If rock music is shrouded with any myth or supernatural phenomenon then all fingers point to 27 Club. Avid lovers of rock music must know about this club. It is not really a true club as such. It actually refers to group of rock ‘n’ roll musicians who died at the age of 27.
The list is pretty long and that’s precisely why the mystery of 27 Club keeps fascinating us. Is there something supernatural? Is it devil’s business?
Literally no one knows and dead do not speak. All that we know is that some truly great names like Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and more are associated with this club. So, let us today learn 13 interesting 27 Club facts.
27 Club Facts: 1-6
1. Dying at the age of 27 may not seem so uncanny but when the death toll of musicians aged 27 go over 50, there is no wonder that people will have their eyebrows raised in suspicion. Yes, there are more than 50 musicians who have died at that age.
2. Many daily press, journals and music magazines have repeatedly cited the ’27 Club’. No wonder that several movies, stage plays and novels have used the ‘club’ as their central theme.
3. Charles R. Cross, biographer of Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain once wrote that people die at different ages and 27 should not be taken so seriously but the spike in number of deaths is truly remarkable.
4. British Medical Journal published a study in 2011 where it was stated that there was no evidence of risk of death increasing for musician at the age of 27. The study did mention that probability of death of sampled musicians in their 20’s and 30’s was definitely high but in no way it could be deduced that they would die at the age of 27.
5. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Alan Wilson, and Brian Jones all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. The possibility of any kind of connection between their ages of death was kept away from public press.
6. The idea of 27 Club became the focal point of public and press after the death of Kurt Cobain almost 25 years after the last death occurred.
27 Club Facts: 7-13
7. Charles R. Cross says that an interview of Kurt Cobain’s mother and the rapidly spreading digital and paper media was primarily responsible for the birth of the idea of 27 Club.
8. Wendy Fradenburg Cobain O’Connor said in an interview of the newspaper ‘The Daily World’ – “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to join that stupid club.” According to Charles R. Cross, Wendy actually referred to Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin who died at the age of 27.
9. According to Eric Segalstad and Josh Hunter, the authors of ‘The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock n Roll’, Wendy was actually referring to Cobain’s great uncle and two uncles who had committed suicide. Cobain also committed suicide.
10. Many conspiracy theorists say that Cobain actually committed suicide simply because he wanted to join the club.
11. After Cobain’s death, the 27 Club somewhat lost media attention. It was however revived by death of Amy Winehouse in 2011, 17 years after Cobain’s death.
12. Interestingly Winehouse actually expressed her fear of dying at the age of 27 three days prior to her death.
13. After Robert Johnson died in 1938, a legend grew over time that Robert had a pact with the Devil. It is being said the Robert wanted to become a famous blues musician and one night he took his guitar to Dockery Plantation at midnight where the Devil tuned his guitar and played a few songs and returned it to Robert. Since then, Robert quickly mastered the instrument and became one of most popular blues musician. So, people say that Robert gave his soul to the Devil in exchange of popularity and that Devil found 27 was a good age to take Robert!
Here is a list of popular musicians who died at the age of 27 and joined the 27 Club:
- Alexandre Levy: 1892 – Unknown.
- Louis Chauvin: 1908 – Neurosyphilitic sclerosis.
- Robert Johnson: 1938 – Possibly strychnine poisoning.
- Nat Jaffe: 1945 – High BP complications.
- Jesse Belvin: 1960 – Car accident.
- Rudy Lewis: 1964 – Drug overdose.
- Malcolm Hale: 1968 – CO poisoning.
- Dickie Pride: 1969 – Sleeping pills OD.
- Brian Jones: 1969 – Drowning.
- Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson: 1970 – Possibly suicide with barbiturate OD.
- Jimi Hendrix: 1970 – Asphyxiation.
- Janis Joplin: 1970 – Heroin OD.
- Arlester “Dyke” Christian: 1971 – Homicide.
- Jim Morrison: 1971 – Heart failure.
- Linda Jones: 1972 – Diabetes complications.
- Leslie Harvey: 1972 – Electrocution.
- Ron “Pigpen” McKernan: 1973 – Gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
- Roger Lee Durham: 1973 – Death by injuries after falling off a horse.
- Wallace Yohn: 1974 – Plane crash.
- Dave Alexander: 1975 – Pulmonary edema.
- Pete Ham: 1975 – Suicide (hanging).
- Gary Thain: 1975 – Heroin OD.
- Cecilia: 1976 – Car accident.
- Helmut Köllen: 1977 – CO poisoning.
- Chris Bell: 1978 – Car accident.
- Jacob Miller: 1980 – Car accident.
- D. Boon: 1985 – Van accident.
- Alexander Bashlachev: 1988 – Fell from a height (possibly intentional jump).
- Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1988 – Speedball OD.
- Pete de Freitas: 1989 – Motorcycle accident.
- Mia Zapata: 1993 – Homicide.
- Kurt Cobain: 1994 – Gunshot suicide.
- Kristen Pfaff: 1994 – Heroin OD.
- Richey Edwards: 1995 – Disappeared; presumed dead in 2008.
- Fat Pat: 1998 – Homicide.
- Freaky Tah: 1999 – Homicide.
- Rodrigo Bueno: 2000 – Car accident.
- Sean Patrick McCabe: 2000 – Asphyxiation.
- Maria Serrano Serrano: 2001 – Plane crash.
- Jeremy Michael Ward: 2003 – Heroin OD.
- Bryan Ottoson: 2005 – OD by prescription drug.
- Valentín Elizalde: 2006 – Homicide.
- Amy Winehouse: 2011 – Alcohol poisoning.
- Richard Turner: 2011 – Cardiac arrest.
The question is, were these musicians cursed? Or, did they go overboard with their fame and money that became responsible for their death?