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Janis and Jimi: 40 Years Later.

What do September 18, 1970 and October 4, 1970 have in common? They are the dates of death of two of music's greatest performers: Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Both died at the age of 27, from what I believe to be an accidental asphyxiation (Jimi) and an accidental heroin/alcohol overdose (Janis).

I've got a question for you, the readers. If they were still alive, do you think that they would or would not be making music?

You may or may not know, from my and Jared's intros, that Janis Joplin is one of my favorite performers. She is THE most favorite. I was once lucky enough to work with a lady who said that she once met and/or worked for Janis in Las Vegas, or a similar place. Though, these days, I'm still not sure if that story is actually true. Up until her death, she was working with her band, Full Tilt Boogie, on Pearl, the album that later became a posthumous release and the biggest selling album of her career. She was also working on a birthday recording for John Lennon. That recording, called Happy Trails, arrived at Lennon's home shortly after Janis' death. She may have gotten her start with Big Brother and the Holding Company, but she became an even bigger star on her own. Growing up, she was made fun of because she wasn't very pretty, but she worked with every detail of her being that she had.

There have been times in my life where I have been told that I looked like Janis. I don't see it as a put down, but as a compliment; as she is one of my role models. She's not a role model because of her drug usage, but because she stood up against the males in the music industry of the 1960s and had no problem holding her own.

I was even lucky enough to see a Janis Joplin tribute band perform live. They're a local group by the name of Ball & Chain. I even met the lady, for a few minutes, who performs as Janis. She's an amazing lady and even more amazing performer. Check out their MySpace here. If you're in the NE Ohio area, check out one of their shows! You won't be disappointed.

Jimi. What can be said of Jimi Hendrix? An amazing left-handed guitarist in his own right. His most famous performance is that of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock, but it's not his only amazing feat. He was an unknown in the US until the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. From then on, the only way to go was up. After working with Little Richard's band from 1964 to 1965, Jimi was quoted as saying the following: "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice.". I think he accomplished that with no problem. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Jimi as the number one guitarist of all time.

I will admit, though I am a fan of Jimi, I don't know as much of his music as I'd like. I'm still in the learning phase of being a fan. While I was in high school, I thought this one particular boy was crazy because he was a fan of Jimi, Janis, The Beatles, and The Doors. But now, all bands and performers mentioned are my favorites.

Many of today's artists list both Janis and Jimi as musical influences. On John Mayer's 2006 album Continuum, he covered Jimi's "Bold As Love". I found it to be an amazing rendition, though some may disagree. Jimi covered a Bob Dylan song, "All Along the Watch Tower". Though I love both versions, I have to say that I like Jimi's just a little bit more. These two will forever be musical influences to some of the biggest and not so big musical performers.

This is all that I've got for now, but beware of a possible future edit. ;)

1 comment:

  1. excellent piece i think that they would both be making music still and would be legendary like the who simon and garfunkle and the like


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