Janis Joplin and my thoughts on her.
The first thing one must understand is, I used to be able to hear perfectly. Janis Joplin was born on January 19th. 1943. I was born 20th December 1954. Janis Joplin so sadly passed on the 4th. of October 1970. I’m still alive at this moment. Sometime in 1973 I lost all my hearing but I’m eternally grateful I had the pleasure to hear her sing. I never heard another sound for twenty years and then medicine came to my aid in the form of a Cochlear Ear Implant. This means that I can now hear again, but, it’s so different. To cut a long story short basically I hear sound but battle to interpret this, which brings us back to Janis Joplin. So, because of the enormous strides made by computers I love listening to songs I can remember from when I used to be able to hear properly. It makes it better still if I can get the lyrics as the song plays along. I’m going to try something different firstly for a change and see if it works? I implore any reader to listen and think before I carry on with this epistle.
Me and Bobby McGee. Janis Joplin.
Now wasn’t that just out of this world? The way she changes her voice so often, the
nuances she puts into it all. A stunning performance for me anyway. Before I go deeper into this article let’s just first think about this song and the words, always remembering that it was a long time ago, and for some strange reason, many young people during this era were challenging long held beliefs and promiscuity and hedonism were gaining popularity. “Busted flat in Baton Rouge waiting for a train.And I’s feeling almost as faded as my jeans. Bobby thumbed a diesel down it rode us all the way to New Orleans.”Sound familiar? Any young people then remember those times and the WHY?
“Windshield wipers slapping time, I’s holding Bobby’s hand in mine, we sang every song that driver knew. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose?” Just what exactly does she mean by ‘Freedom’? Anyway the song goes on about the experience she had with Bobby and then one day he dies, but he was looking for something and “I hope one day he finds it?” And then comes for me, the most haunting line in the entire song and in it’s way it sums up her sadness and I guess many others who have lost things they loved. Be it a friend, a lover, a farm, or a country. “But I’d trade all my tomorrow’s for one yesterday?”
Janis Joplin, a pictorial.
Now there is something which I have been battling to understand for many, many, many, years now, which is. Whatever happened to people in the 50’s and 60’s which made them want to change the World upside down (topsy turvey) so to speak? Especially women. Which is really what I want to talk about here. Personally I believe most, if not all of it, has to with the contraceptive pill? For centuries the reality for women was, ‘don’t sleep with a guy’, as you are going to get pregnant. It’s that simple and it’s that complex. Which again is why men and women had or used to have, such different views on sex. I can feel a headache coming on. Basically then, women had little or no protection during all these years, not for want of trying though. Female condoms, diaphragms which non were foolproof, so keep your legs together girls. I really must have led a secluded life because never once, not ever, did it occur to me that women wanted’ it’ as much as we men did. Oh, ye devils ye.The reality is of course they did and even more so than us. During the second World War the advances made in medicine and science were staggering. People born during this era such as Janis Joplin took advantage of it and in my mind this is were the revolution began. Young people had just had enough and so came Woodstock. Far out man, groovy music, burn those bra’s baby, bring back the flopping tits, and let’s make love not war.
SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK AND ROLL.
It sure is a strange World because someone like Janis Joplin grew up believing she was a
‘dog’ (ugly), even at the peak of her fame. Well I am a man and don’t think she was ugly, not for a minute. It just goes to show that you can believe whatever you want to believe. More importantly I think that in her case she really couldn’t live a normal life as most of us can, everybody wanted a piece of her action so to speak and wherever she went she was mobbed, which in turn led to a form of being a recluse with little or no real friends. George Best was another one like this, people who were just so gifted. George turned to booze and Janis turned to drugs. For the life of me I cannot understand (not having touched a drug in my life not even a puff of dagga), why people do this. Having said that I have been a drinker (pisscat) all of my life. Booze is of course not frowned upon or illegal whereas drugs are. So Janis Joplin turned more and more into the drug scene, and then one day the terrible thing happened and she overdosed and was no longer with us. How terribly sad. Which brings us back to sex. In today’s world the contraceptive pill taken properly actually means no more unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, the sad thing about all this is, nothing has really changed, you see women actually think differently about this than we do? It is in their genes as it has been for centuries. What entails is because of this and peer pressure they sleep with guys whom they are not really ready for and it has dire consequences. It screws their heads and they cannot understand why there is no magic. Then one day they meet the right guy and he has the terrible job of trying to unscrew their heads. You don’t believe me? In today’s world the majority of women have had more sexual partners than the man. I silly you not. So the hedonistic value keeps on, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I personally believe the contraceptive pill was a gift from God, so for married women it saved them from a child every year until such time as they were no longer able to have them?
THIS IS MY SONG.
I first heard Petula Clark singing this great song, but cannot seem to find a decent one with lyrics so I can follow better. So I have decided to add one from Engelbert Humperdinck instead.
I care not what the World may be saying. Janis Joplin lived her life along those lines, albeit I have a sneaking suspicion she actually did. R.I.P. Janis Joplin, there was nobody to touch you, then or since, and thanks for the pleasure of your immortal voice.