John Till From Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues Bands Tonight On Visual Radio

42 years ago today Janis Joplin performed at Woodstock with her Kozmic Blues band. Her guitarist in that band, John Till, went on to form the Full Tilt Boogie Band which resulted in the classic lp, Pearl. What many people don’t know is that a year later Janis and John would visit the Boston area – performing at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, August 12, 1970.

Till shared his memories with TMR Zoo: “Joe, I’ve been to Boston a few times, and always had a good time there. The final live concert that Janis ever played was at Harvard Stadium, Aug.12/70. Of course none of us in the band ever imagined that it would be the last time, but we had a great time while we were there!

The Stadium was jammed packed and noisy that afternoon.

The band’s dressing room was a small house trailer along one side of the of the field right by the seating area. So close we could shake hands with the people when we opened the trailer door. There were several cases of beer on ice in the trailer that we couldn’t ever have
finished so we handed dozens of bottles out the door to the people.

There were a lot of thumbs up each time we did that.

It was a hot day.

Thanks, John, for sharing the memories. John has a disc of 8 songs from the Harvard Square show where the band played Mercedez Benz behind Janis! Not something you hear as the hit version of the song was a capella

Joplin had a publicist, Myra Friedman, who wrote the book Buried Alive. Friedman, who passed away last October, 2010, was a constant “phone pal” of Till’s. He saw her again in 2009 at her apartment on 14th Street. Buried Alive is an impressive book, the title taken from the Nick Gravenites instrumental on Pearl. Janis died in the early hours of the day that she was going to record the song, Gravenites performing a studio version on

You can hear John Till interviewed on my show, Visual Radio Live, tonight, August 18, 2011, talking about Woodstock and other aspects of his career at 8 PM on Go to for more details.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for, and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.