I was only aware of Janis Joplin for a couple of years before she died in 1970, less than two months before my 14th birthday. One thing I do remember about her from that era was that a lot of people whom I knew seemed to be of the opinion that she sure was a great singer, but she wasn't much to look at. Or, for those with a different set of priorities, she wasn't much to look at, but she sure was a great singer.
In the intervening years, I've seen a lot of photos of Janis. A lot. And I think she was very attractive, actually. Not what you'd call a "world class beauty," perhaps... no supermodel, admittedly... but so what? Who am I -- and who is anyone else -- to judge her?
Take a look at the following two shots, in which she's doing what she did best, and try to tell me she wasn't pretty.
Her talent as a singer ranks her up with the best of the best. She had a remarkable ability to transcend even the most mundane songs, and her unparalleled vocal phrasing came from a place that relatively few others have ever touched, nor even seen from a distance. I once left a comment on someone else's blog -- I don't recall whose, but it was probably Roy's -- saying that she could approach a tune like Jimi Hendrix could approach a guitar solo.
Now, why am I writing about Janis today? Well, as I mentioned above, I've seen a lot of photos of the lady over the years, but not long ago, I encountered this one:
Maybe you've seen it before, perhaps a long time ago. I hadn't. Which surprises me somewhat, especially when you consider that it found its way onto the cover of this magazine:
Anyway, I was sure I'd never seen that photo before. Positive. And yet, somehow, it did seem vaguely familiar.
It took me a while to figure it out, but finally, I remembered where I'd seen that image -- kinda/sorta -- before. It was on the inside of Elton John's 1973 double album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
Hmm. I'm rather offended by the artist's choice of a "model" to illustrate a very good song that nevertheless had absolutely nothing to do with the enchanted Ms. Joplin. Dirty little Janis? I think not!
Thanks for your time.
P.S. ~~ This is totally unrelated to today's post, but... For those of you who complain that my constantly changing Blogger profile avatars never actually show the real me, here's an actual photo of The Silver Fox!
FYI, I'm the one on the right.
What, were you expecting a recent one?
Next Time, Fellow Babies... The start of a very special week-long feature, marking an anniversary of sorts. It'll post on Thursday, February 11th! Be there or be... Well, you know.