Thursday 6 October 2016

#92 JANIS JOPLIN - The Early Years (1963-65) (Flac)

"The intense community of musicians staying at the Chelsea then would often find their way into Janis's suite with their acoustic guitars, I was privy to the process as they worked on songs for her new album. Janis was the queen of the radiating wheel, sitting in her easy chair with a bottle of Southern Comfort, even in the afternoon. Michael Pollard was usually by her side. They were like adoring twins, both with the same speech patterns, punctuating each sentence with man. I sat on the floor as Kris Kristofferson sang her 'Me And Bobby McGee," Janis joining in the chorus. I was there for these moments, but so young and preoccupied with my own thoughts that I hardly recognized them as moments...............          PATTI SMITH 1970

(taken from the book "Just Kids" .............available at all good book stores)

These recordings date back some seven or eight years before Patti's comments. The Joplin estate thinks these are not worthy of release, you be the judge of that.
If you have only heard the standard studio releases by Janis, this may come as something of a revelation.

Janis Joplin: The Early Years (1963-65)

Coffee Gallery, San Francisco, CA. (1963)
01. Leaving' This Morning (K.C. Blues)
02. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
03. Careless Love
04. Bourgeois Blues 
05. Black Mountain Blues
06. Gospel Ship
07. Stealin'

These seven tracks have previously circulated as late 1962 and also August 1962. This is an upgraded tape and is superior to all versions that originally circulated including the fan set 'Blow All My Blues Away' It is marked as 1963 and I have used this as the date.

The Typewriter Tape, Santa Clara, CA. (1964)
08. Talk & Tuning
09. Trouble In Mind
10. Long Black Train Blues
11. Kansas City Blues
12. Hesitation Blues
13. Down And Out
14. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy

The ‘typewriter tape’ was recorded at Jorma Kaukonen’s house on Fremont Street in Santa Clara, California at the end of June 1964. The tape got its name because Jorma’s wife, Margareta can be heard in the background typing a letter home to her parents in Sweden. The recording was made because Janis and Jorma were rehearsing for a benefit show at the Coffee Gallery, Grant Street in San Francisco. (Source used was the upgraded ten disc set ‘Blow All My Blues Away’)

This is Janis  (1965)
15. Apple Of My Eye
16. 219 Train
17. Codine
18. Down & Out
19. Turtle Blues
20. I Ain't Got A Worry
21. Brownsville

The final seven-tracks come from an audition before Janis joined Big Brother & The Holding Company. The location is unknown but we know that the tapes originated from Big Brother guitarist - James Gurley.

The original recording was just Janis and her acoustic guitar, but Gurley has embellished it with a full band to make it sound like a Big Brother session.

"It's unheard Janis Joplin material, probably the best album she's done since 'Cheap Thrills. It was a work of love, I wanted it to be something, if she was looking over my shoulder, she would be proud of. I tried to keep her first and I didn't change what she did. This is what she was doing before Big Brother. I wanted to bring out that innocence before she got crazy from rock 'n' roll."

In 1996, Gurley made 100 copies and gave them away or sold some through eBay. These seven tracks later appeared on the nine-CD fan compilation Blow All My Blues Away (the source used here) that collected everything else Columbia saw fit not to release. He owns the master reel-to-reel tape but feels Joplin’s family would have something to say about any release.

Janis’s pre-fame vocal is pure blues phrasings unblemished by alcohol and drug abuse. Her original composition ‘Turtle Blues,’ is here alongside an ad-libbed own lyric version of Buffy St Marie’s ‘Codine’

original notes for the upgraded tracks 1-7

1963-xx-xx  San Francisco, California  Coffee Gallery  (M1*-SBD)
1353 Grant Avenue, North Beach

Excellent SBD recording for the era. Check samples for yer own judge & jury ear trial or jubilation anticipation. Lower generation, better quality, clearer & less distorted than what circulates on "Blow All My Blues Away" & "1962-08-10".
Circulates as late 1962, early 1963 & 1962-08-10, but this version is simply labeled "1963".

Recording Information ::: unknown mono reel-to-reel recorder -> master mono reel-to-reel -> DAT x1or2 generations -> 1st(*) analog generation TDK SA-XG 90 cassette, Dolby off. (* call it what you will).

Line-up (unconfirmed - my tape had musician information added later from another source) :
Janis Joplin - vocals
Larry Hanks - acoustic guitar, vocals
Billy Roberts - acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals, harmonica. 
(OR possibly: Roger Perkins - acoustic guitar & vocals instead of Roberts).

NOTHING here is on the "Janis" soundtrack (OST) "Early Perfomances" disc (which is clearly labeled with different years anyway) - Totally different live versions, but here's a breakdown to check easily:
"Stealin' MUCH slower than the OST & has harmonica from the start.
"Black Mountain Blues" has no piano & horns - The OST does.
"Leaving This Morning" ("K.C. Blues") MUCH slower than the OST with some lyric differences. Check the last 2 lines.
"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" OST has NO harmonica whereas the OST has it right through.
"Careless Love" has different guitar arrangements right from the intro & ends on different words than the OST.

CoolSonics 151 ::: Thanks to the original taper & traders

compiled for: 100 greatest bootlegs
the basement67, January 2014)



  1. Southern Gentleman30 January 2014 at 15:46

    Wow, this looks fantastic! I so rarely see Janis on any blogs. Thanks for this one!

  2. You site continues to surprise and impress me. Thank you so much for all you do here.

  3. Great selection. Always loved the "typewriter" tracks but never knew the specifics of the story. Thanks!

  4. lindo, muito obrigado, i am from Brasil and i love so much Janis

  5. Prima!!! (The all blog too.)
    Thanks a lot.

  6. Thank you very much for this

  7. These are not the complete early records list of Janis. You know... there is "No Reason For Livin'", "Mary Jane", "Dear Landlord", etc...

    1. It's not supposed to be, the listing only refers to what is on the bootleg. 'The Early Years'