Kris Kristofferson was at one time, and still is by many, considered the most erotic writer in Nashville.
Then he went Hollywood.
He’s written some great songs, “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Help Me Make It Through The Night”, “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, and “Loving Her Was Easier, Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again”.
I’m a huge fan. Yeah, I know, his voice is a little rough, but he’s a poet.
The last song was written about one of his loves.
He had many.
He married his high school sweetheart in 1960, they had two kids and divorced in 1969. The Rhodes Scholar and helicopter pilot wasn’t that great of a husband, and besides, the music business got in the way.
Supposedly, he had a fling with Barbra Streisand while making “A Star Is Born”. Elvis was supposed to play the role, but Elvis died. Enter Kris. Of course, Babs was dating her hairdresser turned movie producer boyfriend, Jon Peters, so this one may not have any validity.
Joan Baez told Rolling Stone Magazine that she had a brief fling with the Krister as well. He was rather Dylanish, so that could be true, and why would she lie?
He married Rita Coolidge in 1973, and breaking all records so far, they stayed married for seven years producing one child and several albums. Coolidge’s career was on fire, and they did make ‘beautiful music together.’
In 1976, he made “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea” with Sarah Miles. Rumors abounded, and if their off screen collaboration was anything like their on screen collaboration, well – just rent the movie! Yikes!
So,alas, like all Hollywood romances, that ended.
He married again, in 1983.
He and current wife, Lisa Meyers have five children, bringing the Kristofferson Klan to 8.
There were others, I’m sure, he was famous, rich, good looking, and women threw themselves at him.
But, the song in question was written about one woman. The affair was brief, intense, dangerous, and produced a classic musical recording we all hear played to day.
It was with Janis Joplin.
Kristofferson was playing at the Bitter End in the Village. Bobby Neuwirth was a singer, songwriter and producer from Ohio. He produced Kosmic Blues for Joplin. It contained the classic recording of “Me and Bobby McGee”.
On a whim, Bobby Neuwirth and Kris hopped a plane headed to SFO and wound UP at Janis’ Larkspur home. He was there quite a while. Prior to her death from an overdose of heroin, and while things were going badly in the relationship, she made threats of suicide. One was remember by Kristofferson, speaking of her heroine addiction, she said, “…if it doesn’t get any better, I’m gonna go back on junk…” Kris became UPset, a row ensued, and Janis said, “…you won’t be around. None of ’em will.” An obviously hurting Kris replied, “…you got everything going for you, you got a man you love, you got a producer you love. Chicks, artists never have either one. Why blow it?
She responded, “What’s it all worth?
Fewer than 30 days later, she was dead. When Kristofferson heard her version of “Bobby McGee” in the studio after she died, he broke down and sobbed. And he wrote this. (Click the word this to hear the song.)