Introducing this song in concert, Leonard Cohen sometimes admitted that he wrote it about a very brief affair he had with Janis Joplin in 1968, explaining that she came to the Chelsea Hotel looking for Kris Kristofferson, and when they ended up in an elevator together, he told her that he was Kristofferson. She knew he wasn't, but figured he would do on this particular evening. "We fell into each other's arms through some process of elimination," Cohen said.
Joplin left in the morning, and he saw her only a few times after that. She eventually did find Kristofferson, and recorded his song "Me And Bobby McGee
," which became a #1 hit when it was released after her death.