Janis Joplin: Oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz, my friends all drive Porsches

„Mercedes Benz“ is an a cappella song written by singer Janis Joplin with the poets Michael McClure and Bob Neuwirth, and originally recorded by Joplin. In the song, the singer asks the Lord to buy her a Mercedes-Benz, a color TV, and a „night on the town“. There is also a reference to Dialing for Dollars, a franchised format local television program, which required one to be watching the show in order to win when the show called your phone number, hence the singer’s need for a color TV. The song is considered to be a rejection of consumerism.

She began to sing it

The song’s lyrics were written at Vahsen’s, a Port Chester, New York bar at 30 Broad Street on August 8, 1970 during an impromptu poetry jam between Joplin and songwriter-friend Bob Neuwirth. The lyrics were inspired by the first line of a song written by San Francisco beat poet Michael McClure, „Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz.“ Joplin heard it sung by a friend of McClure’s, and she began to sing it, too.

At the Port Chester bar, Joplin sang the line a few times and began riffing on the McClure lyrics, while Neuwirth copied the new lyrics onto bar napkins, which he kept for years. She sang the new version for the first time that night at her concert at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

JANIS JOPLIN: Mercedes Benz Lyrics

Oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.
My friends all drive porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends.
So oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Oh lord won’t you buy me a color TV.
Dialing for dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until 3.
So oh lord won’t you buy me a color TV.

Oh lord won’t you buy me a night on the town.
I’m counting for you lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round.
Oh lord won’t you buy me a night on the town.
Everybody….
Oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends.
So oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

That’s it…!

Das Audio-File

‚Mercedes Benz‘, (also called ‚The Politician‘) is an a cappella song by Janis Joplin, in which she asks the „Lord“ to buy her a Mercedes-Benz, a color TV, and a „night on the town“.

Joplin wrote ‚Mercedes Benz‘ as a social critic on how people relate money and material possessions to happiness. In the song she asks God to give her the things she has „earned“.

„You got to get it while you can.“

Woodstock versus money and material

The 27 Club

Shortly after recording this song, Janis Joplin died on 4th October 1970 at the age of only 27 years and hence is now seen to have become a member of the infamous ’27 Club‘. (Other well-known musicians who died at that age were Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and in 2011, 17 years after Cobain’s death, Amy Winehouse.)

The song was recorded in one take on October 1, 1970. These were the last tracks Joplin ever recorded; she died three days later, on October 4. The song appeared on the album Pearl, released in 1971. The song title, as listed on that album, contains no hyphen although the actual automobile brand name is hyphenated.

In 2003, Joplin’s recording was remixed, adding a beat and a background melody. The remixed version was included on collections of Joplin’s greatest hits. Mehr von Wikipedia…

About the Porsches

The may have immortalized her love for Mercedes-Benz on the eponymous track from her final album Pearl, but Janis Joplin’s heart belonged to her 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet.

The 356C was the immediate predecessor to the 911 and Joplin’s ’65 was one of the final 356Cs manufactured, the rest having been turned into the newly developed 911. Joplin bought the car used in 1967 after her albums started selling thanks to an appearance with Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Die deutsche Vita

Janis Lyn Joplin (* 19. Januar 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas; † 4. Oktober 1970 in Los Angeles) war eine US-amerikanische Rock-Sängerin.
Joplin wurde 1943 als Tochter von Seth Ward Joplin, einem Mitarbeiter der Ölgesellschaft Texaco, und Dorothy Joplin (geb. East), die eine Gesangsausbildung abgebrochen hatte und als Büroangestellte arbeitete, geboren und hatte eine jüngere Schwester und einen jüngeren Bruder.

Blues and Folk

In ihrer Kindheit wandte sie sich der Kunst (besonders Gedichten) zu und las viel. Obwohl sie im Kirchenchor sang, dachte niemand an eine spätere Karriere als Musikerin. Ihre Mutter Dorothy setzte auf das Talent ihrer älteren Tochter im Zeichnen und sorgte dafür, dass sie privaten Kunstunterricht bekam. Nach ausgiebiger Lektüre des Time Magazine begann Janis Joplin, Blues- und Folk-Musik für sich zu entdecken. Ihren ersten öffentlichen Auftritt hatte sie 1958 im Halfway House (Anstalt zur Reintegration von Alkohol- und Drogensüchtigen) in Beaumont, Texas.

Queen des (weißen) Bluesrock

Nachdem sie 1960 ihren Highschool-Abschluss bestanden hatte, ging sie im Alter von 17 Jahren von zu Hause fort, um Sängerin zu werden. Sie versuchte sich an einigen Colleges, brach aber das Studium immer vorzeitig ab. Ein Jahr später hatte sie ein wenig Geld verdient und zog nach Los Angeles. Sie sang, unter anderem begleitet von Jorma Kaukonen (Gitarrist von Jefferson Airplane), mit 18 Jahren in Kneipen und Folk-Clubs. Autodidaktisch geschult durch Schallplatten von Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter), Odetta Holmes und Bessie Smith, ihrem größten Vorbild, avancierte sie mit ihrem hemmungslosen, bis dahin für eine weiße Sängerin einzigartigen Gesangsstil zur „Queen des (weißen) Bluesrock“.

Jazzband von Dick Oxtot

Nachdem Joplin 1962 in Louisiana als Kellnerin gearbeitet hatte, kehrte sie bald nach Texas zurück, um in Austin ihr Appartement, das später als The Ghetto bekannt wurde, zu beziehen. Am College in Austin fiel sie wegen ihrer Kleidung als Außenseiterin auf. 1965 trat sie mit der Jazzband von Dick Oxtot auf. 1966 rief Chet Helms, der Manager von Big Brother and the Holding Company, bei ihr an und teilte ihr mit, dass die Band eine Sängerin suche. Mehr von Wikipedia…

The english Version

Janis Lyn Joplin born January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was a US singer-songwriter who first rose to fame in the late 1960s as the lead singer of the psychedelic/acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Her first ever large scale public performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival; this led her to becoming very popular and one of the major attractions at the Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. Joplin charted five singles; other popular songs include: „Down on Me“; „Summertime“; „Piece of My Heart“; „Ball ’n‘ Chain“; „Maybe“; „To Love Somebody“; „Kozmic Blues“; „Work Me, Lord“; „Cry Baby“; „Mercedes Benz“; and her only number one hit, „Me and Bobby McGee“.

Joplin was well known for her performing ability and was a multi instrumentalist. Her fans referred to her stage presence as „electric“; at the height of her career, she was known as „The Queen of Psychedelic Soul“. Known as „Pearl“ among her friends, she was also a painter, dancer and music arranger. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004[1] and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Joplin remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 15.5 million albums sold in the USA. Mehr von Wikipedia…


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