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Lot # 1429 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1965 Janis Joplin Six-Page Autograph Letter with Significant Content

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,610.00

Extraordinary letter by Janus Joplin, dated September 8, 1965, handwritten in ballpoint on one side only of six uniform stationery pages, each measuring 5.75 x 8.75 inches. The letter is accompanied by its original envelope, postmarked "Sept 9, 1965, Port Arthur Tex." Her full signature appears on the envelope's reverse as part of the return address, as "Miss Janis Joplin" (postal cancellation touches this signature,"8"). This letter was written just prior to her achieving great fame as a singer, during Joplin's sojourn back to her hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, in an attempt to "clean up" after several years of drug abuse. The letter is addressed to her then-fiancé Peter J. de Blanc, who at this time was sick at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. She begins asking about his progress in the hospital and then updates him on her new domestic life: "...My recipe box is making some progress. Tonight I added a chicken gumbo that I cooked for dinner this evening. It's really good! That's what this area is famous for (besides our magnificent refineries!) Creole cooking. And I've decided to glean as much of my heritage as I can. So I can say 'I'm from Port Arthur, this is a local dish...' Ah, what a showman! I can't even cook without drama. Jeez... Had a pretty busy day: cleaned the kitchen & both baths, did the laundry & the dishes, cooked the supper, cut out a dress that Mother is going to make for me." Although Joplin hoped to lead a "conventional life" after several years of trying to make it in San Francisco and New York -- wanting to go to college, staying at home with her family, etc. -- the lure of music was far too strong. The very next sentence begins: "...A guitar player that I met in Beaumont came by w/ a friend of this & we sang a little. He wants me to go up to Houston w/ him to a fold music club & sing. He thinks I'm good & says he can get me $125 a week. But I told him I was going to school and really wasn't that interested in working -- maybe a weekend. But we'll see. I haven't even been up there yet. (Oh, did I tell you that an old friend of mine (8 years) who lives in Austin called me last week? He works on the newspaper up there & has just been given a column to do - an entertainment column. And he's capitalizing on his new contacts by starting a booking agency. He is a very excellent jazz musician himself & knows lots of people who play: so he called me wanting to form a group w/ me singing, to work around Austin on the weekends. But I felt it was really too much of a hassle to go back & forth to Austin. It's an 8 hr. drive, so I told him that I couldn't. Wasn't feasible). But if the Houston thing pans out, I might do that for a weekend ($20 a night) if you think it's okay. Do you? You needn't worry about my falling for any dapper young folk singers & I know where they are at and & don't want it! Also, a girlfriend of mine from Beaumont called this evening. She connected w/ that coffee-house in Beaumont I sang at once. They've found an old spade blues piano player & asked me to come up this evening to see if we could work anything out. So, I'm going up there to sing tonight. It might evolve into a weekend gig, too. But, it's funny, I'm not all that ambitious anymore. But I'd still like to do it, so, will see. Wow, from this letter, it really sounds like I've been working out. The mad, capricious Belle of Port Arthur! Hardly. This will be the first evening that I've been out (except to mail letters to you...) since Philip & Diane & I all went to the drive in (That was lots of fun!) Mostly, in fact almost entirely, I stay home w/ the family & quite frequently we play bridge. Strange it's such a quite, peaceful existence & I'm enjoying it so thoroughly. But, of course, you understand that I wouldn't without you. You're very important to me. Vital, if you must. I love you so - you made my life whole. So get well, & keep me informed. I'm going to mail this & then off to Beaumont. I love you baby XXXX Love, J." All writing is virtually flawless ("9"). This lot includes the original transmittal envelope addressed in her hand and bearing her signature again on the reverse where she writes her return address as: "Miss Janis Joplin 3130 Lombardy Port Arthur, Tex." The letter is in flawless Near Mint condition, beautifully preserved as fresh as the day it was mailed. The envelope is in Excellent condition. Predating her meteoric rise to fame, this letter is an incredible time-capsule, representing a rare, unique, and fascinating window into the humor, verve and wistfulness that made Joplin such a beloved icon of the 1960s. LOAs from Roger Epperson/GAI and James Spence, Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $2,610.00


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