Although it took many years for Director Amy Berg to pull the rockumentary together, the final product of “Janis Joplin, Little Girl Blue” serves as a text book example of what to do when creating a montage tribute of a rock icon’s life.
The story unfolds seamlessly through a series of home movies, photos, interviews with Joplin and other friends/band members, and clips from concerts which comes across in a beautiful blend of narrative storytelling by musician Cat Powers.
Among the producers is Jeff Jampol from Jampol Artist Management. Jampol is a Grammy Award winning producer whose calling is to preserve the legacies of deceased rock icons such as Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, The Ramones as well as Joplin.
Jampol has kept Joplin’s legend alive with a commemorative postage stamp and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame most recently. The rockumentary was compiled with the blessings of Joplin’s siblings who now oversee the Joplin estate.
The story that “Janis Joplin, Little Girl Blue” presents is a well balanced presentation that fills in the blanks and answers some questions such as Joplin’s sexual orientation, her liaisons with musicians, that she was in love with someone at the time of her too soon passing, and how she was kicked out of choir as a kid.
There are stories such as her meeting up with Bob Dylan, Joplin’s idol, and telling him she was going to be famous one day to her major influences regarding the crafting of her singing style…Bessie Smith
Berg, an Oscar nominated director, carefully crafted a coherent story that portrays Joplin as a free spirited “beatnik on the road” and credits her for forging the way for female singers in the Rock-Blues genre.
At the screening of this movie in Hollywood, actress and musician Juliette Lewis was in attendance with Berg to render up a Q&A session.
Lewis lays credit for her inspiration squarely at the feet of Joplin and for those of you who have seen Lewis’ band “The Licks” perform you’ll get it. For those that haven’t, a new CD is in the works and a concert tour to promote it is slated to get underway in the Spring.
The end of the film featured clips from interviews about Joplin which included a clip from a Dick Cavett Show where John Lennon and Yoko Ono are guests and they are discussing the passing of Joplin. Lennon tells Cavett that Joplin had recorded a birthday greeting for him, but she died before he had a chance to listen to it.
This film is very informative and laden with performances that will give the viewer chills to their blues’ bones. A must see for any serious blues rocker.
There are rumors that Joplin’s ashes are blowin’ somewhere in Marin County in case you are curious.
I did find it kinda funny that there is a photo of Joplin in the film where she is wearing the same dress that I wore in “The TNT Show”
Recently found out that Laserium Light Show is alive and well in Van Nuys. This is the home where the technique was developed by a fellow named Ivan Dryer who then sold the idea to the Griffith Park Observatory and now is used around the world.
Being treated to The Beatles’ music show was an experience and my companion and I wished that we were under the influence of something other than hot tea at the time. I kept thinking that they should add some of the stuff that was present at many a “light show” that I’ve seen back in the day…Iron Butterfly comes to mind.
All in all it was an exceptional eye and ear sensory experience. The PA system did the music justice and any audiophile will enjoy the sounds.
The technique took two years for Dryer and his team to develop, but what came out of it is a powerful treat for the eyes and ears. The music of such notable bands as: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2, Pink floyd and Nine Inch Nails are featured with regular timed shows.
The venue is located at 6911 Hayvenhurst Ave. suite #102 in Van Nuys, CA. Telephone #818-358-8716, or visit the site @ www.laserium.com.
All of the time one hears about a play that revolves around some formerly famous act, but that doesn’t always mean that it will be good. “That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” dispelled that fear for me when I had the opportunity to experience it.
Although it did start off a bit slow, it quickly captured my imagination and filled my ears with enjoyable music from my youth.
Written by James A. Zimmerman, “That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” tells a well crafted story about the behind the scenes lives of the legendary duo called The Righteous Brothers that everyone thought were black…at first.
Through the fabric of carefully crafted lines, it was revealed why Bobby Hatfield always seemed to act so weird on stage. Hatfield had stage fright! It is always enjoyable to watch things that give information that was previously unknown.
The cast delivered a stand out performance, with Nicole Renee Chapman reminding me of a very young Barbara Hershey when she first started out.
Patrick Burke gave me the willies as Phil Spector as I had worked with Spector in the early days making the “TNT Show” and know well the subtle nuances of his “eccentric” behavior.
The music was admirably performed by musicians that I call the “Hat Band”. The lyrics are performed well by 3 singers who each did justice to the music of The Righteous Brothers.
Thank you Sheila Oaks for bringing this lovely production to my attention…now if only we can clear up the “situation” with the restrooms.
“That Lovin’ Feelin’” is running now at the Lonny Chapman Theater @10900 Burbank Blvd. NoHo through January 24, 2016.