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Going Out With a Bang: Janis Joplin’s Hard-Partying Wake

When Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, she left behind a will that included an offbeat stipulation: $2,500 to fund a hard-partying wake in her memory. Her loved ones threw the bash three weeks later at the Lion’s Share, a San Anselmo, CA venue that had hosted many of Joplin’s gigs. The invitations read, “Drinks are on Pearl,” a reference to Joplin’s nickname.

How did the party play out? About like you’d expect. Her former lover James Gurley later reminisced, “Everybody just got as drunk and as f—ed up as they could.” Another partier remembered, “Everyone got drunk and messed around and nobody mentioned Janis at all.” A solemn, quiet wake? Not at all. A fitting tribute to Janis Joplin? Absolutely.

See Also: 13 Bizarre Stipulations in Wills

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June 7th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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