janis joplin singingSubmitted by Barbara

“I was high, of course I was high. I was always high back then, and I don’t think my parents ever knew. I could be in the back yard, caressing a leaf and they wouldn’t think anything of it.

Of course I didn’t care.  It was the 60s, and I was in love with the music; that’s all it was for me.  It wasn’t politics or the message: peace and love were abstract. They were what people became when they were high.

Concerts cost $5 back then and everyone stopped into Chicago: Neil Young, Jimi, the Stones and Janis.

She was my idol because she wasn’t as pretty as Grace Slick, and when she sang it didn’t matter.  Her voice ripped through me. I went to pieces when she sang.

When I saw her live in November of 1969, it was all sound and color. She was drunk and screaming, I was high and we grooved together. Her voice took me, held me, and threw me out into something that was greater.

Then the lights went out.

I found myself standing in this long line of people. Janis was at the end of it.  I knelt before her, kissed her dirty toes and silently handed her my purple mood ring. Our eyes locked. I couldn’t speak, so she smiled.

I rose and walked away backwards. I had already began to come down; to wonder how I’d ever get home. to mourn the song that ended, and I knew that I would never again kneel before my idol, prostrating myself beneath them and kiss their dirty toes.

She died less than a year after. I became a nurse. Love and peace began to mean something, but no one was sure of anything anymore. The revolution had failed but we have its music.”