A GOLD CROCHETED VEST
A GOLD CROCHETED VEST
A GOLD CROCHETED VEST
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A GOLD CROCHETED VEST
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A GOLD CROCHETED VEST

[JANIS JOPLIN, C. 1968-1970]

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A GOLD CROCHETED VEST
[Janis Joplin, c. 1968-1970]
Janis Joplin's iconic, gold crocheted vest worn on stage and featured in her 1970 photoshoot at the Chelsea Hotel. Of any piece of clothing associated with the late blues singer, her gold vest is perhaps the most well-known to her fans. Joplin wore this vest in numerous stage appearances, and is most prominently featured in the well-known photo shoot with David Gahr taken on the roof garden of the Chelsea Hotel in 1970—one of those images gracing the cover of Rolling Stone in 1976.

Casse Culver (1944-2019) was a singer-songwriter born in Bethesda, Maryland who started her musical career as a street busker. In the summer of 1969 she attended the Woodstock Festival where she came into contact with Janis Joplin as well as her manager Albert Grossman. Impressed with Culver's songs and brash style, Grossman referred the singer to his label, Bearsville Records, where she recorded an LP's worth of material. Soon after Janis Joplin's death in October 1970, Grossman briefly promoted Culver as "the next Janis," and had plans for Casse to front Joplin's old band. That Culver was an unapologetically "out," lesbian made Grossman and the label nervous and the idea was soon scrapped. The LP she recorded went unreleased.* After that experience, Culver moved to Washington DC where she became a prominent figure in the women's music scene, establishing her own production and publishing companies.

Although a contemporary image from the early 1970s exists of Culver wearing this vest, she is not known to have related exactly how she came into possession of the vest—whether it be a gift from Janis Joplin, or came to her via Albert Grossman. Provenance: Janis Joplin – Casse Culver – (inherited by) the consignor.

[With:] WOODARD, Fred. Rolling Stone: the complete covers / introduction by Jann S. Wenner, designed by Fred Woodward. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998. Quarto. Cloth boards in pictorial dustjacket [Also With:] Rolling Stone. No. 226, 18 November 1976. Large quarto.


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* Lindsay Van Gelder, Pamela Robin Brandt, The Girls Next Door. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. 55; In an interview conducted for the 2002 documentary Radical Harmonies, Culver Culver recalled that Grossman said: "I don't care what you do in your bedroom, just don't go screaming it down the streets." Quoted in Jamie Anderson, An Army of Lovers. Tallahassee: Bella Books, Inc., 2019. (Kindle ed., loc. 701)

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