Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Drink it straight, or in tea

What I wouldn't give to write about music as well as Richard Goldstein did in the ’60s and ’70s. I'm reading Goldstein's Greatest Hits right now (thank you, Topher), and much of it bowls me over. He writes the way I try to: slightly indirect, colorful, experiential, impressively balanced between traditional reporting and the put-yourself-in-the-story gonzo revolution.

Anyway, I loved this bit of color from his piece on Janis Joplin, "Next Year in San Francisco" (Village Voice, ’68):

But Janis stalks around the tiny room, her fingers drumming against a tabletop. She sips hot tea from a Styrofoam cup. She talks in gasps, and between sentences, she belts a swig of Southern Comfort, her trademark. Tonight, a knowing admirer has graced her dressing room with a fifth, in lieu of flowers. “I don’t drink anything on the rocks,” she explains. “Cold is bad for my throat. So, it’s always straight or in tea. Tastes like orange petals in tea. I usually get about a pint and a half down me, when I’m performing. Any more, I start to nod out.”


  1. I have always loved Janis and once saw her in person. It was amazing what she could do with her voice!

  2. Jealous of you! Southern Comfort and tea, must be quite an elixir. Sounds great, actually ...