…a 27-year-old girl from Port Arthur, Texas died in a hotel room in Hollywood from an overdose of heroin.
Janis Joplin was unlike any other before or since.
I never knew (or didn’t remember) the name of the hotel where she died until today. It’s funny, but it never occurred to me before to want to seek it out. I still probably won’t, but I know where it is. I could retrace her steps.
I think I’ve posted all the poems I’ve written for Janis. I’ve posted photos and videos. Song lyrics. Now I’ll post something from Janis herself from a letter dated April 1970 as collected in the book Love, Janis written by her sister, Laura.
Really rushing through rehearsals, have a new (2 of the same guys, 3 new) smaller band & it’s really going fantastic! Great new songs-really needed new songs-so we’ll do an album while on the next tour. Albert is lightening up my schedule a little because of my old age & because I put my foot Down! 2 mos on the road then 2 off, 2 on, 2 off, etc. So I can have a little personal life, I hope. I met a really fine man in Rio but I had to get back to work so he’s off finding the rest of the world-Africa or Morocco now I think, but he really did love me & was so good to me & he wants to come back & marry me! I thought I’d die without someone besides fans asking me. But he meant it & who knows-I may get tired of the music biz, but I’m really gettin it on now! & doing much & fantastic & expensive work on the house. It’s turning into a palace-all fur & wood & stained glass & velvet couches & chaise lounges & even a chandelier hanging in the middle of an eye-full of redwoods. FANTASTIC! Have a new puppy-a Great Pyrenees all white, one of the biggest dogs around-grows to be 180 lbs. all lumbering & loving, rare & expensive-from the Pyrenees mtns, long ago a cross between a St. Bernard & a Mastiff-named him Thurber, thanks for the books when I was young, Dad. It does make a difference.
The guy she was talking about was named David Niehaus, but they didn’t stay together. At the time of her death, she was seeing a guy named Seth Morgan who she was hoping to marry. Who knows how both of them would have ended up had she not died that night.
When she died, she was putting the finishing touches on “Pearl.” On October 5, she was supposed to put down her vocal track to “Buried Alive in the Blues.” That song remains an instrumental on that remarkable album. It was released in January, 1971, and was her biggest commercial success. It was #1 on Billboard for 9 weeks.
I love Janis because even through all the addiction issues, I feel like I know who she was. Her sister’s book had a lot to do with that. It’s hard to explain. She just seems very real to me. RIP Janis. You are still loved and remembered.
I’ll leave you with me doing my best Janis at Halloween last year.