Janis Joplin's Siblings Recall Summer of Love Family Trip in New Doc - Rolling Stone
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Janis Joplin’s Siblings Recall Summer of Love Family Trip in New Doc

“Moby Grape let [Big Brother] have a set because Janis’ parents were there,” says brother Michael in ‘Little Girl Blue’

Janis Joplin‘s brother and sister, Laura and Michael, recounted a family trip to San Francisco during the Summer of Love to visit their older sibling, then on the precipice of rock and roll stardom, in a new clip from the documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue.

Unlike most teenagers who made the pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury in 1967, Michael and Laura Joplin were accompanied by their parents. Michael remembered Janis giving the entire family a tour of the city and then taking them to a show at the Avalon Ballroom.

“Big Brother was not on the bill that night, but they went on and did three or four songs,” Michael said. “Moby Grape let them have a set because Janis’ parents were there.”

Amidst fascinating archival footage of Joplin onstage, Laura noted a prescient moment between her mom and dad after the concert: “When we were getting ready to leave, I remember overhearing one of my parents tell the other one, ‘You know, dear, I don’t think we’re going to have much influence anymore.’

“I think that her own telling of her story was about the ability to make your life fit your values,” Laura added of her older sister. “And she found that opportunity in the music world of the 1960s.”

Directed by Amy J. Berg, Little Girl Blue features interviews with Joplin’s friends, family, Big Brother and the Holding Company bandmates, and music legends like Bob Weir, Clive Davis and Melissa Etheridge. The documentary also boasts a bevy of new audio and video footage, including some from the archives of filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (who was also interviewed for the project).

Little Girl Blue made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September and screened at the Toronto Film Festival soon after. It will play again at the DOC NYC festival on Sunday, November 15th, before opening in New York on November 27th, and Los Angeles and additional cities on December 4th. The film will also air on PBS’ American Masters in 2016.

In This Article: Janis Joplin


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