- Paperback: 267 pages
- Publisher: Dell; First Thus edition (1974)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0006W5PPW
- Package Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Going Down with Janis Paperback – 1974
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About the Author
Daniel Knapp has written and edited fiction and non-fiction for such national publications as TIME, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Life, The New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, West Magazine, Performing Arts, People, Show, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. His Esquire profile of Mao Tse Tung, "A Day In The Life Of The Chairman," has been translated into a dozen languages, and included in anthologies and university textbooks. He is the author of the bestselling "as told to" biography Going Down With Janis, a scathing look at the underbelly of the early rock world and the life and times of rock star Janis Joplin. He also wrote Baccarat, a study of the high roller game and the man who brought it to Las Vegas after escaping Cuba's civil war. When the print edition of his novel, California Woman was originally published, it sold approximately a half million copies. His stand alone sequel to California Woman entitled THE WOMEN IN TYLER'S WILL is now available in Kindle and large glossy paperback editions at Amazon.com. He now lives in Salt Lake City with his wife of 36 years, Leslie; formerly head of the division of biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, she is now the Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah. They have travelled the world together pursuing primate research and new subjects for fiction and non-fiction.
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Janis or her music and should NOT be credited for knowing the real story. The latest bio flick out directed Amy Berg is trying to paint Janis as in love with the last guy she met in Rio who she would have probably
married. Well, this is Miss Berg's romantic take on the story but she did not see what I saw and lived through. I also saw Janis perform over 20 times. I know of where I speak and lived through that era! Bravo to Peggy & Alice for telling the real story about a magnificent talent.
Peggy Caserta has been maligned for writing this, and accused of making up things that weren't true. I think she doesn't deserve any of that criticism. I'm a HUGE Joplin fan, having first seen her perform on tv when I was 8 years old, the same year she died (1970.) I've read every single thing ever written about her life, and have a copy of every song she ever recorded (including some stuff that was never released to the public; CD's that were copied from old reel-to-reel tape recordings that a bunch of guys brought to her concerts back in the day when you were allowed to do that kind of thing.)
Janis lived life hard; she suffered from a great deal of emotional pain, and, like many of us, used sex, drugs, and music to medicate that pain away. I often think that she knew, intuitively, that she only had a short time on the earth, and she was bound and determined to cram as much living into that short lifespan as she could. Peggy was an important part of her life; they were close friends and lovers (certainly not the only female lover she had, but one of the most steady.) It cannot be denied that Joplin had Caserta flown in, via helicopter, to be with her during Woodstock.
For fans of Janis, this book is a must-read. I would also highly recommend "Scars of Sweet Paradise." It is a much more comprehensive look at Joplin's musical career. The worst biography has to be Myra Friedman's...her publicist. She was from a different generation than Janis, and just didnt 'get' the era that defined the 1960's culture of free sex, drugs and rock n' roll. While I do have a copy of Friedman's book, it's seen as a joke by most die-hard Joplin fans.
I can understand why Joplin's brother, Michael, doesn't like this book (who would want to read about the sexual escapades of one's sister?) I still think it's probably a pretty accurate picture of one side of Janis's life. She really was a paradox; one the one hand, she had her whiskey-swiggin' persona "Pearl," replete with feather boas, a cigar in one hand, and a razor sharp wit (always reminded me of Mae West). And then there was the softer, quieter, more intellectual, and VULNERABLE Janis. This book actually manages to show both sides...a wild girl, willing to experiment (up to a point, I might add. Janis never liked LSD and wasn't into a lot of the mysticism that, for example, the Grateful Dead embraced), and then the other woman...the one so desparate to be liked, to be be approved of. I wish Peggy well where she is right now...she could have easily capitalized on her relationship with Joplin and exploited it for money, and she didn't. This book was only in print for 2 or 3 years, I believe...and I know that Janis Joplin's family was very upset when it was published. But if you loved Janis, her music, the '60's and all the weirdness that went along with it, READ this book...you won't be sorry...just keep it away from your children.