Janis Joplin: Former Manager Opens Up About Her Vulnerability

Amanda CrumLife

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Janis Joplin was a powerhouse on stage, with the kind of whiskey-soaked voice that made fans stand still and take notice; once she threw her head back and wailed, it was hard not to see her for the strong, take-no-crap woman she appeared to be. But offstage, Joplin had trouble coming to terms with her success and, at one point, felt she was failing on her own, which led to drinking and drug use.

"She left Big Brother, whom she loved, because she saw a greater challenge, which was: could she hold center stage and the spotlight alone as a solo artist with a backup band? And in that year, she felt that she was failing and when she and Albert Grossman decided to terminate the Kozmic Blues Band after the contracted gigs were played, she felt that she was a failure — that her attempt to go out as a solo artist had failed. And this led to her darkest period and the worst excesses in terms of alcohol and drugs," John Byrne Cooke told NPR.


Joplin has become a legend in the music world, dead too soon of an overdose at 27, and while many, many Hollywood screenwriters have tried and failed to create a film worthy of her story, one says he might have something in production as early as next fall.

Ron Terry is reportedly teaming up with Jean-Marc Vallée--director of Dallas Buyer's Club--to bring us Joplin's story, and Amy Adams is rumored to be on board to play the icon.

“This finally feels right. I’m hoping this it," Terry told the L.A. Times.

If the rumors are true, Adams may well be able to portray both sides of Joplin: the loud, ballsy performer we all knew, and the sweet, insecure soul who needed reassurance.

"What people know is the dynamic personality on stage and then in addition to that the kind of brash woman of the streets, which was part of the public personality that she projected. But, you know, she was also sweet and vulnerable and compassionate and she could be this little girl who was so full of doubt about whether she was doing a good enough job that she could come offstage with this tumultuous ovation happening out there and saying, "Did I do OK?" Cooke said.

Amanda Crum
Amanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum