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JANIS JOPLIN DIED WAY TOO YOUNG

Posted by Billyjam, March 18, 2009 05:07pm | Post a Comment
  
Janis Joplin & friends partying on the Festival Express train
There is a tragically telling scene near the end of Festival Express, the 2003 rockumentary about the 1970 rock festival tour by train across Canada. In it, Janis Joplin is on stage with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead between music and before the closing set by Joplin of the final date of the exciting railway tour that also included the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Buddy Guy, and Sha Na Na. As much as it was a concert event, it was equally a traveling party, with one railway car ("the bar car" - as in video clip above) specifically set up for drinking and partying -- a place where Joplin apparently spent a fair amount of time. 

In the film's final scene, Joplin, whose legendary hard partying ways would lead to her death not too long after this very concert, is seen onstage and seems a bit buzzed but still functional. She proceeds to present the two main organizers of the unique railway traveling rock tour, Ken Walker and Thor Eaton, with a heartfelt, two-part thank you gift. She first presents them with a model train "to remember" the tour, and then, smiling widely, presents them with a case of tequila "to continue" the party. In return they gave Joplin a gift of her favorite poison, a bottle of Southern Comfort, which obviously pleased the singer, who passed it off stage for safekeeping and proceeded to jump into an inspired rendition of "Tell Mama."

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