You say when Janis went to her high school reunion it didn’t go too good. What happened? Did she go with anyone?

Janis attended her High School reunion with her younger sister Laura, and another of Laura's friends. A few people seemed genuinely happy to see her, but most stared and ignored her for the most part. The press interviewed her, and Janis taking advantage of the situation, started pointing out 'How Loose Port Arthur had become, and threw in the term 'Drug Use'' which needless to say didn't go over well, especially not with the press. They closed in on her, asking her why she was different from her classmates, didn't she attend the High School Prom, and pretty much cornered her into feeling really uncomfortable. She handled herself well, and came out looking good in the end of the interviews, but you can see she really does get quite upset with some of the questions. Two weeks earlier she had been on the Dick Cavett show, and had stated then that she would be returning. When he asked if she still had friends from high school, she had stated they had laughed her out of class, out of town and out of the state, and in a very underlying tone she stated.....that's why I'm going. So the press had wind of it long before she showed up, and were able to formulate their queries prior the her being there, and some certainly did their research. You can see all of this from the Dick Cavett interview, right up to the High School reunion in the film, "Janis, The Way She Was". And there you have it.

I’m trying to find a live performance of Janis singing “Me and Bobby McGee”. Any idea of where I could find that?

Sorry, but you're going to have a hard time finding that. Unfortunately Janis died 37 years ago, and the video industry really wasn't that big in the music debt as it is nowadays. Blondie was the first group to ever make videos from an album they did, and that was in 1978, eight years after Janis. Then, it seemed a few years later, everyone (and their dog) was making them. But, as for the 60's, there was very little that made it, unless it was a live concert taped or a TV performance. Now add that to Me & Bobby McGee, a song Janis sang four times live before she died, and there's really not a whole lot left. There's a short clip of it on Festival Express at the end of the film, but rumors state the song was audio only, and not filmed, which may explain why it runs partially over the end credits. Even though this was Janis' biggest hit, she never lived to know that, and it came out close to a year after she had died. The only live version I know of that exists completely is in an audio special on the Threadgill's website, where Janis went to Ken Threadgill's 70th birthday, and sang it then for him. It's on an audio track about Threadgill's & The Armadillo that runs about 45 minutes, and the sound is far from good, but in the year 1970, a tape deck that was portable was simply a battery operated tape deck that hung from your side on a strap, and there was really only one type of quality tape you could buy then, so crowd noise, tape hiss, and all is on that recording. As for seeing Janis do it, well, the Love Janis Special, featuring Kris Kristofferson & Laura Joplin aired on A&E a few years back, and although they played this recording in part, there was a 'simulated' image of a girl with an acoustic guitar, sitting on a bar stool playing that clearly wasn't Janis, simply done for the film inspiration. As far as I know, there's no real video of this. Years back, after the Pearl album, there were rumors of a live version of Me & Bobby McGee, that the Joplins did not at the time want to release as it was poor quality. I suspect that this is the same recording. Sorry, not what you wanted to hear, I know! There's only the audio on Threadgill's site with talking through the beginning and end, and nothing on video.

I’m interested in knowing where and when (who, how, why…) did Janis get the nickname Pearl.

Janis first stated in an interview, I'm not sure which one, "I'm tired of being Janis, call me Pearl." This was after Columbia fired Big Brother, then told her she had to form a new band and keep touring as she was under contract. So Kozmic Blues was created. They toured an entire year which was far too much pressure, and the band (which was 8) was actually 12 in that year with members not lasting and being replaced. Janis had managed to keep Sam from BBHC, but had fought with him and fired him about nine months into the band. As seen in a lot of documentaries with women musicians stating Janis paved they way, well, this really was the case. In the 60's you either were a solo female artist like Melanie, or part of a band, as Grace, Janis, and so many others were. They formed as a band with no one being the "Big Name". Prior to this, right up from the 40's to the 60's, female singers were considered to be "a chanteuse" everyone from Billie Holiday & Ella, through Connie Francis, Annette, Dusty Springfield, all played to a popular band as a guest, the earlier with Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington Orchestra, etc, right up to Mitch Miller Ferand & Treacher, etc in the 60's. Janis literally WAS the first woman to "Create a band she would Front." The only other closest to this was the "Ike & Tina Turner Revue" and of course, Ike was the band creator there. This period really was Janis' undoing. She drank more, did more drugs, acted out & got arrested. It was literally too much pressure. At this point she became a split personality. Not the psychological way a doctor would analyze it, but more in a way to protect the person she was. She created a tougher than nails front image to try to protect what really was the confusion, pressure, and guilt of leaving her first band behind, and with Kozmic Blues, the whole band gave up within a year. Still under contract, with no band, she recorded with Paul Butterfield, singing his song "One Night Stand." Although it was expected to be released as a single, Janis felt the song really wasn't her, nor the way she felt, seeing others as no more than a one night stand and asked it not be released. It was around this time in an interview, that she first vented about all the pressure, and simply ending the interview stating "I'm tired of being Janis, call me Pearl." As she started once again to form a new band, being booked previously to perform on the Festival Express that was to run across Canada, she started meeting Canadian musicians, and hit it off well with them, creating the Full Tilt Boogie Band. This was the band she toured Canada with and was both touring the US, and working on the new LP when she died. But, all through the tours with FTBB, she always told the audience her nickname was Pearl. When she died, Columbia, after deciding only two songs were good enough for an album, scrapped the idea of releasing another. The FTBB worked on with the recordings, having Columbia to agree to more of the songs, but still insisting it be 10 songs, as the two previous ones had only been 8 & 7. Finally adding the song, Janis died the night she was to sing "Buried Alive In The Blues", and something recorded by her when she did it for a few friends for a laugh Mercedes Benz (she had sung this a few times live in shows) the album was finally accepted. As she was always insisting people call her Pearl, the album got that name. But the nickname definitely came from her. Here's a Pearl Clip of her in Hawaii, about 3 months before she died. I believe it was Feb/March 1970 if I'm not mistaken.

What model of Gibson guitar did Janis play?

She played on both J-45 and Hummingbird Gibson acoustic guitars. This is based on photos of her performing.

I’m looking for Janis’ version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane”. Was it ever released on any of her albums?

Janis never did "Leaving On A Jet Plane", Peter Paul & Mary did. Nor, did she sing "Son of a Preacher Man". (That was Dusty Springfield) More songs that Janis never recorded:

  • The Rose (Bette Midler)
  • Entertainer (Scott Joplin)
  • She NEVER recorded with Bob Dylan, but was on the same label, Columbia
  • White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
  • Brand New Key (Melanie)
  • Ragtime (Again, Scott Joplin)

If you're not sure, everything that Janis did is listed on the discography pages on our site. You can go to Compilations, and look at the listing, but won't find anything listed that she hasn't sung.

Can you authenticate an item that has come into my possession? Supposedly, Janis owned it.

No. Your best bet would be to find someone who knew her and can confirm that she owned this object almost 40 years ago. That's tough. ** Special Note: We are not interested in purchasing such items.

I’m doing a research paper. Can you tell me about Janis?

No, but I can suggest a few books.

  1. Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin
  2. Love, Janis
  3. Piece of My Heart: A Portrait of Janis Joplin
  4. Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin

Am I the reincarnation of Janis?

No. Carlos Martinez of Madrid, Spain is the reincarnation of Janis. So sorry to disappoint you!

What was Janis’ weight, height, eye color?

135 lbs, 5 feet 5 inches and blue

What Janis related sites can I visit when in San Francisco?

We are working on a travel section that will chronicle places you can visit.

How many albums did Janis put out?

Janis had recorded three Lp's by the time of her death. Big Brother and the Holding Co. originally on the Mainstream label (1967) and Cheap Thrills on the Columbia label (1968) with Big Brother. I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again, Mama was recorded on the Columbia label (1969) with the Kozmic Blues Band. Janis died while working on the third LP to be released on the Columbia label, with the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Columbia decided to take the loss of not releasing another album when they heard the recordings created for the LP. Through the determination of the members of the Full Tilt Boogie, the album was finally released as "Pearl" almost a year after Janis' death. All recorded after have all been posthumous.

Can you e-mail me MP3 of bootlegs?

No we can't. As outlined in FAQ 5, we do not own the rights to distribute music of the Joplin Estate.

Can you e-mail me the contact info for a specific photographer?

We can if we do have the contact info. In the near future, we hope to be able to feature this on the website in a simple step. If you click on the photo, it will bring you to the photographer's info.

Who are you people?

Pointing at each other and speaking in unison! (She's Anna/He's Len!) We're simply two people who have a strong appreciating for Janis and what she accomplished in this short career. (no, fans I believe are what you use to cool yourself in the summer. Hate that term!) Anna received 18 Essential Songs for Christmas in 1997, and was immediately impressed by Janis' sound. By June she had started a website on Janis. Len is about twice as old as Anna, and was 14 when Janis died. He too had always been impressed, maybe so much so, that his career carried him on an equal parallel between working in both the art and music industry. A year or so after Anna's site had been up, Len e-mailed stated if interested, he could help fill in some aspects of the site. We both decided to try and get all the facts of Janis up, in the aspect of "The Musician" not "The Scandal!". Yes, she drank, she swore, she got arrested, she was loud, she didn't wear a bra, she screams...had seemed to become the regular if we even mentioned Janis to anyone. So, in a labour of love, and one hell of a lot of research, we tackled the idea of a really informative website. We simply read and rewrote, attempted to highlight fact and avoid fiction, although there seems to be a lot of that as well. We must have done something right as we have now been contacted by Janis' family, friends band members and associates, and their first question to us is "Who are you people!" Anna is a US resident, and Len is Canadian. Like Janis, they are also both Capricorns!

I want to get Janis’ wrist tattoo, do you have any close up pics?

This image is the clearest that we can supply. This is from the inside sleeve on the "In Concert" LP. We can't help you with what color it was done in. We really don't know.

Can I pay for advertising on your site?

There is a bit of a problem for us in advertising. We do not own the rights to Janis Joplin, and at present are simply a free site for public access. No one is charged to enter our site, and we make no profit from it. In order to advertise on this site, it would have to be a business site, which would then also have to be authorized by the Joplin Estate. Currently, they have been kind enough to let us post as we are strictly non profit. To advertise is to attempt a profit, and this could cause us to lose the site completely, as we have no rights to do so. You would need to advertise on a Business based system on the internet that is registered as such, and we are not. If you would like to advertise under the "Janis Joplin" registered copyright name, the Joplin estate can be contacted at They have the power and authority to allow you to advertise on their site, but unfortunately we do not. As our site has been up for several years now, and remains so by following all procedures not to infringe on the estate, we are not at liberty to allow advertising on our site at this time.

I’m new to Janis…what cd should I buy to start my collection?

I recommend "18 Essential Songs" or the new "Greatest Hits" with added tracks. These will give you a feel for what Janis sounded like. There's also this new remastered 3 pack. You get "Cheap Thrills", "I Got Dem 'Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama!", and "Pearl" for around 20 dollars.

Where do I purchase bootlegs found on your page?

You don't, they're illegal. Just kidding. Look through your local record stores and ask for bootlegs or places that might have them. They also show up on eBay at times. Also you have to realize that Janis having been gone 30 years, a lot of these date back from 1970 on. Most of the older ones were limited in quantity, and being both vinyl, and bootlegs, have never been reproduced. Again they do appear from time to time on eBay.

Where did you find all the pictures? And why the hell did you put copyright labels on them?

Some came from video captures and the rest are from different editions of books, old and new magazines, eBay, and anywhere else we can find new photos. Size limitations and copyright watermarks are to reduce theft.

I’m looking for a particular poster, picture, or t-shirt?

Your best bet would be to look through eBay. This place offers the best prices you can get because half the time you are buying used items, as in old editions of books, etc. It is an online auction place so be careful who you buy things from. Another good web site that I've recently looked into is You can also type in 60's posters in Google, and find quite a few sites dealing in the old concert posters from the 60's shows, from expensive originals to affordable reprints.