Scars Of Sweet Paradise:  The Life And Times Of Janis Joplin

Author:  Alice Echols
Publisher:  Metropolitan Books
Copyright:  1999 by Alice Echols

   The undisputed queen of sex,      drugs, and rock 'n' roll, Janis Joplin was the "skyrocket chick" of the sixties, the woman who broke into the boy's club of rock and out of the stifling good-girl femininity of postwar America.  With her incredible wall-of-sound vocals, Joplin was the voice of a generation, and when she OD'd on heroin at the age of twenty-seven in October 1970, the dreams of her generation crashed and burned with her.
     Now Alice Echols pushes beyond the legendary Joplin--the red-hot mama of her own invention--and the equally familiar portrait of the screwed-up star victimized by the era she symbolized.  Drawing on hundreds of interviews, Echols reveals how this sweet-voiced girl from Texas re-created herself, first as a gravelly-voiced bluesy folksinger, and then as rock 'n' roll's first female superstar.  She examines the roots of Joplin's musicianship and her efforts, both onstage and off, to live on what she called "the outer limits of probability," drinking and carousing like one of the guys, declaring herself the first "white-black" person, and pursuing sex with men and women alike.
     Moving from the electric ballrooms of San Francisco to the mud-soaked fields of Woodstock, Joplin's story is also a chronicle of the revolution of the sixties:  how the misfit rebel kids of America became the "beautiful people" of Haight-Ashbury; how rock was transformed from the stepchild of the entertainment industry to its prize jewel; how a generation's experiment with high-risk living, what Joplin called "superhypermost," exacted its terrible price.
     A deeply affecting biography of one of America's most brilliant and tormented stars,
Scars of Sweet Paradise is also a vivid account of an era that changed the world for us all.

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