Theory Thursday: The 27 Club
Hello Underdogs, and I hope you are a wonderful Thursday! If you are a music lover, then you have heard of the famous 27 club. If you haven’t, then this is a club that you never want to gain access to. The 27 club is a term to describe the insane amount of people in the music industry who died at the age of 27 years old. While people credit Kurt Cobain’s Mother as the person who coined the term, it has actually been around for years. Many writers and journalists have been using the phrase, “27 Club,” since the 1970’s. Their manner of death for these musicians are hardly ever natural. They include, murder, homicide, addiction, drowning, and even killing themselves. The whole thing is very sad, and a bit unnerving. Some think that there is a real live curse that is killing these great stars. There is no science to back any of this up, but the list of the dead makes an compelling argument.
The generally agreed upon start of the 27 Club was with Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hindrix. These people died between the years 1969-1970 and were all 27 years old. It was such a huge loss to the music world, that it never really recovered. Each of their deaths could be considered strange. Brian Jones,who was part of the Rolling Stones, died by drowning in a pool. Jim Morrison’s whole case is insane. He apparently died in a bath tub after suffering a heart attack, but no one knows for sure because his death was kept quiet for hours! Janis Joplin died of an overdoes, and Jimi Hindrix, well again, no one knows the real story behind his death. They say he died of chocking on his own vomit, or trying a drill a hole in his head. No one knows for sure. The mystery shrouded in these cases still have people shaking their heads in confusion to this day. But that’s not where it stops, there are more examples of strange instances of death at the age of 27 through each decade!
In the 1970’s, guitarist Leslie Harvey, was shocked while picking up a microphone that wasn’t grounded. Singer Chris Bell, from the band Big Star, was killed in a car accident, as well singer Jacob Miller. Ron Mckeran, from the Greatful Dead, died from a hemorrhage. Roger Lee Durham, singer from Bloodstone, died after he was thrown from a horse. Pat Ham, from Badfinger, hanged himself.
In the 1980’s, Jacob Miller from the band Inner Circle, died from a car accident. Alex Basquait from the band, Gary died of an overdoes from a speed ball. Pete de Fretias from Echo and the Bunnyman died in a bike accident. In the 1990’s, Chris Austin who worked with Reba, died in a plane crash. Rappers Stretch, Fat Pat, and Freaky Tah were all murdered. Rickey Edwards from the band, Manic Street Preachers vanished at the age of 27 without a trace and presumed dead. One of the saddest cases was Mia Zapata from the band, The Gits. Mia was beaten and killed while walking home. She was in the wrong place, and the wrong time. Her case was cold for years, and fellow grunge artists raised money to hire a P.I. to help find her killer. He was found in 2002 and was tried and found guilty. Kurt Cobain from Nirvana was murdered in 1994. (That’s right, I said murdered!) Kristen Praff from the band Hole, died of an apparent overdoes.
Continuing on with this club up until the present day, here are a few more sad examples. Mexican singer, Valentin Elizadale, was gunned down after his concert along with his assistant and manager. Amy Winehouse, sadly died of her addiction to alcohol. Richard Turner, from Friendly Fire, died of a heart attack. Singer Orich Grinstead, died of kidney failure. Bryan Ottoson, from American Head Changed died of an overdose. Achick Spin from the band, Spin, died in a traffic accident. James Larwance, from Friendzone, died of an unknown reason in 2017.
This is just a small example of a very long list that can be traced back to 1938, of people working in the music industry who died at the age of 27. It is very hard to ignore the staggering numbers of people who have died! It really does seem like some sort of curse. However, everyone dies. I am not sure if this number really is that staggering considering you are only looking at a small percentage of people. For example, would this number be just as high for office workers? The lifestyle of a musician seems to be a contributing factor in their deaths. Many people are addicted to several substances, and have the means to buy whatever they want. Creative people are famous for having issues with self-esteem and depression. Mental illness is still a very taboo topic, but would have been even worse 40 or 50 years ago. There are some very sad examples of illness and murder that can happen to anyone, at any age. These people just happened to be 27 and work in the music world.
I don’t think that there is any sort of real club, nor is it anyone’s goal to be part of it. The life of a rock star can be short, depending on how they decided to live their life. It’s not always glamour and glitz, but can be a very dark world. I don’t think there is a curse, like some people have suggested, because we are only looking at a small part of the population. Now, it is strange that this small part of the population is passing away at the age of 27, but I don’t think people are having their lives end just because their 26th year is up. There are some very tragic cases, and some very real cover-ups that have gone on with many of these people and their deaths. Maybe that is why people are fixated on the curse of the 27 club. In the end, none of us are safe from the same fate, it only matters what we do with the time we have been given. They have been remembered for their contribution to the world of music. What will you be remembered for?
What do you think? Do you believe that there is the curse of the 27 Club? Leave your comments below.
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