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Zuzana Joachimsthalová
U Nikolajky 24
150 00 Praha 5

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History of band Janis Joplin Revival

It all started back in the Spolaňáček children's choir. There, in the colourful fumes pouring from the Neratovice smokestacks, the singer of songs, Táňa-Máňa Poláčková, took her first musical steps and it seems that the inhalation of those diverse chemical compounds had a substantial influence on her vocal chords. She learned a few of the most vitally important guitar chords and started to make the rounds of pubs and parties with a repertoire made up of songs from groups like Skid Row, Metallica, Jon Bon Jovi, 4 Non Blondes, etc. Thus when someone first told her that her voice was hoarse like Janis Joplin's, she essentially had no idea who that was, nor was that genre all that close to her heart. Nevertheless, she started to get to know the work of the deceased star better and started to sing along to her songs. Táňa and her friend, artistic jack-of-all-trades Ondra Tůma, who sometimes accompanied her on guitar at that time, began performing at private events with songs from Joplin and other performers. Sometimes they were joined by the outstanding Hammond organist and multi-instrumentalist, Jan Kořínek. All the smoke and alcohol together with the hours singing in the school of rock and roll eventually took their toll. Táňa Máňa's voice developed into the beautifully husky and howling pitch of a blues hustler.

At this time Táňa was performing in the delirious punk-metal band Sunbeach and so she approached her bandmate, guitarist Katka Ryšavá, with the idea of forming a Janis Joplin revival band. Ondra deftly picked up the bass guitar and the embryo of the new band first performed in Malostranská Beseda XXXX in June 1996 with what was still a short setlist. At that time Petr Krejčí from Bílá nemoc was a guest on the drums. Since Sunbeach was performing as the back-up band on the tour of the newly reformed Abraxas, Táňa came up with the idea to enlist the legendary drummer Ivan Pelíšek, who was all for it. The rehearsals for the first version of the concert set took a few short days and in August 1996 the complete Janis Joplin Revival band introduced itself to an audience in the courtyard of a tearoom in Český Krumlov. The nineties were kind to revivals of all kinds – music lovers undernourished from the culture of normalisation filled halls throughout the Czech Republic and so the group was soon established on the club and festival scene. Several guests performed with the band, including the aforementioned Jan Kořínek on keyboards, Kuba Doležal on saxophone, Pavel Fiedler's horn section and percussionist David Jaroš.

In light of the musicians' obligations, there were many stand-ins over the years – Petr Krejčí (he still stands in to this day :-)), Filip Skyba, Jaromír Pavelka and Vojtěch Pelíšek on drums, bass guitarists Martin Štec, Peter Pavlík and Viktor Čermák and Artur Masný, Václav Pecina and Roman Korda on guitar. Guitarist Ing. Vladimír Švanda was such a persistent stand-in that he found a permanent place in the band and plays either guitar or bass depending on whatever is needed at the time. So the most frequent line-up for "Joplin" is vocals, two guitars, a bass and drums. Its home stage is currently the Prague club Vagon.

Years of Czech and foreign gigs have done nothing to diminish the band members' enthusiasm and appetite to enrich the Joplin repertoire with songs from similar and even absolutely different sources. Dance floors full of people of all generations jiving to the music are more than proof enough.