Janis Joplin at the Monterey Pop Festival
June 17, 1967, by Paul Ryan.
The festival organizers weren’t expecting much from the house band at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom, but Big Brother and The Holding Company’s lead singer made such an impression in the band’s very much NOT primetime Saturday afternoon set that they were invited to play another set that night for DA Pennebaker’s cameras. (It wound up being after midnight, so most sources record the second set as occurring Sunday.) They were the only band to play twice at the fest.
The band’s debut album had originally been recorded for the underfunded Chicago indie label Mainstream in starting in late 1966, but couldn’t find its way to market until August 1967. Soon after they saw Pennebaker’s footage, Columbia Records snapped up the rights, added two songs, and promptly re-released the album with the words “featuring Janis Joplin” added to the cover.
She was 24.