"I photographed Janis Joplin in 1967 as one of a series of my photographs for our poster
company Berkeley Bonaparte. I picked Janis up at her apartment in the Haight and we drove to a photo studio in North Beach. On the way, I stopped and borrowed a beaded cape from Suzie Mouse, girlfriend of famous psychedelic poster artist Stanley Mouse. I gave Janis the cape to wear and my beads made by Nancy Gurley, wife of James Gurley, lead guitar with Big Brother and the Holding Company. I posed Janis on a stool and moved her hair over one eye for a dramatic look. The photo session went very well, the poster was a hit and Janis and I became friends."
Janis lived near me in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. One day I went over to her flat to make some portraits of her. My photographer friend, Bob Seidemann, had taken a series of semi-nudes of Janis in his studio. One of his shots was made into a poster. Across from her bed in her bedroom Janis had papered the wall with these posters. “Check it out, Baron,” she said, “I’m the first hippie pin-up girl.” I decided to pose her in front of the Seidemann posters. Usually I tried to capture the “happy Janis,” but this time I wanted a photo that somehow related to the image on the posters. And that’s how this photo came to be…
"Janis was rehearsing with Big Brother & The Holding Company in a large wooden house at the end of a dirt road in Lagunitas, California, very close to where we lived in Forest Knolls. As I walked into the house, I was totally stunned by a voice belting out from another room. The power of her voice and the stomping of her foot shook the whole house. That was the day I shot the flag images and later in Woodacre we did a big shoot by the barns and the tractor."