Janis Joplin was found dead on the 4th of October, 1970, at the age of 27 years and 258 days. She had been the singer and songwriter for the Full Tilt Boogie Band, The Kozmic Blues Band, and the seminal San Francisco group known as Big Brother and the Holding Company. Her official cause of death was an overdose of heroin complicated with alcohol abuse.
Joplin was expected at a recording session on October 4 and her producer, Paul Rothchild, worried about her being late without notification. He went to the Landmark Hotel where she was staying, and seeing her famously painted Porsche in the parking lot, he had the manager open the door to her room. Upon entry, he discovered her lifeless body on the floor next to the bed, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her manager, John Cooke, stated that it was his belief that Joplin had accidentally taken a dose of heroin that was much stronger than she was accustomed to, and his claim is supported by the fact that there were several other overdoses by other customers of the same dealer during that time. However, there were other factors involved that might possibly point to a more complicated cause of death. She had been expecting a couple of her closest friends to visit her on the weekend in question, and she had expressed to a friend that she was despondent over being stood up.
Her body was cremated at a Los Angeles mortuary and her ashes were scattered over Stinson Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The funeral was very small and was only attended by close family, but in typical Janis fashion, she had thought about her friends in advance. Her will had designated $1,500 for a party and wake for a select group of acquaintances if she should die. That party was held on the 26th of October 1970.
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