Big Brother and the Holding Company American Tour
Like so much of Janis Joplin's career, the tour to
support Cheap Thrills, her 1968 album with Big Brother and the Holding
Company, was a triumph wrought from chaos. On the eve of the tour, the singer
announced she was leaving the band, leading to screaming fights with some of
the musicians. Yet that very tension – combined with grueling album sessions
that tightened what, as drummer Dave Getz admits, "wasn't a tight band"
– made for a riveting farewell. The combination of her wild-child rasp and Big
Brother's wailing blues rock proved transformative. "By the end of '68,"
says Getz, "I don't think there was a singer in rock & roll who could
touch her." David Browne