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Back Story – Janis Mort at 27? How and Why?

October 4, 2016

Going home alone  – How many others feel this way?

Back Story

On Oct. 4, 1970, the rock ’n’ roll manager John Byrne Cooke walked into a Hollywood hotel apartment and found Janis Joplin on the floor.
She had died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.
Three years earlier and 300 miles up the coast, at the Monterey Pop Festival, Ms. Joplin became a star when she sang the blues to a mature crowd that she’d found intimidating, compared with her usual audience of “teeny-boppers.”
“When they stood up and started dancing, it was like everybody in the world could dig us,” she said. “It was really a thrilling thing.”
Ms. Joplin was known as a rebel. A headline in her college newspaper shouted, “She Dares to Be Different!” Despite that image, she craved approval from teenagers and adults alike — even her parents.
“She got a kick out of playing the bad girl, but she wasn’t a bad girl,” said a friend from her childhood in Port Arthur, Tex.
Many explanations have been offered for Ms. Joplin’s self-destruction. Mr. Cooke said that she felt like a failure as a solo artist.
Her vulnerability, though, is captured in a remark she made herself.
“Onstage, I make love to 25,000 different people,” she once said. “Then I go home alone.”
Jonah Engel Bromwich contributed reporting.
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