Janis Lyn Joplin (1943 – 4 October 1970) was an icon of the hippy era, well- known for her powerful, blues-inspired vocals.
After releasing three albums, she died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 27, becoming a member of the “27 Club”, the group of prominent musicians who died at the age of 27, such as The Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, guitarist Jimi Hendrix, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Blues musician Robert Johnson, who had died in 1938, was the earliest popular musician to be included in the members of the “27 Club”.
On that night of October 1970, Janis had returned to her hotel room (room 105 of the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles) after a recording session. At around 1 a.m. on the 4th of October, after having taken heroin, she went to the cigarette vending machine in the hotel lobby and returned to her room with a pack. She closed the door, started to undress but tripped on the thick carpet and fell to the floor, where she was found dead the next day.
On 1st October, she had just made changes to her will, setting aside $2,500 to throw a wake party in the event of her demise.
“I direct my Executor to cause my remains to be cremated. If my Executor shall so elect, he shall be authorized, at the expense of my estate, but not to exceed Two Thousand Five Hundred ($2,500.00) Dollars, to cause a gathering of my friends and acquaintances at a suitable location as a final gesture of appreciation and farewell to such friends and acquaintances.”
The party was held at her favourite pub in San Anselmo, California, The Lion’s Share, on 26 October and legend has it that brownies laced with hashish were passed around amongst unsuspecting guests
Joplin was cremated and her ashes were scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean.