it sound good).

Forever Young said...

oh yes, me too, and have an audience going wild about my song...dream on fy...

Debra Kay said...

Michele (Squawks and Gripes) may or may not recall an incident in Cancun where a group of us attempted Kareoke. We were so bad we got no audience support whatsoever. We were doing Me and Bobby Mgee-a Janis Joplin song. I suddenly went all "Janis" on the audience and said "for shit's sake, help us OUT here....."

I really do try to avoid Tequila now, it channels my inner red neck.

Fern said...

ha! At first I thought I read it "channels your inner red squirrel."

Debra Kay said...

Well, I do get a bit squirrely.