Monday, October 28, 2019

Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and the award-winning author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestseller The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang, 2014) and the new biography Janis: Her Life and Music (2019).

From the transcript of her Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross:

GROSS: So why do you - why do you and so many others consider Janis Joplin the first woman rock star? And I presume when we say rock star, we're eliminating - like, rock 'n' roll. (Laughter) We're eliminating, like, girl groups; we're talking about, like, rock-rock.

GEORGE-WARREN: Yes. Janis Joplin broke down a lot of barriers to become the woman that she was in the 1960s, when at that point in time there weren't too many women taking center stage, not only on stage, in the recording studio, but even as far as a point of media attention. And Janis created this incredible image that went along with her amazing vocal ability, her talent and also her live performance, which was very, very different than most of the women that came before.

GROSS: For people who haven't seen her live or on film or video, how was her live performance different?

GEORGE-WARREN: What made Janis really different as a live performer is that she connected with her audiences by tapping into her deepest feelings. And there was this authenticity that came across. She wasn't just standing up there singing; she was basically emptying out her guts through that amazing voice of hers and touching her audience members like they had never been touched before.

I've talked to people who saw her back in 1966, '67, and they talk about it as if it was yesterday, especially women, I think, because she was able to express deep-down emotions - shame, disappointments, hurts - that I think a lot of women in her audience couldn't express themselves. And Janis was not only just singing to them; she was...[read on]
See Holly George-Warren's ten best music biographies.

--Marshal Zeringue