Janis Joplin is famous for her full-throttle performances, feathered boas, Southern Comfort, and her liberating libido, but behind Pearl, the good-time girl, hid a frail & self-conscious Janis who doubted herself and obsessed that her fans should love her.
The first Queen of Rock commands a key position in The 27s, a forthcoming book about nearly three dozen musicians who died at that eponymous age. "We all know that Janis' life overlapped with Jimi Hendrix', Jim Morrison's, and Pigpen's," says illustrator and co-creator Josh Hunter. "But The 27s is the first attempt at telling the story about these guys and their place in the sixties and beyond. The really intriguing aspect is they all died when they were 27 of course."
The 27s saga stretches over 292 illustrated pages and tells the story of rock & roll through the lives and legacies of the nearly three-dozen rock starts who died at that age. "The important thing to remember is that fame isn't the only criterion for being an important artist," says author Eric Segalstad. "Even if Janis hadn't made as big as she did she would've been picked up as an important influence by a later generation. Her rambunctious voice-which was completely opposite of, say, Joan Baez' angelic pipes-shook up the Bay Area coffee scene that Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen were a part of. And that's really what this book is about-telling interesting stories about the stars and introducing overlooked but influential musicians that you might not know too much about-and putting it all in context. It's really the greatest myth of rock & roll."
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