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Let’s take a look at why so many great young rock talents die at 27 years old.  Was it money, fame, suicide, murder, or just plain old drug abuse?  I have been tracking this phenomenon for at least 20 years.  Long before Kurt Cobain, Shannon Hoon, Amy Winehouse, Pigpen, Paul McCartney, and Brad Nowell died at that tragic age… I was watching.  Though I have been fascinated by ‘the 27 Club’ for decades… I think we can credit Kurt Cobain with making it the phenom it is today in the lexicon.

Sure, there is the ‘big 3’ of Hendrix, Morrison, and Joplin.  All 27, and all dead within a year of each other.  Before that, though, we had:  Brian Jones, Robert Johnson, Pigpen, and list goes on.  I want to look at all of them, as a whole.  This will involve sweeping generalities.  Be aware of that up front.  I am speaking on the whole, at the meta level… but it will all be backed up with specific examples.

For now, I am breaking the site up in to themes around the main concept.  Each discussion theme has it’s own page up top.  This is my way of working in an outline to keep my thoughts organized.

I started this site because I have been looking for years for a good resource on the ’27 club’, and never found one.  Plenty of pages list the deaths, plenty of pages look at the individual cases.  None of them take the whole thing and put it up on one of those ‘beautiful Mind’ map boards and say “what the hell is going on here?  What are the commonalities?  Can we anticipate this?”   So, I started my own.

*** update July 2020

I have found a simpatico mind!  Jake Brennen, of ‘Disgraceland’ podcast and book fame, has launched a podcast exclusively about the 27 club.  I read that last year and did a quick review over here.

It’s done in blocks of 5 to 8 separate hour long pieces telling the arc of a single 27 club entrant.  Man, I would love to hear his thoughts on the phenomenon as a whole.  There is this passage at the end which is one my favorite music pieces ever.  It’s an imagined conversation between Elvis and:  his younger self?  His dead twin?  His unconscious?  It’s not totally clear, but its still amazing.  It is Elvis giving himself a good talking to in the middle of a drug induced fever of sorts.  It’s so thoughtful that I see why he calls his media production company ‘Double Elvis‘.

Let’s see if I can find it transcribed.  I can’t.  I could transcribe it, but its not my content.  and it would take too long. Its worth reading listening to the book just for that piece, though.

Me?  I am just super thankful I wasn’t that good of a guitarist at 27!

 

 

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