Janis Joplin’s former lover: “She set me free”

To David Niehaus, Janis Joplin was his girl from Ipanema.

David Niehaus had no idea who Janis Joplin was when they met in 1970 on Ipanema beach in Brazil, where both had traveled for Rio Carnival. In this outtake clip from Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue, Niehaus remembers his relationship with Janis as a liberating, wild but delicate one, in which he witnessed her most vulnerable and tender moments. Even though the couple split when her relationship with heroin and alcohol intensified, Niehaus still remembers Janis at her best — the carefree girl who inspired him to be whoever he wanted to be.

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American Masters, THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, celebrates our arts and culture. Launched in 1986, the series has set the standard for documentary film profiles, accruing widespread critical acclaim.

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