The last recordings Joplin completed were "Mercedes Benz" and a birthday greeting for John Lennon ("Happy Trails", composed by Dale Evans) on October 1, 1970. Lennon, whose birthday was October 9, later told Dick Cavett that her taped greeting arrived at his home after her death.
On Saturday, October 3, Joplin visited the Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles to listen to the instrumental track for Nick Gravenites' song "Buried Alive In The Blues" prior to recording the vocal track, scheduled for the next day. When she failed to show up at the studio by Sunday afternoon, producer Paul Rothchild became concerned. Full Tilt Boogie's road manager, John Cooke, drove to the Landmark Motor Hotel (since renamed the Highland Gardens Hotel) where Joplin had been a guest since August 24.
He saw Joplin's psychedelically painted Porsche still in the parking lot. Upon entering her room, he found her dead on the floor. The official cause of death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol.
Joplin was cremated in the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Mortuary in Los Angeles, and her ashes scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean and along Stinson Beach. The only funeral service was held at Pierce Brothers and attended by Joplin's parents and maternal aunt.Janis Joplin in film and song :
- The Mamas & the Papas wrote a song about Janis Joplin entitled "Pearl", and released it as part of their 1971 album, People Like Us.
- Kris Kristofferson (with Donnie Fritts) wrote the song "Epitaph (Black and Blue)" about Joplin. The song is the final track on his 1971 album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I.
- The Righteous Brothers included a tribute to Janis Joplin in their 1974 reunion Top-10 single "Rock and Roll Heaven". The lyrics of the first verse begin with the lines "Jimmy gave us rainbows, and Janis took a piece of our hearts..."
- Joplin's premature death is the subject of Dory Previn's song "A Stone for Bessie Smith", which appears on Previn's 1971 album Mythical Kings and Iguanas. The lyric sheet of this record refers to a televised conversation between Joplin and actress Gloria Swanson.
- In the 2007 movie Across the Universe, a Joplin-like character is portrayed as Sadie, played by Dana Fuchs.
- Janis Joplin is a prominent character in the TV episode "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" from Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King.
- "In the Quiet Morning" recorded by Joan Baez and written by her sister, Mimi Farina, recounts the moment Farina heard the news about Joplin's death.
- Leonard Cohen's song "Chelsea Hotel #2", with the line "You told me again you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception", was inspired by his brief affair with Joplin.
- The Grateful Dead wrote "Bird Song" inspired by Joplin. The first two lines are "All I know is something like a bird within her sang. All I know she sang a little while and then flew on". The song's lyricist, Robert Hunter, included the dedication "...for Janis" with the lyric in his book "Box of Rain".
- Don McLean is widely believed to allude to Janis Joplin in his song "American Pie" with the lines "I met a girl who sang the blues / And I asked her for some happy news, / But she just smiled and turned away".McLean has neither denied nor confirmed the belief.
MP3 JANIS JOPLIN PERFORMS :ME AND BOBBY MCGEE
PIECE OF MY HEARTH
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