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Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin (Anglais) Broché – 7 juin 2001

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The undisputed queen of sex, drugs and rock n' roll was also the voice of a generation who, when she overdosed on heroin at the age of twenty-seven in October 1970; became the posthumous icon of bad girl femininity for millions around the world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews Echols renders Joplin in all her complexity, revealing how this sweet-voiced girl from Texas recreated herself, first as a gravely-voiced bluesy folksinger, and then as rock n' roll's first female superstar. Echols examines the roots of her musicianship and her efforts to probe the outer limits of life; 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 revolutions of the sixties - a generation's experiment with high-risk living and the exacting price they ultimately paid for this. Written in a captivating novel-like style this is a deeply affecting biography of one of America's most talented, tormented and enduring stars.

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48 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brilliant biography and counterculture history 16 décembre 2004
Par Peter Uys - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This brilliant book is both a biography of Janis Joplin and a cultural history of the 1960s. Scars Of Sweet Paradise is a very thorough and in-depth look at Joplin's life and times and at the same time an exploration of the quiet suburban life versus the lure of the counterculture. The bohemian underground, unlike some idyllic portrayals of it, had its share of cynicism and destructiveness.

Much of this book deals with this evolving underground as it relates to the music, gender relationships and the merger of art and commerce. It is the story of a generation's restless and reckless life on the edge, from which Janis and many others never returned. The author conducted over 150 interviews and spent 5 years on research to produce this comprehensive work on Joplin and her era.

The Janis that emerges is a complex, multi-faceted personality that inspires admiration and sadness. The story begins in Port Arthur where Joplin's early life is described, including her first exposures to rock and folk music. It follows her to college and her first taste of the bohemian life then on to her first visit to San Francisco and eventual return to Port Arthur.

She went back to SF and her career began to take off. It is fascinating to read about the colourful personalities that she mixed with in San Francisco: the friends, the lovers and the musicians. Echols is a skilful narrator, seamlessly blending Joplin's moves and her relationships with the rise of her career. There are plenty of quotes from contemporary musicians that really illuminate this mythologized period in history.

My only minor complaint is that the author does not seem to share in the excitement as Joplin finally makes it big with Big Brother an the Cheap Thrills album - this story is just given clinically as part of the larger narrative. The various bands, Big Brother, Kozmic Blues and Full Tilt Boogie, are discussed in detail, as well as the recording process of each of the major albums: Cheap Thrills, I Got Dem Old Kozmic Blues and Pearl. The personalities behind her success, like Abert Grossman and Linda Gravenites, are sympathetically portrayed.

Echols explores Joplin's influence on various performers and notes that the heavy metal crowd picked up on her style but that she didn't directly inspire any clones. Ultimately, Janis appears as a brave, wild and very vulnerable human being who was quite likable, if somewhat volatile. There are 35 black and white photographs and the book concludes with a discography, copious notes and an index. Almost scholarly in its depth, Scars Of Sweet Paradise is yet a gripping read that will please her fans and all who are interested in the 1960s counterculture and the evolution of rock music.
39 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The "Forgotten" 22 décembre 2001
Par Garry HUBBLE - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In a very real way Janis Lyn Joplin is very much a "forgotten". You hardly ever hear her stuff on radio- with the possible exception of "Me and Bobby McGee". And for my money, her one and only (and unforunately, posthumous) Number 1 is quite thoroughly unrepresentative of her as an artist or person. Forgotten Janis Joplin, like another Forgotten Janis- Janis Martin- the "female Elvis".
Some colleges apparently now include Janis as a feminist icon, or at least woman of note, and at least some interest is now being restored in her as a major figure in popular cultural history.
Echols' work is a very well written chronology of the first major female rock star's short life. There is no sensationalism, no unsubstantiated rumour that isn't stated as being so, and no attempt by the author to over-psychoanalysis her subject.
You come away from this book with an understanding as to the enormous talent that Janis possessed, and how dealing with it with her insecure mindset ultimately led to her very untimely demise.
It is also clearly the most credible, and creditable biography of Janis currently available: Amburn's book is clearly sensationalist; Myra Freidman's (including the revised edition) comes from someone who didn't know Janis first hand that well; Dalton does not cover enough ground, and is more of a personal account; and sister Laura's "Love, Janis" is antithetical to Amburn- a glossing over of the sex and drugs in favour of just how nice, but misunderstood, Janis was.
Echols also frames her subject within the context of the times in which she lived. Again, no judgement, no sensationalism. Another prick for the bubble of the illusion of the Woodstock myth that the "hippies" were all innocent flower people. The Sixties were a tough time for many who flocked to Haight-Ashbury.
The book is also eminently readable; in short, a first-class primer of the "skyrocket chick" who died at the age of 27 trying to live up to her own projected self image- an image that was virtually the total opposite to the real, white picket fence wannabe from Port Arthur, Texas that was Janis Lyn Joplin.
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Rereading the 60s 26 janvier 2000
Par Edward V Knoll - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Janis Joplin is an exquisite focal point around which the life and times of the era she lived in are profoundly illuminated. It's been said that if you can remember the 60s, you probably weren't there. I can now vouch for accuracy of that statement. So much of what Ms. Echols writes about is material that would have completely disappeared, considering the mind bend of the participants. It's a hard book to take, especially if you, or one you love, is an offspring of this generation. I know this happened to me. The book should be read at least twice. It's really not about Janis Joplin; it's about a ridiculously impaired time of fun, laughter, sadness, and tears. It's also a time of many blanks, which Ms. Echols has caused to surface. I recommend this book.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent chronicle of the woman and the culture. 15 avril 2003
Par Igrayne - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book was such an interesting read that I had a hard time putting it down. Ms. Echols delves into Port Arthur in a way that is very similar to that of Mary Karr. She also looks at aspects of Janis that have not been well-contructed before this. The milieu of San Francisco and the 1960's music scene there is shown in an open and matter-of-fact way. The beginnings of the bands were more haphazard than I ever realized.One cannot understand a person unless they understand the politics and atmosphere, as with this remarkable musician.
On the personal side, Janis was a woman who wanted what we all want- to love and be loved. Echols defines where many of us let one another down by not being honest with others when they are in too deep.
As Janis wrote "It's so sad to be alone."

I highly recommend this biography to fans and people who are interested in the culture of the times.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating life, OK book 2 mai 2008
Par E. Karasik - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If you want to know the basic facts about Janis Joplin's life and the cultural context in which she rose to fame and self-destructed, this book is perfectly adequate to fill you in. In some respects the book is quite exhaustive, especially in documenting Janis's relationships with various musicians and her series of bands. The author did a reasonably good job of showing how Janis fit in -- or didn't - with the cultural and political context of her day, and also gives some fun general background on the birth of the San Francisco rock scene. Most compelling was the author's description of Janis's tormented family life, and it was those sympathetic attempts to piece together her psyche that seem the most genuine. My complaint with the book is that the writing and editing are far from graceful. It reads more like an academic thesis, often dry, lacking in momentum, and wordy. I read a lot of biographies and I am sure it is very hard to write a good one, but it can be done. Writing about musicians is a special challenge because to really do it well requires deep knowledge and appreciation of the genre and a gift for metaphor. I found the musical criticsm aspect of the book particularly lackluster and it often sounded like the author was parroting others' musical opinions. The editing was a puzzle, too -- sometimes you would want more information on someone, sometimes there was just too much information. Not a page-turner, but I'm glad I read it.
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