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Thirty-eight years ago today (9-28-68), Big Brother and the Holding Company were scheduled to play a sold-out show at downtown's Community Concourse. The afternoon before the show, Janis Joplin announced to the press her intention to quit the band.

"I told you, you remember, that I was going to do a thing of my own," she wrote in a letter to her family dated the same day (and published by her sister in the book Love, Janis). "There'll be a whole lot of pressure because of the 'vibes' created by my leaving Big Brother and also how big I am now." (The band's album, Cheap Thrills, was number one on the Billboard charts, where it remained for eight weeks.)

Joplin explained in the letter that "It's to be set up [so] I'm a corporation called Fantality, which will hire all the musicians and pay all the bills. Much more responsibility, but also much more chance of making money for me as my price goes up.... Albert [Grossman, manager] told me -- are you ready? -- that I should make a half million next year, counting record royalties." Her final gig with Big Brother took place in San Francisco two months later.

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