Thursday, January 8, 2015

Janis Joplin book author John Byrne Cooke to speak Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Grand Teton Mall

Author John Byrne Cooke will be at the Idaho Falls Barnes & Noble store Saturday, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. to talk about and sign copies of his book “On the Road With Janis Joplin.”

John Byrne Cooke
Cooke, who lives in Jackson, Wyo., was the rock legend’s road manager from 1967 to 1970. His picture of Joplin is of a hugely talented singer who was much more than the onstage dynamo and hard-drinking woman of public perception. As Cooke reveals, she was also funny and highly intelligent, a fully-rounded, three-dimensional person who was very much on a personal and professional upswing when an accidental overdose of heroin caused her premature death in October 1970.

A graduate of Harvard and a musician himself, Cooke’s first encounter with Joplin came in 1967 at the Monterey International Pop Festival, where he was on the crew of documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Joplin and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Co., were not widely known outside of San Francisco, but her performance electrified the audience and, once the film was released, the rest of the world.

Cooke became Joplin’s road manager after Big Brother signed with Albert Grossman, also manager of Bob Dylan, The Band and Peter, Paul and Mary. Cooke continued with Joplin after she left Big Brother and was with her for her only European tour, her 1969 performance at Woodstock, with the Kozmic Blues Band, and the famed Festival Express train tour across Canada in the summer of 1970 with her last band, Full Tilt Boogie.

During his Barnes & Noble visit, Cooke will talk about Joplin, read from his book, and show a film that he shot on the road while touring with Janis and Big Brother. Copies of Cooke's book will be available and Cooke will sign them after his talk.