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The 27s: The Greatest Myth Of Rock & Roll
Edited By: Raj Iyer on November 17, 2011
Club 27: The price of Membership, was more than one could handle…….
When Amy Winehouse died a few months back, pop culture historians couldn’t help but notice that she was 27 years old, thus joining a long line of celebrity musicians who have died at that age, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison,Brian Jones and Kurt Cobain. Call it “The Curse of 27″ or the “27 Club.”
As we all now know, these influential rock and blues stars all died at 27 and are some of the most famous members of the “27 club” (also known as the Forever 27 Club). The media’s been obsessed with it since Winehouse died. But musicians are aware of it, as well. Kurt Cobain knew about the curse of 27: His mother, Wendy O’Connor,famously said after his death: “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.”
But though the curse might bring chills up your spine, all it takes is one look at someone like Mick Jagger, Lou Reed or Iggy Pop to remind you that death doesn’t work in real life the way it does in the fatalistic “Final Destination” films. For every famous musician or artist who has died at 27, of course, hundreds more, many with personal problems just as significant, have not.
Yet something about this legend persists even today with Winehouse’s death, despite the fact that the majority of the infamous 27 Club members died within a two-year span in the late ’60s and early ’70s. (Creepy footnote: The two bookends to that period — Brian Jones and Jim Morrison — both died on July 3 … exactly 24 months apart.)
No person, no matter how many demons they had at age 27, would want that club in their obituary. I’ve seen some people who think that these deaths are intentionally timed. Like Kurt Cobain intentionally killed himself at that age simply to be in that club. You know, he suffered from depression, drug addiction and numerous other issues. He tried to kill himself at 17, 25, 26 as well, so it’s not like he did it just to join a club. It’s unfortunate that as a grieving mother, [O'Connor's] quote about the “stupid club” is what made it into the press, because now that’s what we think of when people die at that age.
So no, I don’t think there’s a curse. I think the number is meaningless. What we’re talking about are extreme accounts of extremely troubled young people, which I don’t think is a phony category at all … I don’t think it’s hogwash to correlate people who fit into that “burning brightly” cliché; I think that means something. But the number itself is meaningless.
You could draw parallels here — and I’m not trying to be funny at all — that as certain drugs have become way more potent in the last 10 years, fame itself became much more potent. I do worry that this new speedball combination of fame, talent, sensitivity and a chemical predilection is something that most people won’t be able to handle. Fame looks like literal torture these days.
So does this club 27 exist?? or is it just an urban legend?? i don’t know. Well, they say, it kicks in, when it kicks it. It has been more than 40 years since the death of some of these rock stars, but people still strive to pay respect and tribute to them when the time comes.Many of today’s rock artists have followed club 27 members and many play their music as a respect of their own. the number 27 is a major deal in the rock music genre, as an astounding number of legends passed away at this age. It is a club not many can afford the membership of……….