I caught an old interview the other day between Dick Cavett and the iconic Janis Joplin. You may be too young to know who Dick Cavett is, but if you happen to be a fan of the blues and/or rock and roll, you probably know of Janis.

Raw and gritty, the late Joplin belted out her blues as if they came straight from her toes right up to the back of her throat. Close your eyes and you’d swear you were listening to a descendant of Bessie Smiths or some other African American blues singer. Janis was a white girl from Texas who thought she wanted to be a folk singer. That is until she realized her true calling was belting the blues, and she could whale! The interview was part of an Ovation Channel documentary entitled “Janis”, which was wrapped around some of the most incredible behind-the-scenes footage of the singer I’ve ever seen. They included glimpses of her in the recording studio and at various concert performances, including Woodstock in 1969.

Anyway, at one particular point, the interview went sort of like this: Cavett asked Janis about a song she'd written referencing her love life, she answered: “You know the story of the carrot and the mule, don’t you? That’s what my love life is like.” Dick looked puzzled and asked: “You mean when a carrot on a string is just out of a mules reach, forcing it to keep moving? Are you saying you’re the carrot and men are mules?” (see the interview on YouTube)

Without hesitating, Janis explained: “No man, in my case it's like women are mules, and men are carrots because men are always holding up something more than they’re prepared to give.”

To me, this statement spoke volumes about Janis and her experience with the opposite sex. Later in the piece, it became obvious that like so many of us, Janis paid her dues vis-à-vis the old relationship ringer too. She was an intelligent and talented woman, but men always seemed to get the better of her, leaving her life-long quest for true love unfulfilled. She was once quoted as saying: "On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone."

Janis died at age 27 of a heroin overdose in 1970. She was in Los Angeles taping her final album, "Pearl" in October of that year. It is said that only one song for the album was left unfinished. It was to be called "Buried Alive in the Blues." Rest in Peace Janis.


  1. Always have been a Joplin fan - thank you for sharing her human side..
    I've Become My Mother
    Kelly's Ideas
    Amazing Salvation

  2. thanks for the flashback

    (and thanks for the Marilyn quote I stole from you today!)

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral



  3. I adore what she accomplished and as far as drugs many people did them back then, heck they do them today, its just not everyone wakes up from the fog-

    I saw that show on her and the interview- she was really smart for her age too...well compared to my son anyway LOL

    A girl got up on stage at open mic and belted out three Joplin songs it was really cool to hear someone take that on...that voice is not so easy to replicate!

  4. Once you've heard her voice, you never forget. I remember her singing "Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz" among others but that song always stood out. Back then, I can't believe I'm saying "back then", we lost some amazing talent to drugs, like her and Jimmy Hendrix. Such a shame.

  5. Nice post. I didn't know much about Janis' life. I enjoy her music though.


My WORD VERIFICATION setting is set to "NO" for your convenience. Please join me and turn yours off too & use "comment moderation" instead.