Who is Jane S. Piddy? | Brian Currin

Jane's Pity

Jane’s Pity

Though Rodriguez personally denied this when I asked him, I believe ‘Jane S. Piddy’ is a deliberate misspelling of “Janis Pity” – a sort of tribute to Janis Joplin. Rodriguez said in March 1998: “The people [in my songs] are fictional. I tapped on the writer’s poetic licence giving them names and shape. Almost as a caricature works for the visual artist.”

However if you listen to the lyrics of ‘Jane S. Piddy’ you can hear the similarity to Janis and her lifestyle. Lyrics like “now you sit there thinking, feeling insecure…” and “…don’t bother to buy insurance, coz you’ve already died…” are echoes of Janis’ well-documented excessive lifestyle. Remember that Rodriguez wrote this song in 1969 before Janis died on the 4th October 1970. And what about “Like Janis” – another reference? Absolutely.

 

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