Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

 |   |  <1 min read

Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

The great Janis Joplin has been dead for over four decades now but it would be fair to observe that no woman in rock has ever approached her deep understanding of the blues and earthy, powerful delivery . . . let alone her self-destructive approach to life.

Yet she has been largely forgotten and, as this essay notes, no one seems in any mind to try to honour her legacy by reissues, unlike her dead male companions (Jim and Jimi) from the Sixties.

However before she hit the spotlight and the headlines she was captured on a couple of recordings which showed her nascent power.

Jorma Kaukonen, later of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, had a tape recorder in his San Francisco apartment and one afternoon he and Joplin -- with whom he had been playing at the Coffee Gallery -- recorded the blues standards Trouble in Mind and Hesitation Blues.

These were just two people working out songs and a musical relationship on a summer afternoon, but their intuitive love of the blues is apparent.

But there was a third person present as you can hear.

Kaukonen's wife Margareta provides the odd percussion in the background. She was typing as they played and the microphone picked that up as well, hence the recordings becoming known as "the typewriter tapes".

But not even that detracts from Joplin's singing (or his playing in fact). She was 22 at the time.

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory get the regular posting From the Vaults by using the RSS feed.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Elvis Presley: US Male (1968)

Elvis Presley: US Male (1968)

In '67-'68 very few people were listening to Elvis Presley in the way they once did. The mode of the music had changed, the musical cultures of London and San Francisco were dominant and the new... > Read more

The Supremes: Floy Joy (1972)

The Supremes: Floy Joy (1972)

In the mid Sixties when people were earnestly looking to Bob Dylan for answers, someone asked him who his favourite poet was. "Smokey Robinson," he replied. Fair call. Smokey's... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GENERATION KILL, from the book by EVAN WRIGHT (DVD)

GENERATION KILL, from the book by EVAN WRIGHT (DVD)

Anyone looking for an insight into the modern American military in combat need not go past Evan Wright's exceptional Generation Kill. Gung-ho marines raised on video games, hyped up on caffeine,... > Read more

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Many years ago Pete Frame would produce books of meticulously drawn family trees of rock bands. His Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tree filled two tightly written gatefold A5 pages and traced Black Sabbath... > Read more