There are many people I have come across in my life that have earned my gratitude and respect. The person that I am about to label as my “hero” really isn’t. It’s just someone I admire. Of all the great musical artists in the sixties, I feel that Janis Joplin was much overlooked and was a woman far beyond her time.

Janis Joplin was a very talented artist. She was a painter all through high school. She started singing after she graduated and she said it changed her life, “Painting is kind of a hold in and be quiet kind of thing and singing is a more free…, flow out kind of thing. Your whole lifestyle just becomes more… flow out.” Janis said this in an interview at her old high school reunion.

Janis was never popular in high school. She was never asked to the senior prom, but she didn’t seem to mind. She was an outcast and was never really recognized as anyone important. I think in the end she turned out on top.

Janis Joplin, the great psychedelic music artist, never found true love. It seemed as though she never had total happiness. This could be the reason she turned to drugs, which so tragically ended her life. Once in an interview she compared men to mule carts, “Have you ever seen those mule carts? They dangle a carrot in front of the mules face and it keeps chasing something its never going to get.”

Love is something that everybody needs, and though intelligent and talented, Janis never found it. Janis took her own life one night and overdosed on drugs. This is something about her I do not respect or admire. She was very depressed about it and her friends could tell. Jerry Garcia once said, “Jimi (Hendrix) and Janis were both very lonely. There was no one there for them when they went home.” This could be part of the reason that Janis made that fatal mistake.

It may have seemed that she didn’t have any happiness in her life, but I think that she did. She turned out to be the most successful to all the kids from high school. When asked what she was going to do when she returned to her high school reunion back in Texas, she replied, “A lot of laughing.” It was her turn.

Janis Joplin was a very talented person who had to deal with a lot in her life. The lyrics to her music tell the story of her tragic life. She spent her whole life looking for something she was missing. She looked for it through her art and perhaps never found it. She always craved love and respect and she deserved it. Love was something she had been chasing for so long. She was truly the woman chasing the carrot.

“Dance like nobody’s watching. Love like you’ll never get hurt.”