Deep Cuts From 1971: ‘Mercedes Benz’- Janis Joplin. The b-side of the ‘Cry Baby’ single- ‘Mercedes Benz’ has become over the years one of Janis Joplin’s most famous songs. Janis Joplin recorded this song for what became her Pearl album- only three days before her death in October 1970.

From Wikipedia-

The song’s lyrics were written at Vahsen’s, a Port Chester, New York bar, on August 8, 1970, during an impromptu poetry jam between Joplin and songwriter Bob Neuwirth. The lyrics were inspired by the first line of a song written by San Francisco beat poet Michael McClure, “Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz.” Joplin heard it sung by a friend of McClure’s, and she began to sing it, too. At the Port Chester bar, Joplin sang the line a few times and began riffing on the McClure lyrics, while Neuwirth copied the new lyrics onto bar napkins, which he kept for years. She sang the new version for the first time that night at her concert at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester .Bobby Womack asserts in his autobiography that Joplin was inspired to come up with the lyrics after going for a ride with him in his new Mercedes-Benz 600.


  1. Great choice to highlight a classic tune by Janis Joplin. I didn’t know the background story, which is interesting as well.

    I’d prefer Joplin’s Porsche 356 over the Mercedes Benz. I’ve seen a few incredibly well maintained Porsche 356 models back in Germany – they’re tiny but so beautifully designed cars!

    It’s also quite amazing that key elements of the design exist to this day in the present Porsche 911, my all-time favorite sports car.

  2. funny, my wife and I were talking about that song while driving just a couple of days ago, I haven’t heard it in years. And I instantly thought of her Porsche you put the photo of up for.

  3. I love the humor in the song and how she sings it. I think that car might be in the R&R Hall of Fame? I saw one of her cars in there when I visited the place shortly after it opened.

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