Listen to the Demo Version of “Me and Bobby McGee”


If you’re a frequenter of karaoke bars, then you probably feel like you’ve listened to “Me and Bobby McGee” enough for one lifetime. But unless you’ve already heard Janis Joplin’s demo version of the frequently-recorded Kris Kristofferson song that will be included on The Pearl Sessions , a deluxe version of her posthumous album Pearl that drops next week, then you’re dead wrong. Stripped down to Joplin’s powerful vocals and an acoustic guitar, this raw take on “Bobby McGee” is even more plaintive and heartbreaking than the one you’re familiar with. Plus, we find her studio banter about the “mysterious return” of her Texas accent fascinating. Cultural icons hate the way their voices sound on tape too! Head over to Spinner — where you’ll also find a Q&A with Joplin’s younger sister, Laura — to hear the demo now.