Thursday, May 5, 2016

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

     Her bright light burned out at 27 with a heroin overdose in 1970.  Now, Amy Berg has a documentary streaming on PBS on the life of Janis Joplin.  "Little Girl Blue" will run through May on PBS and features interviews with Joplin's family, her lovers, and former band members.  Of particular interest are the letters that are read by a woman who sounds amazingly like Joplin.

     I was especially interested in Joplin's trip back to Port Arthur, Texas for her 10th high school reunion.  It was brave of her to go back, considering how difficult her life there had been due to her classmates' ridicule of her.  She turned her pain into a high art form.

     She became an overnight sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival.  "Little Girl Blue" includes film footage of that event and Janis' amazing performance with Big Brother and the Holding Company.  Amy Berg features members of the band in her documentary, which took seven years to film.

     Janis Joplin would be around 73 today.  It's a shame she did not get professional help for her heroin addition.  Jimi Hendrix had died the week before she did.  Had she lived, she would have been the "grand old lady of the blues."


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