By the late 1970’s rock n roll had matured to such a point of unparalleled popularity….as the music machine was working at a ping….cuz the world couldn’t seem to get enough of it….which opened he door to the artistry of rock n roll photography…..which began to bloom all over….and being a music genre that breeds outlandish crazies and weirdos….the further out a rock n roll star was….the more the public wanted to see….so, having a vast array of rock n roll crazies from which to choose from during the 60’s and 70’s….and the photography got better and better.
This video features rock n roll legend Janis Joplin….who although born and raised in Port Arthur, TX ….at least from a music standpoint….Austin considers Janis Joplin to be a hometown music legend…..and I remember Bone Daddy telling stories about going to Threadgils Bar on Wednesday nights back in the day of the 1960’s….to hear Janis perform live….plus he really liked Kenneth Threadgil, the owner of the joint.
Once a week Janis and her friends would drive to Threadgill’s….a converted gas station on the northernmost edge of Austin….to play music with old-time bluegrass and country players. The bar’s owner, Kenneth Threadgill, had been a bootlegger during Prohibition….and is said to have acquired the first beer license in Travis County after its repeal. He was also a Jimmie Rodgers enthusiast whose jukebox was stocked with old 78’s…and every last one a Jimmie Rodgers record.
Threadgill had purchased the gas station in the mid thirties….and by the mid-40s was selling soda pop and beer out of some old coolers while his friends played guitar, fiddle and sang hillbilly blues….so, by the mid-50s a group of local amateur musicians were showing up every week to play….and Threadgill would pay them with two rounds of free beer….and since there was no stage at Threadgill’s….the performers played right in the middle of the customers. “We all sat around a big oak table reserved for musicians,” recalls Tary Owens, “and there was a microphone and a little amp and someone would sing a song and then pass the mike to the next person.” Over time, though, as the bar became more crowded, “the musicians had to move to the back rooms to wait their turns at the mikes and sound system Threadgill had installed.”
Janis was the star attraction at Threadgill’s….for she was without a doubt the reason it was packed every Wednesday night…..as Bone Daddy says that The Waller Creek Boys were just a little acoustic trio….but Janis would put on a big show At the end of the night, she’d sing stuff like “Sal’s Got a Wooden Leg” and jump around.