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.”