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Posted at 7:39 AM ET, 01/19/2011

♪♫ Janis Joplin sings free

By Melissa Bell

I'm immersed in Patti Smith's Just Kids. For much of the book, Smith recounts her time sitting at the feet of the great artists that communed at the Chelsea Hotel. One of which was Janis Joplin. Smith wrote her a sad song one night when Joplin came home dejected by a handsome man's rejection: "How I love to laugh when the crowd laughs/While love slips through/A theater that is full/But oh baby/When the crowd goes home/And I turn in and I realize I'm alone/I can't believe/I had to sacrifice you."

Joplin, who comes across strong and fearless in song, instead lived a cautionary fairy tale, chased by insecurities until her death at 27 in 1970. She would have been 68 today.

By Melissa Bell  | January 19, 2011; 7:39 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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