Tag Archives: Music

J Just a minute … I am listening to Janis!

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Just a minute this J is a tricky one…
Oh just a minute, that phrase so over used by my son that signifies he has heard my request and will perhaps get round to doing what is asked before the next decade. “Just a minute” never signifies sixty seconds, more likely it will be three to four hours with repeated requests that might result in tearing my hair out throwing a tantrum or completing the task myself.

J has me in a quandary, I will need a jolly good think before I get this posted, just a minute while perhaps I’ll ponder.  Two cups of tea later and a chat with the Swedish one on facebook I thought I was no further forwards. Thank you my friend but as a vegi’ I cannot appreciate Jerk Chicken, and to jerkorf well we shall say no more on that suggestion.

If I had been posting this at the age of 13 I would have delighted in the joy of Jon Bon Jovi, he was my idol a demi god of Rock who just did it for me. I drooled over his posters and jumped around to the tune from the tape-deck. I would have done almost anything for that man to have laid me down in a bed of roses, until that fateful day he appeared in a shiny gold suit… the rock god fell from grace in my eyes he pranced around looking like he was wrapped in over tight tinfoil waiting to be baked. In the years that followed he cut his hair and I listened to other music.

Recent years have brought me to The Jam, James Blunt and Jefferson Airplane, each musical introduction is part of a story a moment shared with a friend or acquaintance, musical education seems to take place in kitchens (for more in kitchen moments please see tomorrows post). I am pleased to know so many people who are passionate about music who enjoy the process of sharing what they love to listen too.

As I jumped through the list of J’s that now form a small part of my CD collection, I skipped perhaps the most poignant. I met Janis Joplin in the classroom. Well this is where I met her music. During my studies I was privileged to have taken creative writing and my tutor was at best unconventional, he taught us a great deal. It was only our second tutorial; we knew that we would be given a task and an hour to write before we had to feed back to the group for constructive criticism, so we filed in with a sense of foreboding wondering what we would have to write about.

Dick, our tutor said nothing he simply waited for us to be seated and have pens at the ready, he pressed play. One word was written on the board, RESPOND.  As “little girl blue” played he distributed the lyrics and left.

I sat there and counted my fingers, I had no idea what to do apparently this woman who voice resounded through the room knew exactly how I felt, I wanted to run, to put down my pen and give up. But I listened again, I did not produce a resounding piece of brilliance, oh no it was shoddy to say the least but I wrote I went home that night with a copy of the best of Janis and listened some more. She sang journeys in words her lyrics may have sounded despairing but they challenged the listener to move forwards. Janis Joplin has been described as “the first really high-profile female rock singer to carve a completely independent path”. Being introduced to her music set me on a path of discovery, I listened through her back catalogue, read the beat poets and found inspiration over the years that followed, still do.

In that single lesson I learnt to appreciate and embrace the challenge, I was introduce to a singer whose voice I will always love, I was set on a journey where whatever happens you try, you don’t just “sit there and count your fingers” you get up and see what comes next.

Today it might have taken more than just a minute to write my J post. But as I sit her 10 hours after starting this morning I  have that old ” best of album”  playing, and I smile for  I am grateful that I was set on a journey of discovery years ago one that is far from over but in a musical journey you are able to rewind replay and remember. Janis Joplin I am thankful that in that moment your music was shared!

Janis