Book about Janis Joplin confirms the artist’s pioneering vocation


(photo: Reproduo)

“Don’t betray yourself. everything you have ”. This phrase by Janis Joplin is the key to the secret to getting to know one of the most important singers in rock history. The painful, raw voice and free attitude to transformed in reference to women’s liberation, in an extremely macho universe, which was the rock scene in the second half of the last century. “She was ahead of her time”, highlights, in an exclusive interview with the Courier, Holly George-Warren, author of Janis Joplin: Her life, her msica

(Editora Seoman), recently released book in Brazil.

Yes, it was Janis, since her debut in 1967, who helped rock women to occupy the front of the stage and be protagonists in their respective careers. Legacy followed by local singers like Cassia Eller and Gaivota Naves, for example, and stars as distinct as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys. Behind this myth (true, yes, sir) with light eyes, flowing hair and yellow glasses, there was a history of gender resistance, family disappointments and activism politician in a conservative and reactionary United States, despite the wave of “peace and love”.

Holly George-Warren, journalist and one of the most respected researchers in American music, she delves into Janis’ timeline, searches for documents, facts and reveals rocker secrets. “Janis worked hard to become the great singer she was and also to obtain the technical skill she had in the studio. She was about to become producer”, Highlights the Correio.

In a thorough biography-report, Holly listened to the singer’s family, bandmates, friends from the boring Port Arthur (Texas), in addition to investigating archives of the time and relevant episodes of the artist, who lost her life at the age of 27 after an overdose accidental accident on October 4, 1970.

At a time when the psychedelic scene painted The then square rock of the time was colorful and lysical. Visceral songs with stunning lyrics like Piece of my heart, Mercedes Benz, Try (Just a little bit harder), Cry baby and the undisputed Summertime, just to name a few chills, mark the trajectory of Janis, who accumulates fans and covers until today.

The way Janis conveyed emotion, in a corner that went from melancholy rebellion, was and always will be unique. Her husky, bluesy voice reveals a suffering soul that had to seek refuge in the heroine. Another striking factor, portrayed in the book, was the relentless search for love. She who was never able to have a solid relationship and lasting (maybe she didn’t even want to), but that sting led her to a sad end: early death, at 27, by accidental overdose.

An excerpt from the book refora Janis’s faith in “Don’t betray yourself”. In a letter addressed to the family – which charges her return to college in Texas – the rocker, already in Chicago, replies: “I don’t think I can go back now. I don’t know all the reasons, but I just feel that this all gives a more real feeling. More true to myself. (…) I know that my unstable values ​​make me not very reliable and that I am a disappointment and, well, I’m sorry ”. That was Janis.

ENTREVISTA / Holly George-Warren

Why does Janis Joplin remain a music icon even today, even in countries like Brazil?

His music stands the test of time, with intense passion and unique vocals. And she broke barriers for female artists.

Janis went beyond rock, sang blues, soul, folk-rock … Her voice offered various sounds and possibilities to a repertoire of classics, where did this versatility come from?

She had such a strong vocal ability that she could sing any style of music. She loved all kinds of music and her tireless ambition motivated her to try to sing different genders. She studied fast and was able to learn all types of songs quickly.

For living her youth in a conservative city (Port Arthur, Texas), she suffered a lot of prejudice (for being a singer and not representing the beauty priests of the time) … Suffering that accompanied her throughout her career. If Janis were alive today, would this prejudice be the same?

No, I think she was ahead of her time and would be a leader today, for being fearless and so talented. Thanks to Janis, many women today are not judged by traditional beauty standards as in the past, and shame of the body condemned by many today.

After all, who was Janis Joplin, a cheerful hippie who preached free love or a shy and depressed person?

She was a complex person – she could be very optimistic, cheerful and fierce – and she could also be shy, introverted and quiet – an intellectual. Being on stage brought out his outgoing side. She never considered a hippie, but a beatnik (representative of the American beat generation of the 1960s, who contested the values, standards and way of life of materialistic society in the United States) and definitely believed in free love.

How did you get into Janis’s world? And why?

I wanted to discover Janis’ journey to become the great artist she was. I thought there was more to learn about her path. I was able to listen to some of his unsigned studio work that intrigued me and met his companions and learned more about his hard work behind the scenes.

What would Janis say about Donald Trump’s United States?

She would find her racism and her lies despicable. She would be out there at the Black Lives Matter protests (black lives matter) and talking about how this President coped poorly with the new coronavirus pandemic.


Janis Joplin: your life, your music

From Holly George-Warren. Publisher: Seoman. Number of pages: 432. Price: 69.90.


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