John Byrne Cooke Janis Joplin
November 14, 2014•16 min
The iconic Janis Joplin became a star in just a few short years before her death at age 27. And from the beginning there was John Byrne Cooke, who took the job as road manager for Janis and her band in 1967, and was a constant presence behind the scenes before her tragic overdose in 1970. Cooke, an acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, and folk/bluegrass musician in his own right, recorded the scene in notebooks and on film. Now, in his new memoir, On the Road with Janis Joplin, heoffers an intimate portrait of the too-short years with Janis, from her explosion onto the national scene to her tragic last days recording her final album in Los Angeles. Chronicling Big Brother and the Holding Company’s meteoric rise after Monterey Pop and Janis Joplin’s rising star as a unique vocalist, John Byrne Cooke sheds light on the San Francisco music scene in an ode to the Summer of Love. He shares an unforgettable era when drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll changed everything.