By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – The modest home in the gritty Texas refinery city of Port Arthur where rock legend Janis Joplin grew up in the 1950s is up for sale at a hefty price of $500,000, a realtor said on Wednesday.
The price for the 1,300-square-foot (121-square-meter) house with a small front porch is about 10 times higher than the asking price for other homes in the area. The Joplin home comes with a historical marker and a steady stream of fans of the woman known for songs including “Me and Bobby McGee,” and “Piece of my Heart.”
The current owners of the home, about 90 miles (145 km) east of Houston, has grown a hedge around the property to prevent gawkers from peering through the windows, said realtor Diane Fernandez.
“The owners have had people come from all over the world.They come from Europe, Australia. They’ve had people offer them $2,000 to sleep on Janis Joplin’s bedroom floor,” she said in an interview.
Fernandez says the current homeowners, who declined to be named, did not accept the offers.
The house even comes with an autograph, according to Sarah Bellian of the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
“(Janis) and her sister carved their names into wood in the house,” she said.
Joplin, born in 1943, was an outcast kid who was bullied for her love of black music in the days of strict segregation in Texas.
A marker from the Texas Historical Commission waits in the yard of the house. It says Joplin rebelled against conservatism at home and left for the University of Texas in Austin in 1962, before her 20th birthday.
About a year later, she moved to San Francisco where her career as a singer took off. In 1970, she died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 27.
“She grew up in a normal house,” Bellian said.”She didn’t have a particularly special or privileged upbringing.”
(Reporting by Jim Forysth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Alistair Bell)