Jim Irslay Collection acquires Janis Joplin acoustic guitar

Guitar is from “Me and Bobby McGee”

The Jim Irsay Collection has acquired a Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar owned and played by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Janis Joplin.

Until recently on loan to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this was one of two acoustic guitars Joplin owned when she died and is likely the only guitar she played on stage during her years of fame. She also learned to play her iconic hit song “Me and Bobby McGee” on the J-45.

Joplin practiced “Bobby McGee” on the guitar and first played the song live in Nashville in December 1969. During a show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden several nights later, she performed the song again and began including it in her set.

Joplin eventually would record the song in Los Angeles a few days before her October 1970 death. Released as a single a few months later, it went on to become her signature song and only No. 1 hit. After her death, her J-45 was given to close friend and collaborator Bob Neuwirth, who taught her the song and co-wrote “Mercedes Benz” with her.

“Even though rock-and-roll music has been largely male-dominated over the years, we must never forget the work and legacies of the great women of rock-and-roll,” states Jim Irsay, owner & CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. “Female artists were just as important to the early days of rock music as their male counterparts, and through Janis, I’m happy we’ll be able to celebrate their contributions to this art form as well.”

Irsay’s passion for rock music led him to assemble instruments and items owned and used by some of the greatest artists in music history, including the recently acquired Kurt Cobain “Smells Like Teen Spirit” guitar that was on display in New York City recently.

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Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com

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