Weird History
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Fascinating Stories From Janis Joplin's Personal Life

Updated September 24, 2019 629.0k views14 items

Even after more than 50 years, Janis Joplin's songs continue to resonate with music fans across the world. When she was alive, Joplin's electric stage presence and dynamic vocals fascinated fans during her concerts, and Joplin's personal life was wild enough to continue the intrigue between performances.

Janis Joplin's relationships quickly became the stuff of legend. She dated both men and women at a time when overall societal views were more narrow - in spite of the hippie free love ethos. Despite living a regretfully short, drug-stunted life, Joplin found time to become romantically entangled with several people who went on to do great things themselves.

Today, the way Joplin lived continues to enthrall. And just like her lyrics, her lifestyle produced great stories.

  • She Was Arrested For Shoplifting

    Celebrities sometimes hit rock bottom before making it big, and Joplin is a perfect example. After dropping out of school and moving to San Francisco in 1963, she was arrested for shoplifting. She'd only lived there for something like two months.

    Before she got caught, Joplin made a habit of snagging baskets of damaged produce from the back alleys behind shops. She did whatever was necessary to keep going, and her drug habit further motivated her.

  • Joplin Dated A Black Woman She Met In A San Francisco Gay Bar

    The first time Joplin moved to San Francisco in 1963, she found herself in a gay bar playing pool. There she met musician Jae Whitaker, an African American woman. The two hit it off and swiftly became lovers. Joplin and Whitaker ultimately moved in together, and not just as roommates.

    But their relationship didn't last long. Joplin continued to sleep with other people, and Whitaker couldn't handle Joplin's hard drug use. They eventually drifted apart.

  • Joplin Almost Married A Guy Who Was Cheating On Her

    In 1965, Joplin got engaged to a guy named Peter de Blanc. Joplin's sister, Laura, described him as "rich, intelligent, gentle, charismatic, and a meth enthusiast." After de Blanc's drug use led to a 12-day hospital stay, he and Joplin made plans to get clean - and get married.

    But after Joplin's father gave them his blessing, while Joplin was staying with her parents to recover, de Blanc found a new girlfriend in New Orleans before moving to New York to work for IBM. When Joplin called, and de Blanc's new girlfriend answered, she would pretend to be his cousin.

    Joplin eventually realized her supposed wedding with de Blanc would never happen, and she too started sleeping with other people again.

  • Joplin's Relationship With Country Joe Inspired Him

    During the 1967 Summer of Love, Joplin had an intimate relationship with singer Country Joe. Joe has since claimed that even though their relationship didn't exactly "sizzle," Joplin inspired him with her work ethic and the way she made music. They were good friends, even if he didn't believe they were compatible as lovers.

    They spent a great deal of time working together, and even decades after her death, Joe says he misses her more than most people.