Janis Joplin

In my Janis Joplin collection I have, as stand-alone’s, Big Brother & the Holding Company; Live at Winterland 68; Cheap Thrills; Pearl. As mp3 I have See See Rider; Kosmic Blues; at Woodstock. As well as these biographies: Janis by David Dalton (1971); Janis Joplin: Buried Alive by Myra Friedman (1974); One The Road With Janis Joplin by John Byrne Cooke (2014) [I have yet to read this one.]


In Cape Breton, when Janis hit big, with Cheap Thrills, any female with bushy hair & granny glasses was guaranteed an opportunity to sing with a band, whether she could sing or not 🙂 It was the emotional honesty in her voice that made Janis a star. Sadly it was that emotional openness that partially lead to her too early death. The other contribution to her death, I think, was the inability of the male music industry to let a woman succeed on her own terms. Something that had been in that industry (& may still be) back to the 30’s (& earlier I’m sure). I look at the careers of singers such as Judy Garland, Billie Holliday – & see that same pattern in Janis’s life.

Her music speaks for itself. I’ve had some of these as lps, then cassettes. Now cd’s & mp3s. ‘Live at Winterland 68’ is a performance while Cheap Thrills was being recorded & some of it shows up on Cheap Thrills. ‘See See Rider’ purports to be Janis before she joined Big Brother: live recordings of her folkie performances of songs like San Francisco Bay Blues. I downloaded it from iTunes so I figure it is really her but there is some doubt. Sounds like her.

I can’t say that I have a favourite track though. I’ve lover Summertime, Move Over, Piece of My Heart. There are couple that I’ve never liked from my first listen – both are considered her finest by many, but if I never hear Bobby McGee or Mercedes Benz again I’ll be happy.

The mp3 collection also includes: It’s A Beautiful Day: Live at the Fillmore West – prog rock psychedelics from compatriots of Janis. A great concert. Tina Louise (from Gilligan’s Island) It’s Time For Tina: easy listening lounge music. Evelyn “Champagne” King: Greatest Hits – Shame is a great song that I can imagine Janis doing. King has a great voice & if you love old school disco this is perfect for you. The Warning: Escape The Mind, XXI Century Blood: three Mexican sisters play hard-rock that kicks ass.

My connection to Janis was deepened by my friendship with the late, great Jackie Burroughs. Jackie was part of the film crew on the 1970 Festival Express – a train tour of Canada by groups such as the Grateful Dead – that included Janis. She & Janis were drinking & pot buddies so I got first-hand stories of their train-ride rides.

L.S.D and threesomes 

you know Dunc

I never really liked sex that much

not that I refused it 

or never chased after it

I always felt it was something 

I was supposed to

as opposed to something 

I wanted to do


some of it was good

I certainly enjoyed myself at times

even going through the motions

can have some positive results, right


the only man I ever really loved was Zal

we were both so young that it couldn’t last

I didn’t expect it to


usually I didn’t know what to say 

once it was over — thanks for the tumble

when Cohen apologized

for touching my then perfect body 

with more than his mind

I wanted to laugh at his conceit


often it was the only way 

most men would let you near them

they weren’t interested in conversation

I certainly didn’t want to know 

what they thought of my work either


the stories of them

are always more interesting 

than the having of them

l.s.d and threesomes with Janis 

the senator who later ran for president

the silver-tongued devil


though I did like some of them

I merely wanted them to want me

if I could have been wanted

without being had

I would have done that you know


every Tuesday 2019


17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible


7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA


23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

“I built a boat”

A warm May night – patios overflowing with winter-whitened people happy to be in the sun. Who wants to spend time indoors listening to mumbly poets, whiney singers or watching comic burlesque? Well, let me tell you, Cabaret Noir reached out and filled the house with an eager crowd.

bag c c cold c c c olors

First feature was Nik Beat who succeeds in evoking smoky basement jazz cafes in a time when no one smokes in doors. He started with some poetry about fallen idols – Janis Joplin with her ‘corn textured hair’; Marilyn Monroe: ‘dark angel food cake.’ Then he picked up his guitar, joined on bass by Mike Ratt, for some songs. In ‘I made a God out of my Girlfriend’ he tells us ‘I made a god out of the way she gave head.’ In another he warns us ‘love but don’t fall in love’ even though he wanted to ‘be famous for falling in love.’ A great set.

purple p p p purple

After a quick set up Dottie Dangerfield (the Dame who puts the D in danger) hit the stage with fun, frisky comic burlesque routine. From cupcakes to tassels in less than four minutes it was a sweet sample of traditional tease that certainly left us wanting more.

iron i i i rony deficiency

Last up was Giraffe (Lynne Rafter and Mike Copley) with a bouncy set of original songs, full of their off-kilter harmonies, wry (but not bitter) observations of relationships, stardom and work life. Lots of fine lines ‘you had it all figured out now you have to stand down loveless’, ‘I built a boat to sail away from you.’  Noir Photos

Lizzie, planning ahead, has booked me for Cabaret Noir’s extra Noir October show.



Cute Rebels


look what they’ve done to the revolution

they’ve made it retro chic cute cunning

safety pins and tats for Barbie

there is no sting left in being a brat

saying fuck is just an attention getter

no one really reacts you say fuck the pope

or tell a bus drive to screw off asshole

verbal abuse is water off a duck’s back

no one give a shit

the revolution is old news old hat

been there done that

bought the designer rice fabric t-shirt

the special limited-edition running shoes

that got Oprah talking faster

that got mentioned in Jay’s opening monologue

saw a clip of the peak of the revolution

flash by in a Madonna video

who knew she was spokesperson for the revolution

because  we had so many high powered names

speaking out on our behalf

all those stars rockers politicians

were eager for a fresh start

time for a change

time to take down the wall of inequity

and replace them with transparency

that only the rich could afford

the poor had to keep hidden

they didn’t want revolution

any more than the rich did

but at least they were honest enough to admit it

in the end


once the mini series was over

we found the right blog to remind us

of what once could have been

the right sponsor to adopt some of the color scheme

we were safe again

not quite right back where we started

but comfortable happy

even a bit amused by the current revolution

those kids acting as if they’d invented the right way

to say fuck all this hypocrisy

we want change and we want it now

I know the feeling

but just like us

they don’t really know

what they want to change in to

if they knew

then we’d have a real revolution on our hands

polly p p p olly c c c old

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