03 May Janis Breaking Down The Walls In Britain
by New Musical Express
May 3, 1969
“She bursts into the green room of the Royal Albert Hall like the cork from a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne. Excited, elated and bubbling over-Janis Joplin couldn’t have been happier. “We did it, we did it! she exclaimed, and a room full of press men ain’t going to bring me down,” Janis added.
Indeed trying to would have been like tearing down the Pyramids with a toothpick. Janis had just left the stage after a triumphant British debut which left most of the audience on their feet yelling for more. She hadn’t expected it. Perhaps she believed too much about the traditional British reserve. Certainly her hour of belting, grinding vocalising against her soul slanted backing group had created enough excitement and emotion to make the audience forget their inhibitions.
“I don’t want to offend propriety or anything, but if you want to dance then thats what its all about right?” she told the audience. They responded by dancing in the aisles, the boxes, and on the stage.
“We’ve been incredibly thrilled – this audience was great, American audiences are getting too jaded,” she said bouncing around the green room, hardly able to contain her obvious delight. “This is the fourth crowd out of seven we’ve had on their feet, dancing. I didn’t expect it. In Frankfurt we had people right up on the stage after the second number. I was surrounded by all those lovely cats, singing right in their faces man! This was thrilling. I thought the British audiences were so cool! They were really getting into it.”
Janis described this visit as a promotion tour, and said she would be back as soon as she could. “The concert scene in Europe has been exciting, but this one was a little more exciting because it was well, the Albert Hall, man it was dynamite! Maybe it was because I broke through a wall I didn’t think was possible to break through! Everybody said don’t expect any reaction, but it was like a big hot rush, like a door opening – a kind of fresh air. It was like…” Janis paused searching for a phrase, “..like holding onto someone and really exploring them. You can feel their hands on your back,then all of a sudden they have two more hands. It never occurred to me that it could be that pleasurable.”
Then Janis decided to end the impromptu press conference. “Im not sitting here talking to you, Jesus, man, I’m going out to have a ball. Im so happy! As quickly as she arrived she departed, rushing out of the room to round up the group and her friends. From the corridor her voice came shouting back “Jesus, I’m so happy not even a roomful of pressmen could bring me down!”
We pocketed our notebooks and departed, slightly overwhelmed by this amazing young lady.