Coming in October is this biography: JANIS JOPLIN: RISE UP SINGING by Ann Angel (Amulet Books). If you looked at my iPod, you would notice that there is not much music there. Audiobooks outnumber music by several thousands mb. However, Janis is there in all her glory singing all of those lovely tunes from my teens, expressing the raw emotions of my teen years' angst. And, of course, living in close proximity to Port Arthur, the birthplace of Joplin, just makes that long ago connection stronger. I, thus, approached the biography with some reservations. It is awfully tough to capture that spirit on a flat page.
This bio drew me in from the foreword, written by one of Joplin's Big Brother and the Holding Company bandmates (fabulous foreword, so personal and immediate). The design of the book, from table of contents, to page "decor," to the selection of photographs add to the reading experience. Angel's writing about Joplin is fresh and manages to capture her spirit and her self-doubt and her incredible talent.
One picture floored me: the one of the young Kris Kristofferson where he looks rather Jim Morrison-ish. I don't think I had ever seen it before. How will teens respond? I cannot wait and see their reactions. I know my residents of the back bedroom (current and former) are huge fans of Joplin (wonder why?) and hope there are others out there who have yet to discover the power, the rawness, and the splendor that was Janis Joplin. <284>