Friday, October 18, 2019

Holly George Warren

Listen to "Steve Gorman Releases New Trigger Hippy Album And Hard To Handle Book" on Spreaker. Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. Holly George-Warren’s definitive new biography, JANIS: Her Life and Music (Simon & Schuster; October 22, 2019; $28.99) sheds a new light on the iconic musician we thought we knew. It is a breathtaking and invigorating depiction of a woman who struggled against gender norms and drug addiction, yet whose unrivaled talent came to symbolize an entire era. Janis Joplin’s success was no accident. From an early age, her parents doted on her and promoted her early talent for art. While growing up in a conservative Texas oil town, Janis fell hard for music. Her first transgressive act was to be a white girl with an early passion for the blues. She stood out, and in a time when simply pursuing her talents was an act of defiance, Janis knew she was too big for her small town. She found her niche in California, one that didn’t ask her to be a wife and homemaker, or to use a man to get her foothold in life. But with every opportunity came dark struggles. A shy girl with an immense talent, Janis’ world began to reflect the stress of that dichotomy, and she often turned to drugs and alcohol to keep it all together. She teetered between the powerful woman you hear in her songs and the girl who just wanted to feel safe and accepted. Janis made a name for herself as rule-breaking rock’n’roll trailblazer and as an icon of the countercultural movement. She pushed every boundary as a woman in a man’s industry, never compromising her talents or her desires. She worked incredibly hard, and while history may remember her as a woman whose demons outran her, Janis persisted against every limitation, and that is how this biography demands we remember her. Written by one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of American music history, and based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives, and long-lost interviews, this is a complex, rewarding portrait of a remarkable artist finally getting her due.

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