upper waypoint

Bonus Video Clips and Excerpts from 'Janis: Little Girl Blue'

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

Big Brother and the Holding Company drummer Dave Getz and Janis Joplin, circa 1967 (Photo: Courtesy of Bob Seidemann)

Why Janis Joplin left Big Brother & the Holding Company

In this excerpt from Janis: Little Girl Blue, Janis’ letter home reveals a glimpse of the troubles she had with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Even though Janis and the band were widely popular, and had released a Gold-certified album, Cheap Thrills — still considered one of the band’s best — Janis’ stardom soon overshadowed the band. She left within a year to form her own group, the Kozmic Blues Band, and launched a solo career.

Letter Home Reveals Janis’ Greatest Ambition

In this film excerpt from Janis: Little Girl Blue, Chan Marshall narrates Janis’ letter home to family shortly after her 27th (and final) birthday. The letter reveals a glimpse into her off-stage struggles, mostly rooted in her reckless lifestyle and strong desire to be loved.

Janis Joplin’s former lover: “She set me free”


David Niehaus had no idea who Janis Joplin was when they met in 1970 on Ipanema Beach in Brazil, where both had traveled for Rio Carnival.

In this outtake clip from Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue, Niehaus remembers his relationship with Janis as a liberating, wild but delicate one, in which he witnessed her most vulnerable and tender moments. Even though the couple split when her relationship with heroin and alcohol intensified, Niehaus still remembers Janis at her best — the carefree girl who inspired him to be whoever he wanted to be.

Chan Marshall Talks About Voicing Janis Joplin’s Letters

In this outtake from Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue, Chan “Cat Power” Marshall, who serves as the film’s narrator and provides the voice for Joplin-penned letters, discusses how she tapped into Joplin’s mindset for the documentary.

“In high school I had imitated Janis a few times, and when I did the letters, I knew it was going to be difficult because it’s a big responsibility because she’s passed, so it’s not like I could call her and say, ‘Yo, Janis, how were you feeling this day and what did you mean when you said that?’”

Video clips and text provided by PBS.org

lower waypoint
next waypoint
Oakland Sports Fans Gear Up for DIY Fans Fest While A’s Strike Out in Las VegasHow One Outfit Changed The Life of a Former Berkeley High TeacherIs Bigfoot Real? A New Book Dives Deep Into the LegendSan Francisco’s Soccer Team Keeps Making Unusually Good Jerseys‘Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala’ Is Like Taking Drugs That Never Leave Your SystemArtists Alter Their Own Work at YBCA in Pro-Palestinian ProtestFriend Fest Showcases 275 Artists and Makers from San José and BeyondAt 102 Years Old, Betty Reid Soskin Revisits Her Music From the Civil Rights EraTwo’s Company, Three’s Allowed in New Dating Show ‘Couple to Throuple’Love That Viral ‘Maniac’ Dance Clip from ’84? The Star of it Made Many More