Comments From Janis

01 Sep Comments From Janis

by Hit Parader
September 1, 1970

Janis Joplin raps about the early days and other quotable things. Here she is folks, the first lady of rock and roll.

On leaving Big Brother: “It was a very sad thing. I love those guys more than anybody else in the whole world. But if I had any serious ideas of myself as a musician, I had to leave. Getting off, real feeling, thats’s the whole thing of music for me. But by the end, we were shucking. We worked for, six nights a week for two years, doing the same tunes, and we’d put everything into them we could. We just used each other up.”

On her music: “My music is not a cerebral trip. It’s nothing without guts. I don’t worry about whether it’s musical, but did it get off!”

On Port Arthur where she was born and grew; “I was a sensitive child. I had a lot of hurts and confusions. You know, it’s hard when you’re a kid to be different. You’re all full of things, and you don’t know what it’s about.”

On her roots: “Back in Port Arthur, I’d heard some Leadbelly records, and well, if the blues syndrome is true, I guess it’s true about me. So I began listening to blues and folk music. I bought Bessie Smith and Odetta records, and one night, I was at this party and I did an imitation of Odetta. I’d never sung before, and I came out with this huge voice.”

On getting into Big Brother: “(A friend of Chet Helm’s) told me Big Brother was looking for a chick singer, so I thought I’d give it a try. I don’t know what happened. I just exploded. I’d never sung like that before. I’d been into a Bessie Smith type thing, you know. Big open notes. I stood still, and I sang simple. But you can’t sing like that in front of a rock band, all that rhythm and volume going. You have to sing loud and move wild with all that in back of you. It happened the first time, but then I got turned on to Otis Redding, and I just got into it more than ever. Now, I’ve tried cooling myself and not screaming, and I’ve walked off feeling like nothing.”

On her self: “I’m a victim of my own insides. There was a time when I wanted to know everything. I read a lot. I guess you’d say I was pretty intellectual. It’s odd, I can’t remember when it changed. It used to make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn’t know what to do with it. But now I’ve learned how to make feeling work for me. I’m full of emotion and I want a release, and if you’re on stage and if it’s really working and you’ve got the audience with you, it’s a oneness you feel. I’m into me, plus they’re into me, and everything comes together. You’re full of it. I don’t know, I just want to feel as much as I can, it’s what ‘soul’ is all about.”