Tag Archives: Janis Joplin

Janis & John: The Book & The Movie

John Byrne Cooke & Janis Joplin

John Byrne Cooke was in the right place at the right time. He was a member of D.A. Pennebaker’s film crew at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, where Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix became overnight sensations. A few months later, when Albert Grossman signed on to manage Janis and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Grossman hired John to road manage them. Cooke became the only person who traveled with all three of Janis‘s bands, from 1967 until her untimely death in 1970. John Byrne Cooke tells the story of those tumultuous three years with an intimate, affectionate look back in, On the Road with Janis Joplin, now out in paperback. John is also a consultant and onscreen interviewee in the soon-to-be-released documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue, by director Amy Berg and Oscar winning producer Alex GibneyJohn Byrne Cooke will join Norman B for the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere airs:
Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 7.00pm ET at WROM Radio
Mondays 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

In Depth With John Byrne Cooke

John Byrne Cooke & Janis Joplin

John Byrne Cooke joined Life Elsewhere recently to talk about his new book, On the Road with Janis Joplin, chronicling his time as Joplin‘s road-manager from 1967 until her untimely death. That brief preliminary interview went so well, John and Norman B agreed they needed to talk again, so an in-depth conversation was arranged. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, John Byrne Cooke talks candidly with Norman B about his background and growing up with his celebrated father, Alistair Cooke;the early days meeting Janis Joplin and the band in San Francisco; drugs and booze and sex; Janis encountering Bob Dylan at Clive Davis’ apartment in New York and a host of names and intimate memories from his days, On the Road with Janis Joplin. In the interview, John Byrne Cooke explains why this quote from Joplin illustrates his deep fondness for a talent who tragically died too soon: “All my life, I just wanted to be a beatnik, Meet all the heavies, get stoned, get laid, have a good time. That’s all I ever wanted. Except I knew I had a good voice and I could always get a couple of beers off of it.  All of a sudden someone threw me in this rock-n-roll band. They threw musicians at me, man, and the sound was coming from behind. The bass was charging me. And I decided then and there that that was it. I never wanted to do anything else.”

John Byrne Cooke is a fascinating, engaging man, he’s an award-winning author of four previous books, a performing musician with decades of experience, a photographer, and a filmmaker. 

Life Elsewhere airs Monday at 9.00am ET 

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