How The Death Of Janis Joplin Gave Rise To A Counter Culture Icon


Perhaps more than any other decade, the 1960s are defined by the musicians of the time. As they protested violence or simply shared a voice of love, the 1960s shaped the counterculture. As such, Janis Joplin can be seen as the mother of the counterculture.

Janis Joplin indulged herself into the 1960s more than most other women of the time. She performed for thousands and she had a drug problem. But her career was on the rise at the same time.

When she died, and became part of the 27 Club (with Hendrix and Morrison), her death forever linked her with the culture. In addition, one of her most popular albums actually came out after her death.

Janis Joplin Found True Success After Death

Janis Joplin | Photo Credit Live For Live

Like a painter or poet finding life after death, Janis Joplin didn’t truly become a legend until after she died. This all started when she decided to leave Texas and find more people like herself. Joplin hated that feeling of being looked down upon. When she finally got to the coast, she found more people who were less materialistic and more of an outcast, like herself.

On stage, she once said, “I made love to 1,000 people [on stage], and then I go home alone.” Through that brutal honesty, she expressed a lonely heart.

”To Take Your Pain And Your Heart…”

Janis Joplin | Photo Credit Collector’s Weekly

Janis Joplin had breakthrough performances at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and then again at Woodstock in 1969. Her soul-shattering voice eventually made it to television, where she performed “Cry Baby” and “Piece of My Heart.”

As her fame started to spread, she came out with a solo album called I Got Dem ‘Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama. Unfortunately, the album wasn’t a commercial success. Eventually, she got too involved with heroin trying to save herself. After her death, however, she began to grow more and more in popularity. Her last album, Pearl, was a soulful sensation from Sun Records. After her death in a California hotel at the age of 27, the record hit the charts.

The song “Me and Bobby McGee” came out a few days after she died. Many people were devastated by the news. Her life was intriguing as the music she created.

What is your favorite song from the great Janis Joplin?