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About the Author

Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and the award-winning author of sixteen books, including A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry. She lives in upstate New York.

Obras de Holly George-Warren

Cobain (1994) 199 cópias, 1 resenha
Janis: Her Life and Music (2019) 193 cópias, 11 resenhas
American Roots Music (2001) — Editor — 154 cópias
Outrageous: The Photographs (1999) — Editor — 65 cópias
HotHouse (2000) — Editor — 52 cópias, 1 resenha
Punk 365 (2007) 43 cópias

Associated Works

Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones (2023) — Autor; Narrador, algumas edições121 cópias, 5 resenhas


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
George-Warren, Holly
Data de nascimento



Holly George-Warren has written the best biography that I've read in a long time. Outstanding research and writing style. Honest and thorough.
MGH889 | outras 10 resenhas | May 28, 2024 |
I have several other books about Janis Joplin, a singer, songwriter and interpreter of others' songs who died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. I came across this 2019 biography of her in the library while I was looking for something else. and had a quick look through to get an idea of the author's approach to her subject, as it is important to me that such a book takes the subject of an artist's life and music seriously, not just the salacious details of drugs, drink and other lifestyle issues. George-Warren has written a number of other biographies of musicians and books about the music industry and for respected quality publications like the US music magazine Rolling Stone, and I thought it was worth a try.

This is a sensitive and carefully researched look at Janis Joplin's short life, including her family, her childhood and education in a conservative oil industry town in 1950s Texas. I thought this part was really interesting. Joplin regarded her dad as a "secret intellectual" who liked to read and think about things, and who didn't share the conservative religious and political views of the society he had settled in. Her mum was more religious but was also a talented musician who started teaching her daughter to play and sing from an early age, and who had enjoyed nights out dancing on tables in her 20s.

Janis was a clever child and a very talented artist. As she grew up though, the life mapped out for even clever teenage girls and young women was restrictive and unappealing, and Janis began to rebel, though George-Warren outlines the contradictions - the stories about Janis Joplin at school and university were possibly more lurid than the reality. Importantly, she also explores Janis's influences and development as a singer/musician in Texas and California, as she came across Bessie Smith, blues, jazz and R&B and other black music, as well as rock and roll, folk and protest songs. Georgia-Warren mentions the racism of the society in which Joplin grew up and the challenge of her alternative influences, including her love for Bessie Smith. Going to college, though still in Texas, offered lots of opportunities to hear music and other cultural influences and hang out with an alternative "beatnik crowd" as much as formal education. Then Janis took a chance to stay with relatives and work in California, got into a mess with drugs and money problems, came back and tried taking a very conventional office job for a bit, before returning to 1960s San Francisco and finally becoming famous.

Throughout the book, the various phases of Janis Joplin's short life are explored through correspondence, older and more recent interviews with family and friends - she continued to write to her parents and much younger sister, Laura. The detailed endnotes also reference previous memoirs, including Myra Friedman (who was a friend and who worked with Janis Joplin) and Alice Echols, a feminist activist and writer. There are also a generous 32 pages of photographic plates, mostly black and white but with a few colour photos from Joplin's final, famous years - these include pictures of Janis Joplin through her life, of family, of her with a student band, and of her bandmates in Big Brother and the Kozmic Blues Band. There are also pictures of her with other friends and musicians.

This is an interesting read, though it makes me want to go back to the other Janis Joplin books, especially Alice Echols and one by little sister Laura Joplin with the letters Janis sent her.
… (mais)
elkiedee | outras 10 resenhas | Jan 11, 2024 |
This is wayyyyyy more about Alex Chilton than I wanted to know, almost a day-by-day telling of his life from a very early age, early enough that I wondered how this information was being acquired. I bogged down in the descriptions of teenage girlfriends, being honest. And finally I stopped reading because I worried that, like the biography of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon that I also stopped reading, I would like the music less after learning more about the person.
emilymcmc | outras 5 resenhas | Jun 24, 2023 |
coramaezy | Apr 11, 2022 |



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Jim Jarmusch Contributor
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B. Middleworth Cover designer
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