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Janis Joplin’s last recording went straight to John Lennon for his birthday in 1970, shortly before the “Mercedes Benz” singer’s untimely death. The former Beatle was a fan of Joplin.

Janis Joplin in 1969 and John Lennon at Heathrow Airport in 1969.
Janis Joplin and John Lennon | Evening Standard/Chris Walter/Getty Images

1 of Janis Joplin’s favorite bands was The Beatles

Like everyone else in the 1960s, Joplin was a massive fan of The Beatles. However, she was fortunate enough to become a great singer in her own right. That didn’t stop her from being excited when a Beatle came to see her and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, play. Paul McCartney watched them perform in San Francisco (per Far Out Magazine).

She was so excited that she wrote to her parents to tell them about it. However, she added that she wished her favorite Beatle, George Harrison, came.

Joplin wrote, “Speaking of England, guess who was in town last week – Paul McCartney!!! (he’s a Beatle). And he came to see us!!! SIGH, Honest to God! He came to the Matrix & saw us & told some people that he dug us.

“Isn’t that exciting!!!! Gawd, I was so thrilled – I still am! Imagine – Paul!!!! If it could only have been George….oh, well. I didn’t get to see him anyway – we heard about it afterwards. Why, if I’d known that he was out there, I would have jumped right off the stage and made a fool of myself.”

Joplin soon discovered what it felt like to have another Beatle admire her: John Lennon.

Joplin’s last recording went to John Lennon

For John’s 30th birthday in 1970, his wife, Yoko Ono, got him something special: what turned out to be Joplin’s last recording. Days before her death, Joplin agreed to record a song for John.

On an episode of The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, John explained, “We didn’t meet, but she sent me a birthday tape on my birthday for my last birthday. Yoko asked all different people to make a tape for me, and she was one of them, and we got it after she died. It arrived in the post, and she was singing happy birthday to me in the studio.”


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Joplin’s death upset John

On Cavett’s show, it was clear that Joplin’s death upset John. He said that nobody asks why people take drugs.

“I think the basic thing that nobody asked is why do people take drugs of any sorts from alcohol to aspirins to hard drugs, and that question has to be devolved first before you think what can we do for the poor drug addict,” John said.

“Why do we and you have to have these accessories to normal livings to live. That means there’s something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurised that we cannot live in it without guarding ourselves against it. It’s that basic the problem.”

Unfortunately, John didn’t live much longer than Joplin. He was murdered in 1980 in front of his apartment building in New York City. It’s a wonder what would’ve come out of a collaboration between the pair.