According to Kristofferson,“the feeling at the end of ‘Bobby McGee.’ The two-edged sword that freedom is. He was free when he left the girl, but it destroyed him. That’s where the line ‘Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose’ came from.
“The first time I heard Janis Joplin’s version was right after she died. Paul Rothchild, her producer, asked me to stop by his office and listen to this thing she had cut. Afterwards, I walked all over L.A., just in tears. I couldn’t listen to the song without really breaking up. So when I came back to Nashville, I went into the Combine [Publishing] building late at night, and I played it over and over again, so I could get used to it without breaking up. [Songwriter and keyboardist] Donnie Fritts came over and listened with me, and we wrote a song together that night about Janis, called ‘Epitaph’.
Kristofferson goes on to say, “‘Bobby McGee’ was the song that made the difference for me. Every time I sing it, I still think of Janis.” At 80 years old, three-time Grammy award winner and Country Music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson is still playing strong.
SOURCE: From Performing Songwriter Issue 107