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.


Playlist Creator & Web Marketer. The son of a church organist father and pianist mother, South African born Brian Currin grew up surrounded by music. In his pre-teen years he realised that he had no real talent for playing music and he couldn't sing, so he immersed himself in the world of music by listening, exploring and researching. Which he still does today. He spent many years in corporate sales and marketing until his involvement in the re-discovery of Rodriguez, opened up a whole new world for him. He was the Content Editor for Rhythm Online, South Africa's first online music store, from 2006 to 2012. He ran Mabu Vinyl, the iconic music store seen in the Oscar-winning "Searching For Sugar Man" film from 2013 to 2019. His voice could be heard on the streaming radio station All Jazz Radio where he hosted the Vagabond Show from 2012 to 2019. He is very involved in promoting South African music, and is the co-owner of a number of music-related websites including www.rock.co.za which he founded in 1999.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Trivia, Videos
2 comments on “Who is Jane S. Piddy? | Brian Currin
  1. Hopa Nelu Frumușelu says:

    Jane is a reference to Mary Jane(Marijuana) and S. Piddy is a reference to the drug known as speed. This entire song’s meaning can be attributed to the lives of every single person who has wasted their youth and their dreams away through their addictions. That is why you can find similarities to Janis Joplin’s life. Entirely coincidental in my book. Furthermore, this song not only applies to drug addicts, but can encompass a larger array of people, as it is mostly about wasting your life away and regreting everything you have missed and you have not been able to achieve. It is about facing death, addiction and existential emptyness. Even excluding the drug aspect, many people can relate to this song’s lyrics, as they experience addiction, loss of hope and thoughts of what could have been. “now you sit there thinking, feeling insecure”-This lyric is so vague that i don’t understand how you could think to yourself “This has to be a reference to Janis Joplin”. It simply represents someone contemplating their life, which is then described in the following lyrics. This could be a reference to any human on earth that has ever felt insecure. “don’t bother to buy insurance, coz you’ve already died” can have several meanings, but, yet again, it can encompass so many people (perhaps including Janis Joplin) that I do not believe it references one in particular. This line can have several meanings, but all of them hint towards the same idea. The idea that one dies along with their hopes and dreams. Once you waste your potential away, you are already dead. The door that says “Hurry come inside” could be a reference to a failed attempt to escape ones destructive lifestyle. One may keep knocking on it, but the damage has already been done. Therefore, the metaphorical “insurance” cannot be bought. The person they once were has already died.
    Nobody is Jane S. Piddy. That is the entire point. Rodriguez does this: he drops names, yet nobody knows who these people are. And no one cares. They represent the forgotten junkies, hookers and many other less fortunate. His music often revolves around the darkness and uglyness that keeps coming from reality. Rodriguez personally denied your claim for a good reason. His music is made for the people, not for one person in particular, and that is what makes him one of the greats that has survived the test of time, despite the hardships he has faced.
    Your only claim that holds any water is the title of the song “Like Janis” being a reference. You did not exactly expand on this idea, though. And, yet again, the lyrics of this song are applicable to a huge array of people.

  2. Brian Currin says:

    Thank you for your insights!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

More Rodriguez Info
SugarMan.org on Facebook   SugarMan.org on Twitter   SugarMan.org on Youtube

Subscribe to SugarMan.org's Blog via RSS   SugarMan.org Daily News   SugarMan.org on Tumblr

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,156 other followers

%d bloggers like this: