Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Forever 27 Club - Musicians Dead at Age 27

By Autumn L Rose

The 27 Club, which is also referred to as the Forever 27 Club or Club 27, is a pop culture name for a group of inspirational musicians who died at the young age of 27. Sometimes these deaths occurred under mysterious circumstances. Since most of these musical acts live under the influential rock and blues category, many still speculate why they had to die so early, as such respected legends. In any case, this club was formed after society reacted to a number of celebrity deaths within two years, all of which were 27 years of age.

This list includes Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. Ironically, Jones and Morrison died on the same day two years apart. Kurt Cobain was another who died at the age of 27. It was in 1994 and due to the popularity of his band Nirvana, and the fact that he was at the pinnacle of his career, he was included in the 27 Club as well. According to the book written by his sister, Heavier Than Heaven, Cobain actually claimed as a kid that he wanted to join the 27 Club. Due to its increasing popularity and the mysterious stigma around the facts, a non-fiction narrative tells the legacies of 34 musicians all dead at age 27. The book is titled The 27's: The Greatest Myth of Rock and Roll.

There are countless others who died at this young age who happened to be musicians as well. Charles R. Cross, who wrote the biographies of both Cobain and Hendrix says, "The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkably by any standard. Although humans die regularly at all ages, there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at age 27." A common superstition among the stoner society is the white lighter. 4 of the Club's 5 members had a white lighter in their possession at the time of the death, Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and Cobain.

So how did they die? Well, they didn't all die the same way but each was a true tragedy just the same.
Brian Jones died on July 3, 1969 from drowning in a swimming pool. His legacy lives on as one of the greatest guitarists and multi-instrumentalist of the Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix died on September 18th, 1970 due to asphyxiation of vomit after overdosing on sleeping pills. He is a rock and roll legend known for pioneering the electric guitar. He was the singer/songwriter for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys.

Janis Joplin died of a probable heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. She was the lead vocalist and songwriter of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Kozmic Blues Band, and the Fill Tilt Boogie Band. Jim Morrison was an inspired poet. His legend lives on as the lead singer, songwriter, and video director for The Doors. He died on July 3, 1971 due to heart failure. No autopsy was ever performed. On April 5, 1994, the last member of the official Club 27, Kurt Cobain passed away. He was the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the band Nirvana and he committed suicide with the use of a shotgun.

There are other musicians and famous people who have died at the age of 27. But these are the founding members of the club due to their fame, their emerging careers, and the fact that the first four members died within two years apart. Not to mention that they will all go down in rock and roll history as some of the best there ever were. To this day, we all raise our glasses and get off our bar stools to salute some of the most celebrated, most inspiring artists our world of music has ever seen. Rest in Peace.

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