For over two months now I've taken a liking to Janis Joplin.
(Chad would say I am absorbed).
We just happened to watch an American Masters premiere showing of the documentary Little Girl Blue.
I was hooked.
I'm consumed with her life story. Every biography that was written on her is stacked on my bed stand. I'm enthralled by who she was, her path and what she became. I'm also kind of tormented by it all.
The funny thing is, the more I know about her, the more I can relate to what kind of person she was, what she was like as a teenager, what she did, why she did it, what she thought about, how she felt about things and I feel for her.
(I, too, am made fun of by the way I cackle when I laugh).
I could have been her friend. I would have been her friend.
The book I'm getting the most out of is "Love, Janis", written by her sister, Laura Joplin. It's precisely and lovingly written with all the details one would beg for. Her story is bittersweet. When I look at pictures of that young woman, dressed in her beatnik clothes and layers of beads, her wild hair, cackling with laughter, she was always smiling. I've grown so fond of Janis that now, her music is constantly playing in the car and on my stereo.
When I pull on my bell bottoms and throw strings of beads around my neck, silver bracelets up my arm; when I never brush my hair and talk a little bit too loud, I am not copying her.
I am being myself.
This is the way I've always been.
When I was a teenager I never listened to her music. She had this raspy, shrieking voice that I wasn't attracted to. Janis wailed the psychedelic blues. I did however listen to Jimi Hendrix.
I was into playing Joni Mitchell and James Taylor records. Folk music.
But, after watching that documentary and learning about what that girl went through,
I would say she had every right and reason to yell and scream her songs.
She was shouting out to the world "Listen to THIS!"
And she had soul. A whole lotta soul.