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Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American singer, songwriter, and music arranger, from Port Arthur, Texas. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Janis Joplin said this about her tattoos: "I wanted some decoration. See, the one on my wrist is for everybody; the one on my tit is for me and my friends." She paused and chuckled, "Just a little treat for the boys, like icing on the cake."

Lyle Tuttle in conversation with Vince Hemingson, "When Janis came into the shop I didn't recognize her.  I knew who she was, because she had just come back from a tour in South America and there had been something in the news that I had seen.  She was this groovy little hippy chick with the clothes and all these bracelets and necklaces.  I liked her.  She was a nice girl.  The biggest problem was that she came in with two dogs!  Samoyds.  I had this crazy English Bull Terrier at the time that would fight anything, so Janis had someone take the dogs outside.  She wanted two tattoos.  Now any smart tattoo artist should know that when a customer wants two tattoos, you always do the biggest one first.  The tattoo on her wrist was patterned after one of these bracelets that she was wearing, one that she had picked up on her tour in South America.  I just free-handed it with a ball-point pen and that was that.  Now Janis was a Capricorn and Capricorn women can be tough as Hell.  But she told me that getting a tattoo was just about the worse pain she could imagine and she wasn't going to get the second tattoo.  She said it in a lot more colourful language than that, I can tell you!  In a situation like that, you have to tell your customer that years down the road, you'd look back on the experience and regret not getting something that you walked into the shop wanting.  Unfulfilled desires!  So I told Janis to go downstairs and get a drink and come back.  Let me tell you, Janis threw those boys for a loop.  They were all shook up.  It was a real working class bar and she walked in with her ensemble and one of those things -- a boa -- wrapped around her neck.  They hadn't seen the like!  Anyway, she came back and I did the little heart on her breast.  Just a small thing that I drew by hand.  I was in her house in Mill Valley two days later, and there on her kitchen bulletin board I saw an article from the San Jose paper cut out and pinned up.  So I figured that's how she knew about me. I was up at the house one time and she and Kris Kristoferson were playing, "Me and Bobby MaGee".  I was at her house the afternoon of the day she died.  My daughter told me and I couldn't hardly believe it.  The next day a girl came into the shop and wanted the little heart that Janis had.  Over the years, I guess I've done more than a hundred of those.  I get more e-mail about that than just about anything else."

For more about Janis and her tattoos see www.tattooarchive.com

Want to find out what Janis Joplin's tattoo designs & symbols mean? See: Heart Tattoos, Flower Tattoo

Janis Joplin tattoos done by Lyle Tuttle

Janis Joplin heart tattoo picture

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