Section One

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Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin
L & S Productions, 1970

In a time when musicians were seen as leaders in a cultural revolution, this pill-shaped poster, highlighting the drug-related deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin at tragically young ages, questioned the lifestyle choices of such trendsetters. Hendrix shot to fame with his groundbreaking guitar playing. Joplin, a bluesy rock singer with a powerful voice, electrified audiences with her explosive performance style. Their deaths in 1970 propelled the emerging anti-drug movement, which would eventually lead to President Richard Nixon declaring a war on drugs in 1971 and creating the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973.

The juxtaposition of these popular icons with the question “Winner?” summarizes the grip of the era’s drug culture and the beginning of a concerted effort to curtail its power.