Talk:Janis Joplin

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Bootlegs should not be included in discographies unless they are critically important, in which case they should be clearly identified as unauthorized releases and put in a separate table. Bootlegs here include:

  • Live in Amsterdam
  • Live in Honolulu
  • Wicked Woman
  • Live at Woodstock: August 19, 1969 (talk) 15:22, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

This is Janis. This is Janis on drugs.[edit]

Quote: In June, she was photographed at an outdoor concert that celebrated the summer solstice. The image, which was later published in two books by David Dalton, shows her before she relapsed into drugs.

... and she looked notably different than she did on drugs?

If we don't or can't show that image, this information is pointless.

Thanks, Maikel (talk) 11:09, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

The introduction states in the third paragraph that she 'was well known for her performing ability and skill as a multi-instrumentalist' yet the only instrument quoted on the background information panel is guitar. Are we sure that she was a multi-instrumentalist and that she was well-known for it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Projected Changes[edit]

I believe this article is pretty terrible, but rather than dive in, make a bunch of changes, then have thiry-two big fights after, thought the discussion page would be a better place to discuss than the main article.

One step at a time :

Paragraph One, no problem except it's either The Full Tilt Boogie band or it's the Full Tilt Boogie Band. I'd have to go look to be sure and I'm too lazy but the article (the) ought to be corrected one way or the other.

Paragraph Two says "Her first ever large scale public performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival, which led to her becoming very popular ..."

Umm, they don't ask unpopular people to play at the Monterey Pop Festival. Something like "her appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival introduced her to a larger audience and led to an invitation to perform at Woodstock ..." would, imo, be more accurate.

Paragraph Three, now we're getting into hot water ...

"Joplin was well known for her ... skill as a multi-instrumentalist."

Has someone been hallucinating ? Has anyone got any evidence of any kind that Janis ever played anything except the tambourine and maybe maracas in concert ? Ever ?

"Her fans referred to her stage presence as "electric";

There is no doubt that she was "electric" but it was not only fans who said this. Anyone who ever say her said the same thing. "Fans" is not a good fit for this sentence.

"she was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul."

Wa ? references, please ? I've never in my life heard this phrase and I'm not a spring chicken. Thinking of Janis and Lionel Richie in the same genre boggles the mind :) Besides, Janis had been dead for a year before Soooooul Train even came out. This claim is like saying "Aretha was known as the Queen of Soulful Acid."

It's silly :)

"Known as "Pearl" among her friends,"

References, please ?

"she was also a painter, dancer and music arranger."

I guess we need to define painter, dancer and music arranger ?

Not to disparage Janis in any way but facts are usually more informative than exaggerations ... she painted in high school. Does this make her a "painter" ? If so, we need to add a lot of people to the "painter" category. Dancer, likewise. And music arranger ... everyone in any band has their own ideas of how they want a recording to sound. But here is a definition of "music arranger"

"Arrangers generally know how to play several instruments, have a good grasp of music theory, able to read and write music, able to transpose and transcribe and have a strong background in orchestration, harmony and composition."

Does Janis fit those criteria ? or are we just throwing words at the wall and hoping some will stick ?

That's enough for now ..... (talk) 10:55, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree it's pretty bad, most likely the result of patchwork editing by various people who push and the pull the focus. The article is in dire need of an overhaul by someone who has read all of the best biographies of Janis, so that she can be properly represented as a greatly influential rock and blues singer. I'm not the right person; I haven't read the biographies. Can we find someone who has access to the following?
The first book on this list doesn't appear anywhere (yet) in our biography. From a brief bit of skipping through its pages, I think its viewpoint is unique. Binksternet (talk) 04:56, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Note that I did not list the Peggy Caserta book, which I felt was overly self-serving. Binksternet (talk) 04:57, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
The silence is deafening around here :) Went ahead and made those noncontroversial changes in the first few paragraphs. It's ugly and doesn't read well but more factual than before.
Agree with you that a more coherent article would be very desirable. However ... the John Byrne Cooke book is probably the only one that's very accurate. As you noted, the Peggy Caserta is an "As told to ..." sensationalist potboiler. But at least Peggy actually knew Janis. The Myra Friedman book is worse than a waste of paper. It's a despicable character assassination that should never have seen print.
Far from being Ms Joplin's "publicist", Friedman worked across the country for Albert Grossman (West coast people did not trust East coast people then, with good reason. Heck, we didn't even trust people from LA, also with good reason :) ) and was definitely *not* a friend. The lady was a fraud. There are a couple of excellent criticisms of that p.o.s. at Amazon in the review section. I would suggest looking there before accepting that "biography" as a reputable source. So I would remove her ignorant, malevolent do-gooder backstabbing lies and amateur pop-psychologizing from consideration for this article. (talk) 14:49, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Your edits are good. I understand your hesitation regarding doing significant clean up work - I sometimes wonder if there are regular editors who might revert and ask for consensus when a non-regular editor starts working on their favourite article, and if I'm just about to waste my time by being dragged into a series of long drawn out discussions. Sometimes, before embarking on a big clean up I will click on the History link, then on the Revision history statistics link, which gives me a page like this, which - if you scroll down - gives you a list of contributors, and shows those who have worked on the article the most, and the most recent. In the case of Janis Joplin, two editors who have done a lot of edits and are still active on the article (having edited this year) are User talk:Poiluj and User talk:Binksternet. Sometimes a note on such editors' talkpages before starting editing can save misunderstandings later. Perhaps a note saying: "I see you are a recent regular contributor to XXX. I am starting some clean up work on that article - if you have any concerns, or if I make any mistakes please do let me know." SilkTork ✔Tea time 15:54, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
My work here has been more maintenance than developmental. I have reverted poor-quality changes and I have buffed some references. I have not read the biographies. On that note, I am crossing out the Friedman biography per comments by IP 210. Binksternet (talk) 18:55, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
"Umm, they don't ask unpopular people to play at the Monterey Pop Festival."
Monterey was set up to introduce unknown and lesser known acts alongside better known acts. At that time Janis Joplin was unknown, and the local band she joined, Big Brother, hadn't even released their first album. Monterey records her first significant public appearance and the event is notable for that. A particularly acclaimed shot is of Mama Cass' response during Joplin's astonishing performance of Ball and Chain. Also noteworthy is the audience's indifferent response to her name when the band are introduced, and the difference to their reaction when she finishes Ball and Chain. That's the exact moment a star is born. And it's captured on film. That rarely happens. SilkTork ✔Tea time 18:25, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it would be worth looking for sources that do mention the importance of that moment, such as: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. SilkTork ✔Tea time 18:47, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
According to this website, she appeared twice. On the Saturday afternoon, and then on the Sunday evening. Big Brother appear to be the only band who appeared twice. Either that's a mistake by the website, or there's a story there which might be worth tracking down. In the film the shots of Mama Cass's reaction to her performance are in sunlight, while the performance itself is early dusk. I wonder if Mama Cass was so impressed with the Saturday afternoon performance that she asked the band to appear again on Sunday evening? SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:20, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
OK. This book explains the difference in lighting - Mama Cass was shot during the main performance. The band (who had not been filmed - presumably because they were unknown) came back for an encore, and this time the film crew shot them. But the book only mentions a Saturday afternoon performance. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:25, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
This book says it was their manager who insisted they not be filmed. The book says the band played a second set which was filmed, but doesn't say when. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
This book's Chapter Three, "It Happened In Monterey", says their manager refused the filming of the band's performance Saturday afternoon, but the film producers really wanted to capture them because their electrifying performance would make the film. So the festival producers arranged for a second set on Sunday night which would be filmed. The band was convinced by Bob Dylan's manager that it would be a good thing for them to be filmed, after which their own manager left in a huff. Binksternet (talk) 12:22, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Nice one. I just found this, which isn't much, but also supports the Sunday performance, so later today I'll put the info into the article. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:27, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm gonna jump back out to the edge of the page here, this is getting a little long :)

Didn't want to get too bogged down in the Monterey Pop thing, SilkTork's comments would be correct today but this took place at a very unusual time ... it wasn't Big Brother's manager who was trying to restrict Big Bro / Janis -- almost all the SF bands felt the same way. And their "manager" was Chet Helms, not exactly a no-name in San Francisco music history. The Dead refused to be filmed too. In fact, none of them except for the Airplane (who have always been a little more commercial than everybody else - "We built this city" ? eeeuw) were willing to even go. Ralph Gleason talked them (the SF guys) into it. LA was the black and stinking heart of the devil for us northerners. Slick commercial crap like the Monkees, Mamas and Papas, Beach Boys, Lou Adler, it was everything the SF bands did not want.

You have to remember, there had been exactly one rock festival prior to this, and it featured the Hell's Angels as ushers. Not exactly mainstream :)

So, by today's thinking, you'd be right, this was everyone's Big Chance for Success, etc etc. But in fact a lot of the people involved did not want that kind of success. And the statement that it was "intended to showcase" unknown bands made me laugh out loud. Lou Adler doesn't "showcase" anything he doesn't intend to make a buck (or three or five) out of. Even Pennebaker was distrusted as an LA slimeball.

In fact, I think Monterey Pop should be expanded but not in the way it is now - it really was a turning point for Janis but not just because 30,000 people saw her. The Avalon and Fillmore were not chic little coffee houses, either. Right after she played at Euphoria, the city pulled their license, that whole half of the city was blocked off for hours with the crowds. Janis was not an unknown prior to Monterey. Not if you were into music, anyhow.

(No one saw the movie back then, it would have been a second feature on the bill with Blue Water, White Death and other b-grade stuff. It is now that people look at that documentary and say, "Wow, right there is when it all happened !") Monterey was where she began to turn away from the peace love good vibes kind of hand-to-mouth existence to being a more conventional singer. It wasn't exactly appreciated at the time, either.

Everybody else sold out pretty quick soon after tho, so maybe she was just the leader of the laundromat :)

It wasn't Albert Grosman who talked the band into playing again - it was Janis herself. She was the one who saw how the crowd reacted, and she was the one who convinced the rest to abandon their principles. Grosman never could have, no way that egotist Peter Albin would listen to him. (And with good reason, the Diggers never did get even a penny of the gate.)

This doesn't exactly fit with the "Little Girl Blue", Myra Friedman "no talent insecure junkie" image, does it ? That's because much of this article is revisionist crap trying to turn a dead person's life into a tool for current writers and directors to use for their own ends ... If I can just remove the "poor little insecure girl, took refuge in heroin" heartstrings-tugging schtick I'll be happy.

New references above [1] [2] etc -- I can't get to the first couple, no google or blogspot here but ?

Come on ! See the photo of the writer ? She wasn't even a gleam in her daddy's eye when Janis was with us ! She knows exactly **** about Ms Joplin ! "a ballsy Texan girl whose toughness masked a deep-seated hurt and a need for validation" -- what a crock !! This twelve year old needs a sign on her door, "Pop Psychologist is In, 5¢". (Betcha she doesn't even get the allusion :-))

This is great. Read on down .. it's a phony ! The family painted the car grey, it was too embarrassing for them :) And now that it's worth a lot, they "had it repainted from old photos." Yeah, just like the Mona Lisa, got too faded so they repainted it, but it's the same as Leonardo did, really !

These are kinda interesting, might add a little background :

and the prototype :

It would be nice if this article were re-written to be more in the spirit of the facts, referenced here :

But I'ma scairt to just jump in and rip out the Myra Friedman/Amy Berg sob-sister stuff :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Oh-oh, I missed reading this : "The band (who had not been filmed - presumably because they were unknown) "
No way. Adler and Philips got Big Brother because they were well-known .. and so was Jimi Hendrix. And Ravi Shankar. In fact, almost everyone (except for one or two hangers-on that were friends of Adler) was well-known. Go look at the playlist. Many of them had not been peddled by the record companies yet !! but that's not the same thing as well-known. Adler was trying to cash in on their popularity, not the other way 'round.
Once upon a time (and for a short time) in Amurrica we had our own minds. We chose our own heroes, instead of being force-fed whatever crap Sony and Apple wants us to buy. Compare Janis to Lady Gaga if you doubt me :) (talk) 14:33, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

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