The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


back to profile

Bob Gordon On Behalf Of Janis

This event reminds me of a story about Janis, and it involves Ahmet Ertegun. There was a party at my home in Los Angeles, while Janis was recording the Pearl album, and Bob Krasnaw was there, and Ahmet was there, and Janis sort of spontaneously sang "Mercedes Benz" to the applause of the gathered people in the record business. And Ahmet kind of smiled at her and said, "If you come upstairs with me for a while, I'll let you record the song." And perhaps typical, Ahmet had no interest in the song, but he was, you know, going for it. As far as I know, nothing happened. Janis never went through the motions. She gave every bit of herself in every way, and in every aspect of her life. I can remember being scared to death while she was driving on the windy part of Sunset Boulevard at 90 miles an hour, in her famous Porsche. And of course, you've seen just now, and know about the incredible passion with which she sang. Another part of Janis was kind of as a philosopher, in a way, in the society of the '60s, and I think of her in terms of three elements: be true to yourself, as Laura just said; having respect for other people; and being compassionate. Thank you on behalf of Janis.