Clementine Hall on Janis Joplin

"Janis was a friend to us, a really, really good friend to me long before anyone knew who she was. I really, dearly loved her. I knew her when she when only 18 years old and horrifically shy about her singing. She'd never let us hear her sing. One day she took a reel-to-reel tape and recorded a song. She brought the tape recorder out into the living room and said, 'Listen to this, but I don't wanna be here. When I come back, you're going to be totally and brutally honest and tell me the truth if I'm good or not.'

"We heard exactly what we heard years later. Same voice. Nothing changed except she learned how to scream from Roky. Roky was trying to teach her how to do a scream. But she didn't learn to do it right. She didn't protect her throat, so she ended up losing a lot of her voice because of it. However, when she came back, we said, 'You're incredible! Like Bessie Smith.' She said, 'Don't say that. Don't bullshit me. I want the real truth.'

"She wore her black dress and hair in a bun, no make-up, grandmother shoes, a black dress – shapeless like a bag – the first time she was supposed to get up on the stage and sing. The image of Janis, she became the total opposite of that. Someday, I'd like to talk to Laura [Joplin], because I know so many stories no one else does. But I'm afraid to open those flood gates. I won't even see a movie about her; I'd burst into tears."

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  • She Lives

    Clementine Hall was the 13th Floor Elevators' hip, maternal Wendy, providing food and security for the band's tribe of Lost Boys

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