Scars Of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin

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9781860497292: Scars Of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin
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The undisputed queen of sex, drugs and rock n' roll was also the voice of a generation who, when she overdosed on heroin at the age of twenty-seven in October 1970; became the posthumous icon of bad girl femininity for millions around the world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews Echols renders Joplin in all her complexity, revealing how this sweet-voiced girl from Texas recreated herself, first as a gravely-voiced bluesy folksinger, and then as rock n' roll's first female superstar. Echols examines the roots of her musicianship and her efforts to probe the outer limits of life; declaring herself the first white-black person and pursuing sex with men and women alike. Moving from the electric ballrooms of San Francisco to the mud-soaked fields of Woodstock, Joplin's story is also a chronicle of the revolutions of the sixties - a generation's experiment with high-risk living and the exacting price they ultimately paid for this. Written in a captivating novel-like style this is a deeply affecting biography of one of America's most talented, tormented and enduring stars.

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Review:

To call Janis Joplin the Judy Garland of the Woodstock set is in some sense a fair characterization. The brassy, carnal, extravagant, and ultimately pitiable queen of psychedelic rock is indeed a cultural icon. And while Joplin reveled in her own ballsy, boozy legend, its needy, inebriated, real-life equivalent was a shadow that darkened her short life and, in the decades since her 1970 drug-induced death, has come to eclipse the party-girl persona.

To her great credit, author Alice Echols reconciles the two faces of Joplin in this ambitious, thoroughly readable biography. She does so by tracing Joplin from her youth as a natural-born libertine in dreary Port Arthur, Texas, to her emergence as the sole female rock superstar of her era--a period when beneath-the-surface sexism hampered Joplin's progress even while women's liberation was being widely touted. The author does not shy away from sordid sex-and-drugs episodes, and there's plenty of raw material---the singer was promiscuous, bisexual, and, at various times, an alcoholic, a speed freak, and a junkie. Echols, however, elevates this biography above run-of-the-mill rock profiles by painting her subject against an elaborate and ever-changing cultural backdrop. Here is Joplin the aspiring folksinger, the white-picket-fence wannabe, the wayward daughter, the hit-and-miss recording artist, and, finally, the ill-starred spirit with nothing left to lose. --Steven Stolder

About the Author:

Alice Echols is a cultural critic and a historian of the sixties. She has taught at UCLA, USC and Occidental College and has written about rock music for the NATION and L.A. WEEKLY. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780805053944: Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0805053948 ISBN 13:  9780805053944
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2000
Softcover

9780805053876: Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin

Metrop..., 1999
Hardcover

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The undisputed queen of sex, drugs and rock n roll was also the voice of a generation who, when she overdosed on heroin at the age of twenty-seven in October 1970; became the posthumous icon of bad girl femininity for millions around the world.Drawing on hundreds of interviews Echols renders Joplin in all her complexity, revealing how this sweet-voiced girl from Texas recreated herself, first as a gravely-voiced bluesy folksinger, and then as rock n roll s first female superstar. Echols examines the roots of her musicianship and her efforts to probe the outer limits of life; declaring herself the first white-black person and pursuing sex with men and women alike. Moving from the electric ballrooms of San Francisco to the mud-soaked fields of Woodstock, Joplin s story is also a chronicle of the revolutions of the sixties - a generation s experiment with high-risk living and the exacting price they ultimately paid for this. Written in a captivating novel-like style this is a deeply affecting biography of one of America s most talented, tormented and enduring stars. Seller Inventory # AA29781860497292

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The undisputed queen of sex, drugs and rock n roll was also the voice of a generation who, when she overdosed on heroin at the age of twenty-seven in October 1970; became the posthumous icon of bad girl femininity for millions around the world.Drawing on hundreds of interviews Echols renders Joplin in all her complexity, revealing how this sweet-voiced girl from Texas recreated herself, first as a gravely-voiced bluesy folksinger, and then as rock n roll s first female superstar. Echols examines the roots of her musicianship and her efforts to probe the outer limits of life; declaring herself the first white-black person and pursuing sex with men and women alike. Moving from the electric ballrooms of San Francisco to the mud-soaked fields of Woodstock, Joplin s story is also a chronicle of the revolutions of the sixties - a generation s experiment with high-risk living and the exacting price they ultimately paid for this. Written in a captivating novel-like style this is a deeply affecting biography of one of America s most talented, tormented and enduring stars. Seller Inventory # AA29781860497292

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