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Janis Joplin: Joplin in Concert

Ben Edmonds, Creem, August 1972

IT MAY WELL BE an admission of blasphemy, but I was never one of the worshippers at the Janis Joplin altar. I seldom missed an opportunity to see her perform, derived a great deal of pleasure from her records, and yet I never somehow connected with the whirlpool of passion that she seemed to inspire in so many. She was so naked on stage – and in a way perhaps even brave – that it was nearly impossible to avoid investing something of yourself in what in what she was doing. Still, when they found her on the floor of a motel room, it just didn't make any sense. Here was a woman who carried with her all the power that music could possibly offer – a power that millions drew strength and life from – and it wasn't even strong enough to keep Janis Joplin breathing. Where does that leave us?

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