All The Young Girls Love Janis

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Celebrity Chatter: Confessions Of A Janis Joplin Clone Band Singer
Michelle Solomon, Staff Writer
From the Celebrity Chatter scrapbook:

Photo: A BaltoBoy Scan

Years ago, I played in a Janis Joplin “clone” band. In the 1980s, look-alike bands were all the rage. We were on a triple bill: the Janis band, Jimi Hendrix, sing-alikes and a guy that imitated Jim Morrison and his band, the Doors.

We toured New England and played as an opening act for bands like the Joe Perry Project, when Perry was taking a break from Aerosmith.

We lived the rock ‘n’ roll life and we were popular with crowds. There has always been a keen interest in dead rock stars. A whole cottage industry has thrived on Elvis Presley’s death.

Fans would bring us bottles of Southern Comfort (Janis’s favorite drink) and tons of roses.

There’s something about Joplin that people are drawn to and there has always been talk of putting the legendary singer’s life story on the big screen.

Certainly there was “The Rose” in 1979, a thinly veiled bio-pic about a Joplin-like singer played by Bette Midler, but it was only based on the singer and not exactly true to life.

Now there is not one, but two films in the works, about one of Port Arthur, Texas’ most famous singers.

Pop singer Pink will play Joplin in “The Gospel According to Janis.” The movie is expected to begin shooting this summer and will be released in 2005. Directing the movie is Penelope Spheeris, the woman behind “Wayne’s World.”

And Celebrity Chatter has heard reports that Pink will do most of her own singing in the movie.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Renee Zellweger is producing her own movie about Joplin.

Titled, “Piece of My Heart,” the film has reportedly been in the works for eight years, but last June, Zellweger came to the film’s rescue signing on to produce and star for Paramount Pictures.

Zellweger herself is from Katy, Texas.

“Piece of My Heart” is expected to be in theaters in 2005. Zellweger is currently filming “Cinderella Man” with Russell Crowe in Toronto and is then set to begin shooting “Piece Of My Heart.”

Singer Melissa Etheridge was talked about for the lead role in “Piece of My Heart” at one time, but Entertainment Weekly reports that the deal “fell apart due to a disappointing screen test.” Brittany Murphy and Courtney Love were also in talks regarding “Heart,” and Lilli Taylor was cast in “Gospel,” but dropped out when production on the film dragged its feet.

Joplin died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 4, 1970 in a Los Angeles, Calif., hotel at the age of 27.

Hey, anyone out there need a singer from a 1980s Janis Joplin clone band? By the way, the name of the clone band was “Pearl.” Now that’s a catchy movie title.

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