Peggy Caserta was a woman who had an affair with Janis over several years.
Peggy Casserta on her relationship with Janis Joplin:
"It worked for what it was. We had a lot of fun. We made a lot of love. It wasn’t a relationship that people think of or look at today as a ‘lesbian relationship.’ It was not like that at all. We were compatible and young and wild and interested in each other."
What she probably means by not a "lesbian relationship" is that their relationship was very open and they were both dating other girls and guys. It was, after all, the height of the sexual revolution in Hippy central, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury.
Caserta is now middle-aged and somewhat wider, but still quite lovely. It was fascinating to see her in the flesh, with shoulder-length auburn hair, gorgeous cheekbones, a hint of cleavage, a dignified bearing and obvious intelligence. To hear her actual voice, confident and slightly nasal, was quite exciting, as she described Janis`s emotional vulnerability and told anecdotes about Janis freaking out after getting stood up by boyfriend Country Joe MacDonald, how her manager pushed her to break up with Brother and the Holding Company, the band that made her career, because he felt their talent didn’t match hers, and how Janis got back onto heroin after getting clean.
Caserta did a tell-all book about their relationship called `Going Down with Janis` (as told to Dan Knapp) published in 1973. It appears to be out of print because copies are now going for up to $100 on Amazon.
It gives a very intimate picture of Janis’s personality, the slow path they took from friendship to lovers, their open relationship, their sex life, their drug use, Janis`s rise to fame and the 60’s in Haight-Ashbury. At the time she met Janice, Peggy was a boutique owner whose store was on the corner of Haight & Ashbury where Janis used to shop.