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Pearl

  • (Judy Small)

    Chorus:
    The Pearl shone with a lustre only she could fail to see
    But the rebel's bluff bravado hid a frightened woman's need
    She only wanted a Mercedes Benz and a night out on the town
    But oooh, cheap thrills took her down

    It's been twenty years since Janis, it was a bad year for the young
    Wasted lives and bitter vibes and the best songs left unsung
    I played the music over till I thought I understood
    Hell can look like Heaven when your vision has been blurred
    And everyone said, Tragedy, and an awful goddam shame
    And they said she'd live forever in the martyr's hall of fame
    I was just a kid in high school when I heard that she had died
    And like the man once said, I can't remember if I cried

    Twenty-seven summers and it seemed she'd just begun
    The big time took her high but then she flew too near the sun
    She almost had it in her hand when she slipped and fell to ground
    She was looking for the home she never found

    They made a film about her and wrote books that told it all
    The highs the hopes the promises that came before the fall
    They took a little piece of her heart until it snapped under the strain
    And the fame was just another ball and chain


    Cheap Thrills - 1968 album with Big Brother
    Ball and Chain - Janis Joplin song

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1993:] Janis Joplin died in the Landmark Hotel on 4th October 1970. Since then she has been widely written about and is the subject of several books. These differ widely in their styles. There is the journalistic "Janis Joplin. Her Life and Times" by [Deborah] Landau to [sic!] the most authoritative "Buried Alive" by [Myra] Friedman. David Dalton has written two books. "Piece Of my Heart" and "Janis", both a mixture of essay and interview. They are also both full of photographs and the former has an interesting chronology.

    Sadly we also have the gutter press approach with "Going Down With (On) Janis" [by Peggy Caserta, as told to Dan Knapp]. [Thomas] Naguchi's account of her autopsy [in "Coroner to the Stars"] is a very close second [...].

    Janis finally died as a result of a drug overdose. There appears little evidence to suggest she was clinically depressed at the time and suicide seems unlikely. An accident is less romantic but possibly nearer the truth. That said Janis was not free of emotional pain. That anguish was expressed in her personal relationships and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Seth Morgan (author of "Homeboy" published by Chatto & Windus 1990). He was Janis's fiance at the time of her death. [...]

    1992 saw the release of Laura Joplin's "Love Janis". This has gone a long way towards balancing that sense of sadness with a love of life which Janis displayed. Through this we can begin to see Janis as a real human being. Whatever you feel about Janis it is her music that has the greatest impact. [...]

    September [1970] saw her back in the studio starting sessions for her final album 'Pearl'. On October 3rd after a hard day of recording Janis [...] intended to record the vocal track [of 'Buried alive in the Blues'] the following day. October 4th at around 1.40am alone in a hotel room at the Landmark Hotel, Los Angeles Janis Joplin fatally overdosed on a mixture of heroin and alcohol. She was 27 years old. (Adrian Clarke / Sean McGhee, Rock 'n' Reel 15, p 23ff)

  • [1992:] MERCEDES BENZ
    (Janis Joplin & Michael McClure)

    O Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?
    My friends all have Porsches I must make amends
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
    O Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?

    O Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?
    Dialing for dollars is trying to find me
    I'll wait for delivery each day until 3
    O Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?

    Oh Lord won't you buy me a night on the town
    I'm counting on you Lord, please don't let me down.
    Prove that you love me & buy the next round.
    Oh Lord won't you buy me a night on the town

    (Anon, UWP Archive, http://www.leo.org/)

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