Top Ten Things Not to Do at Janis Joplin’s First Live Concert in 1966

 

Janis Joplin

Since today is the 53rd anniversary of Janis Joplin’s first live concert held in the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, I thought it would be fun to go there. Of course, we need a list of things not to do to make sure we don’t make a mistake that could cause trouble later.  Time travel can be tricky, so every precaution taken is worth the time and trouble.  I hope you enjoy the list and if you should happen to end up at the concert, I hope you stay out of trouble.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at Janis Joplin’s First Live Concert in 1966

10 If you go to the concert, do not accept little squares of litmus paper from someone named Tim Leary. If you do, at best, he’ll give you a placebo. At worst, you’ll end up on the ride of a lifetime. (Have you not read of the LSD experiments, Hovsep? I hope you enjoy the view of Jupiter from way up there.)

9 If you go to the concert, do not attempt to convince Tiny the WWF champ that you are a good friend of Janis and deserve a visit backstage. If you do, at best Tiny has not met Tim Leary yet. At worst, he and Tim have been conducting side experiments on the treatment of Tiny’s aggressive behavior. (Whelp. Another experiment gone off the rails, Hrimfaxi. Looks like Tiny thinks you are a character from a Godzilla movie and intends to help you through that brick wall. This may hurt so get ready to call 911. Oh, sorry there is no 911 in 1966.)

8 If you go to the concert, do not start waving your cell phone in time to the music. If you do, at best those around you will be too preoccupied to notice. At worst, the security team made up of the Oakland Chapter of the Hells Angels will help you out. (It looks like none of these guys care about the phone, Hrut. They just enjoy pounding folks and throwing them out the back door. They thought your phone was a flash camera and delighted in seeing you airborne. Yeah, that landing could be rough.)

7 If you go to the concert, do not yell out a request for “Me and Bobby McGee.” If you do, at best no one will have heard of it. At worst, you’ll give your self away as a time traveler since the song by Janis was released in 1971. (Here comes the Hells Angels again, Hud. This time just lay back, and maybe they will crowd surf you to the exit.)

6 If you go to the concert, do not inhale the smoke that is all around you. If you do, at best it will be a weakened batch of inferior weed. At worst, you will be on the breathing end of some Maui Wowie, and you can see the lights dimming quickly. (No there are no munchies available, Hughson. You’ll just have to deal with the side effects. No, that person is not talking about you. Paranoia is another side effect.)

5 If you go to the concert, do not drink from that bottle of Southern Comfort being passed around. If you do, at best it is Southern Comfort, Janis’ favorite drink. At worst it is some homemade concoction that is guaranteed to make you lose all inhibitions. (Okay, Hugues you need to put your pants back on. No one is interested in your Sponge Bob SquarePants boxers. They don’t even know Sponge Bob since the premiere of the show was in 1999.)

4 If you go to the concert, do not get overly excited to see the Grateful Dead sitting in for a set. If you do, at best people will think you are a rabid fan. At worst, you will raise some suspicions since the band is a regular feature at the Avalon. (Be sure and not spill the beans about how popular they will become, Hula. You’ll only attract the Angels again.)

3 If you go to the concert, do not try and sing along with Janis. If you do, at best, you will be ignored. At worst, those around you will beg you to stop and then call security. (It was not so much you sang off-key Hyacinth. it was the fingernails on the chalkboard tone that got to them.)

2 If you go to the concert, do not decide to visit in the moshpit. If you do, at best everyone is smaller than you. At worst, before you know it, you will be jumping up and down in time with everyone hoping to get a breath. (If only you had had the list with you. Hyman. You could have avoided all this. You say you might faint? Oh I wouldn’t do that if I were you.)

1 If you go to the concert, do not forget to bring back a program. If you do, at best you’ll simply forget what went on. At worst, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to have a rare souvenir of that one-time event. (Not to mention the possibility of selling it on E-Bay, Hawiovi. Oh well. Easy come, easy go.)

62 comments

  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    You’ve brought me back in time to when I saw Janis perform in San Diego. What a powerful voice, what a sad figure. I don’t remember a program, but it sure would be special to have one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucky you for seeing Janis. I always wanted to but was always tied to job responsibility. Thanks, Gwen. Have a super day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For some reason, I can’t imagine a mosh pit at this concert. Then again, I usually connect it to heavy metal music. Is #6 even possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leave it to a genius to point out flaws. Yes, second-hand smoke can get you high. You are right about the mosh pit but I took liberty with the facts.

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      1. Okay. Wasn’t sure because it could have been a thing. One never knows.

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  3. LOL! I don’t think a moshpit is ever a good idea. 🙂

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    1. Nope. Too many moshes in there. 😀

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  4. hee-hee, Janis was one unique character!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was. I had a big crush on her.

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  5. So much potential for so many mistakes. Unfortunately, I never got to see Janis. Then again, I never ran into Tiny in the moshpit, so maybe it worked out OK.

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    1. I think so, Dan. I never got to see her either but Pearl (her last album) was a favorite.

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      1. Hard not to love that album.

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  6. I once knew a fellow who went to high school with Janis. As he put it, “None of us were much surprised with how it ended.” If you travel back to that concert, you’d do well not to arrive in a Mercedes. Janis might think you brought it for her, and have Tiny confiscate it.

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    1. Good one, Linda. She loved her Porche but I could see the opportunity for confusion that only Tiny could straighten out. 😀

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  7. John,

    I wouldn’t be eating or drinking ANYTHING at this concert, I know that much. My preferred method is bourbon.

    On that last one, about the program . . . do you think they’d notice if I took multiple programs? Like . . . a box full of ’em?

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    1. I think Tiny would spot you, but with a couple of kind words he might help you out to the time machine with the box.

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      1. I would definitely cut a deal with him.

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      2. Might only take a ten spot.

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  8. Hope Tiny doesn’t decide to “Take another little piece of my heart,” literally.

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    1. Ha ha ha. He is a vegetarian in reality. Oh..I get it.

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  9. I’d be labelled a narc at that show for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. So true.

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  10. When I saw the title of this list, John, I knew we were in for a treat! I wish I had been at that first Janis concert! I am a huge fan. 🙂 I probably would have wound up violating at least half of this “not to do” list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I have a habit of making a few mistakes myself.

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  11. I like #8 with the phone – I still remember when it was lighters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Unfortunately me too.

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  12. I think we’d have some trouble NOT inhaling SOMETHING from the air back there 😉
    Nope, I would not be tempted to take anything from anyone… doesn’t mean I wouldn’t bring my own 😉
    Excellent list, John.
    Oh, and no way I can’t NOT sing along…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, on the sing along I can see you in there with the best of them. Thanks, Dale.

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      1. Oh yeah. I’d be belting it out… probably off-key but who would hear? Well, besides those right beside me but I’m counting on them singing along too!

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      2. Sure they will sing with you.

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      3. Of course…

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  13. I would love to go back in time and be at that concert. I would be sure not to send tweets about it or post pictures on Facebook. As tempting as it would be. Loved Janice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, Darlene. I wonder if you tweeted in the 60’s if it would hang in the air until you made it back to 2019? Who can we ask?

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      1. I wondered that myself!!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Yes you need a lighter over the cell phone for sure. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to a sea of cell phones in the crowd. My stomach got a bit queasy thinking of Southern Comfort:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine flips on Fireball.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ha! I learn my history through you, pal, not to mention (though I will!) snazzy metaphors like “and maybe they will crowd surf you to the exit.” Funny stuff, as usual, John.
    Jay
    http://bondingfyre.com/

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    1. Thak you, Jay. 😁

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  16. I love her music and wish I had seen her live. And do avoid the acid. All of it is bad. 🙂

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  17. If you go – dont go back without JJ 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to have her with you for sure. 😀

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  18. My kids made my day the other day. They told me that “Piece of My Heart” is the song they identify with me. It’s “my song.” Everybody in our family has a song, but I didn’t realize this one was mine! Woot!

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    1. I love that song. It is a good one to have. 😊

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      1. I was pleased. In grad school I had a poster of Janis over my desk. I remember a poem published around that time about Janis. I need to go find that . . . .

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  19. A great post, John, although I didn’t know who Janis Joplin was. I like the last one, I always buy a programme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you never know. Janis was one of a kind. Me and Bobby McGee is my favorite.

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  20. You guys were a crazy group back then! Seems tame nowadays though, I suppose. Can’t say I’d take anyone up on the offer to hang with Janis. I’m such a bore. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we were. Fun though.

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  21. Oh, I loved this! Had been a west coast girl, I would have been there. I reluctantly gave our son my Big Brother and the Holding Company record album. Well done, John.

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    1. I still have my Pearl album but nothing to play it on. 😀

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      1. No? There’s nothing like listening to those old records again.

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      2. Yeah. I wish I had a turntable.

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      3. They’re not expensive, John. Mine is a portable Crosley-like one. You will love reliving your albums, even every scratch. Listening to your music on the radio or iPod is definitely not the same as your old albums. That’s why I won’t part with mine… except when my child begs for a good Janis Joplin one. 🙂

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      4. Someday, Jennie.

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  22. #1 Best. Advice. Ever! LOL! 😂

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    1. Thank you, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for this one. It brought back some memories.

    Missed seeing Janis. But I did see the Dead and Jefferson Airplane (multiple times) for free in Golden Gate Park. One night I needed a place to crash and a guy associated with the Dead took me to a small office/warehouse and said, “You can sleep on that.” He was pointing to a black box made of steel. It was about eight feet tall and about as wide as a double bed. I asked the guy what it was and was told, “A music synthesizer.” I had never heard of one before, but I didn’t want to come off as stupid, so I didn’t ask any questions. I got up on it by the means of a convenient ladder and had a good night’s sleep. I reckon those things have gotten a mite smaller in the intervening years.

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    1. I remember those big components. All tubes and hot as hell. I never saw Janis either. I had just begun my first job and had to work with no vacation time to run off to Woodstock although I wanted to do that very thing. I visited San Francisco during the summer of love but was in meetings the whole time.

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