Janis Joplin's house

Music Cheap Thrills Big Brother and the Holding Company (album - 1968)
Janis Joplin made a lasting impression with her voice, her attitude, her energy and her ideas. An artist whose history is intimately linked to San Francisco and more precisely to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, near Golden Gate Park, where today a tree bears her name.
Janis Joplin's house in San Francisco
"Janis Joplin House - Haight-Ashbury "by jphilipg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people and then I go home alone.”

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin left her hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, and moved to San Francisco in 1963, performing that evening in a bar. In the midst of her rise to fame, she quickly became acquainted with other personalities connected with Haight-Ashbury. She moves into a room in a beautiful Victorian house in the neighbourhood with one of her lovers. Leading her life with her foot to the floor, already attracted by alcohol and illicit substances, the young woman only intermittently enjoys the cosy character of her ideally located home. She also used to go and play guitar in Golden Gate Park, on Hippie Hill, under a tree that the city has since decided to rename to pay tribute to her. She joined the group Big Brother and the Holding Company with whom she released two albums. The second one, Cheap Thrills, remains the most famous. The first cover envisaged consists of a photo of all the members of the group, naked in a bed. The record company refused and the band decided to place the illustration originally intended for the back, on the front. The drawing is by Robert Crumb, one of the leading underground comic book artists of the time, whom the singer admires. Unwilling to give up his values, the cartoonist refuses to be paid for his work, claiming that he does not want Columbia’s dirty money.

A huge success, Cheap Thrills definitively transformed Janis Joplin into a superstar. In the meantime, she left her pretty house in Haight-Ashbury and took part in numerous festivals, including Woodstock. At the top of the Californian scene, freed from Big Brother, the musician formed another group, the Kozmic Blues Band. When she’s not impressing crowds on stage, she’s burning the candle at both ends and, as Sammy Davis Jr. said, “a little bit in the middle too. His meteoric rise to fame came to a halt following a heroin overdose on 4 October 1970. She then joined the ill-fated 27 Club, two weeks after Jimi Hendrix.


Janis Joplin has only released only two albums under her own name and two with the band.

635 Ashbury St

As the epicenter of hippie culture in the 1960s, the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco has several famous houses. The one that Janis Joplin once occupied is a must-see.

Unchanged since the years when the queen of blues-tinged rock and roll lived there, the Victorian-accented house on Lyon Street, near the intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets, is typical of the kind of buildings in the neighborhood. Janis Joplin just occupied a room in it with a friend. However, it is this address that appears on her driver’s license. Afterwards, the singer moved around a lot but left her mark here. So much so that her former home has become a real place of pilgrimage.

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Cult! music: 100 mythical music places [French Edition]

Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists!

Head to Melbourne, Australia for a stroll along AC/DC Lane before crossing the iconic Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in the company of The Beatles. Visit Janis Joplin‘s home in San Francisco and find out how Johnny Cash ended up playing his greatest hits to a crowd of prisoners in San Quentin. Travel the winding roads of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and stop in Japan to catch up with Deep Purple, Phil Collins and Daft Punk. Drive down the Tina Turner Highway before entering some of the most legendary studios in music history. Go back to the troubled origins of Billie Holiday and make a pact with Robert Johnson at the famous crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists! Relive the Jimi Hendrix concert on the Isle of Wight before paying tribute to Bob Marley in Jamaica.

Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! musictells the secrets of the places that made the history of music.

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By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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