Janis Joplin: New Biography Coming

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A new Janis Joplin biography, simply titled Janis: Her Life and Music, is set to be published Oct. 22 by Simon & Schuster. The book is authored by Holly George-Warren, a two-time Grammy nominee whose previous books include bios of Alex Chilton and Gene Autry, as well as The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang).

According to the pre-publication promotional material, “This blazingly intimate biography of Janis Joplin establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and complicated, gender-bending rebel she was.”

The publicity material continues: “Janis Joplin’s first transgressive act was to be a white girl who gained an early sense of the power of the blues, music you could only find on obscure records and in roadhouses along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. But even before that, she stood out in her conservative oil town. She was a tomboy who was also intellectually curious and artistic. By the time she reached high school, she had drawn the scorn of her peers for her embrace of the Beats and her racially progressive views. Her parents doted on her in many ways, but were ultimately put off by her repeated acts of defiance.

“Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in these pages, Holly George-Warren provides a revelatory and deeply satisfying portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering. Janis was a perfectionist: a passionate, erudite musician who was born with talent but also worked exceptionally hard to develop it. She was a woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was socially acceptable. She was a sensitive seeker who wanted to marry and settle down—but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She was a Texan who yearned to flee Texas but could never quite get away—even after becoming a countercultural icon in San Francisco.”

Related: The story behind Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen’s “typewriter tape”

The bio is “based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives and long-lost interviews. In a back-cover blurb, Rosanne Cash says, “I’ve been waiting for the right person to write the definitive biography of Janis Joplin! All fans should be grateful it’s finally here. Janis lives and breathes freedom and soul, and Holly George-Warren captures that spirit perfectly.”

The book can be pre-ordered via the link below.

Watch Janis perform “Ball and Chain” at the Monterey Pop Festival

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  1. TonyC
    #1 TonyC 26 April, 2019, 18:09

    Another book about Pearl by someone that never met her; much less wasn’t even an adult during Janis’ life. I was a close friend of Janis and the only books about her worth reading are the ones written by her friends, John Cooke, Myra Friedman, etc. NOT the one by Peggy who was a horrible person. EOR.

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    • Charlie
      Charlie 6 May, 2019, 10:43

      It should be good – her book on Chilton is excellent. I do know what you mean about Peggy Caserta’s book – exploitation paperback. I met Janis, but wasn’t her friend, didn’t know her well. This book may be good! It’s only in the promo that someone says “Queen of Rock and Roll” which is indeed a bit silly. If you hear Etta James live album from 1954, “Rocks the House,” you know Janis listened to the greats. RIP.

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  2. Gregorio
    #2 Gregorio 27 April, 2019, 01:28

    I absolutely adore Janis Joplin and all of her music. However I take issue with calling her the Queen of Rock and Roll. Lest we forget Tina Turner and Grace Slick who were also pioneers and paved the way for our modern-day women in rock.

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