Janis Ian Solves Photo Mystery


The Mystery Photo: Janis Ian, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen

Ongoing readers may recall a recent post, Leonard Cohen Plays The Bottom Line, 1974 – Judy Collins & Janis Ian Visit, was triggered by  photo of three singing legends taken at an unknown location and on an unknown date, as explained by the first paragraph of that entry:

Maarten Massa was good enough to offer the photo shown atop this post of the three young musical artists, Janis Ian, Judy Collins, and Leonard Cohen, appending the warning that there was no indication where or when the photo was taken. He speculated that it might have been shot at the July 16, 1967 Newport Folk Festival, a reasonable enough notion (and one with which I concurred), given that Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, and Janis Ian all performed on that occasion (along with Joni Mitchell, David Blue, Mike Settle, Tom Paxton and Eric Andersen).

With the help of Janis Ian and the January 4, 1975 edition of Billboard, we determined that the shot was taken at the Bottom Line club in New York on one of the three dates Leonard Cohen played at that venue: Nov 29, Nov 30, and Dec 1, 1974.

In an unsolicited email received a couple of days ago, Janis Ian wrote to let us know that a review of her personal calendars pinpoints the date of the photos shown above to December 1, 1974.  She adds that “both [photos are] by Peter Cunningham. In addition to being my ex-boyfriend and (still) close friend, he was the ‘official’ Bottom Line photographer.”

Now, figuring out the exact date a photo was taken may not seem to justify a blog entry, but I find myself quite taken by the notion that Janis Ian took the time to review her calendars to answer a question posed by a guy with a Leonard Cohen-focused blog.

Thank you, Janis Ian.

As a bonus of sorts, enjoy this video of Janis Ian performing “Friends Again” at the Bitter End in 1968.

Janis Ian – Friends Again 1968

Other Cohencentric Janis Ian Posts

Note: Originally posted Jul 31, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

2 Replies to “Janis Ian Solves Photo Mystery”

  1. Adrian

    Janis Ian is one of the real heroes in popular music.

    Most everyone knows her songs – which alone are enough to give her such status. A decades-long career, surviving and thriving, touching millions of people with music…

    But, Janis Ian also serves as a beacon for her off-stage and off-record humanity and honesty. Her writings and actions, for a range of publications and causes, all testify to her integrity. Just visit her website – janisian.com – and you’ll keep coming back for more laughter, tears and insight. (A funny starter – “Monumental Mistakes”.)

    As manager to a young artist, the lessons learned from Janis Ian, for myself and artist, are invaluable. A decade+ ago, when virtually the entire record industry, and many artists included, expressed fear and loathing of the internet, Janis Ian was embracing the online community and showing the way. Her articles in “Performing Songwriter”, “The Advocate” and more inspire with a rare mix of humour, wisdom and grace.

    From the big picture, to important details (ie. any singer should p.u. “Entertainer’s Secret” throat spray!), I/we can’t thank Janis Ian enough for being who she is and for saying so…

    Delightful to find her in the company of DrHeck and all here 🙂

  2. Dick

    Great post Good Doctor! And thanks Adrian for your insights.

    This past April 22 Linda and I met Cohen fan/friends Ken and Suzanne to see Pete Seger in Tarrytown. Wonderful show included Tom Chapin, Peter Yarrow, and Janis, among others.

    After a drink in our hotel bar, we caught sight of Janis crossing the lobby, and introduced ourselves to her and congratulated her on a great show and marvelous career. Janis, just like Leonard and Judy Collins, came across as very gracious.

    We also have visited the Bottom Line for Wainwright and McGarrigle and other shows, and had planned for it to be a venue for our 2004 NYC Cohen Event— before NYU pulled the plag and closed it down.

    Wish I could say I attended LC’s show in 74, but the bootleg cd is the best I can do.