Some of the rock stars certainly wanted their music to live forever, but judging their lifestyles, same wishes didn’t apply to their own lives. The infamous ”27 Club”, also known as the ”Forever 27 Club”, is a name for a group of influential rock and blues musicians who all died at the age of 27. The deaths of these rock stars really changed the way we look at rock music.
The impetus for the club’s creation were the deaths of Jones, Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison. Cobain, who died in 1994, was the youngest member of ”27 Club”. Janis was the only member of the infamous club whose death wasn’t controversial. According to the book ”Heavier Than Heaven”, when Cobain died, his sister claimed that as a kid he would talk about how he wanted to join the 27 Club. ”The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll” details the history of this phenomenon.
Brian Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969) was an English musician and a founding member of The Rolling Stones. His main instruments were the guitar and the harmonica, but he played a wide variety of other instruments. He was originally the leader of the group, but Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon overshadowed him. Jones developed a serious substance abuse problem over the years and his role in the band steadily diminished. He left the Rolling Stones in June 1969 to be replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor.
Jones died less than a month later in his own swimming pool, at the age of 27 years and 125 days. At around midnight on the night of 2–3 July 1969, Jones was discovered motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm. His Swedish girlfriend, Anna Wohlin, was convinced he was alive when they took him out, insisting he still had a pulse. However, by the time the doctors arrived, it was too late, and he was pronounced dead. The coroner’s report stated “death by misadventure”, and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in musical history, and one of the most influential musicians of his era across a range of genres.
Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London, at the ago of 27 years and 295 days. According to surgeon John Bannister, the doctor who initially attended to him, Hendrix had asphyxiated in his own vomit, mainly red wine which had filled his airways. Later, Bannister was being investigated for malpractice and fraud (unconnected to Hendrix). Monika Dannemann, Jimies girlfriend at the time, publicly claimed that she had only discovered that her lover had been sick at 11.00 a.m., but he was breathing, though unconscious and unresponsive, and that Hendrix was alive when placed in the back of the ambulance at approximately 11:30, and that she rode with him on the way to the hospital. The ambulance crew later denied she was even there. However, Dannemann’s comments about the timing of some events that morning often differed in places, varying from interview to interview.
Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American singer, songwriter, painter, dancer and music arranger. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist with her backing groups. At the height of her career she was known as The Queen of Rock and Roll as well as The Queen of Psychedelic Soul. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004, and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Janis Joplin diest at the age of 27 years and 258 days. When she failed to show up at the studio, her road manager John Cooke, drove to her place. Upon entering her room, he found her dead on the floor beside her bed. The official cause of death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol. Cooke believes that Joplin had accidentally been given heroin which was much more potent than normal, as several of her dealer’s other customers also overdosed that week. Joplin was cremated and her ashes were scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean and along Stinson Beach. Joplin’s will funded $2,500 to throw a wake party in the event of her demise.
James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American lead singer and lyricist of the American band The Doors. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history.
Morrison died on July 3, 1971. at the age of 27 years and 207 days. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub by his long-term companion Pamela Courson. Pursuant to French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison’s cause of death. In Wonderland Avenue, Danny Sugerman discussed his encounter with Courson after she returned to the U.S. According to Sugerman’s account, Courson stated that Morrison had died of a heroin overdose, having insufflated what he believed to be cocaine. Sugerman added that Courson had given numerous contradictory versions of Morrison’s death, at times saying that she had killed Morrison, or that his death was her fault. Courson’s story of Morrison’s unintentional ingestion of heroin, followed by accidental overdose, is supported by the confession of Alain Ronay, his friend, who has written that Morrison died of a hemorrhage after snorting Courson’s heroin, and that Courson nodded off instead of phoning for medical help, leaving Morrison bleeding to death.
There was evan a rumor that Morrison may not have died at all. This theory led to considerable distress for Morrison’s loved ones over the years, notably when fans would stalk them, searching for evidence of Morrison’s whereabouts.
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from its second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled “the flagship band” of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as “the spokesman of a generation”. Cobain however was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana’s audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993).
During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression, his fame and public image, as well as the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, at the age of 27 years and 44 days, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have become a topic of public fascination and debate.
Cobain’s body was discovered at his Lake Washington home by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system. A suicide note was found, addressed to Cobain’s childhood imaginary friend “Boddah”, that said, paraphrasing, “I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now”. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in his body. Cobain’s body had been lying there for days; the coroner’s report estimated Cobain to have died on April 5, 1994.