Saturday, November 26, 2011


Singer Amy Winehouse (14/9/1983 - 23/7/2011) is the newest member of the so-called Club 27, also known as Forever 27 Club.

The members? Great rock idols who died at age 27 having inn common, talent to spare and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

The coincidence (or not?) inspired Eric Segalstad and Josh Hunter to write a book: "The 27's - The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll", released by the publisher Samadhi Creations.

In 2008, the exhibition "Forever 27" gathered in London, photos of musicians who died at... 27 of course.

See below a summary of some of those who have left the world of music at the early age of 27:

1. Janis Joplin (19/1/1943 - 4/10/1970)

Known for her husky and singular voice, the American singer Janis Joplin recorded wonders like the albums Cheap Thrills (1968) and Pearl (1971).

The artist, who was in Brazil in 1970 with her tour was the victim of a heroin overdose when she was at the end of the recording sessions for Pearl.

2. Jim Morrison (8/12/1943 - 3/7/1971)

One of the great poets of rock and totally unpredictable: He was able to present a wonderful or horrible show, depending on his mood.

The Doors (1967), Strange Days (1967) and LA Woman (1971) are some of his best albums with the Doors.

He was considered the greatest sex symbol of the rock in the 60, which irritated him. His body was found in a hotel in Paris, France. The cause of his death is uncertain. 

3. Jimi Hendrix (27/11/1942 - 18/9/1970)

He is still considered the greatest guitarist in rock history, recorded spectacular albums as Axis Bold As Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968).

He died suffocated on his own vomit after a mixture of sleeping pills and alcohol.

4. Brian Jones (28/2/1942 - 3/7/1969)

This guitarist created and named a legendary band, "The Rolling Stones". The great musician ended up dipping into drugs and being fired from his own group by Mick Jagger.

He was found dead in his swimming pool, drowned, just one day after being fired. Even today some believe he was murdered.

Jones was the first rock musician to die at the age of 27. 

5. Kurt Cobain (20/2/1967 - 5/4/1994)

The greatest myth of rock in the 90s. Singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of the American group Nirvana, who released the brilliant Nevermind (1991) and In Utero (1993).

He did not know how to handle success, and his end was tragic: he committed suicide with a shotgun wound to the head.

He did shows full of ups and downs with Nirvana in Brazil in January 1993, and reached a recording studio in Rio de Janeiro.

6. Richey James Edwards (22/12/1967 - 14/2/1995)

He was the lyricist and rhythm guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers, one of the leading British bands of the 90s.

One day before the band travel to the United States, he simply disappeared.

Until now his whereabouts are unknown.

7. Robert Johnson (8/5/1911 - 16/8/1938)

This singer, songwriter and guitarist is considered the most influential blues man of his time.

Legend has it that he had sold his soul to the devil at a crossroad to become an excellent guitarist, singer and composer and he died so early just because of this.

Officially, he was the victim of poisoning and pneumonia.

8. Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (4/7/1943 - 3/9/1970)

The Canned Heat was one of the leading American blues bands of the 60s, and Alan was their guitarist. He knew every great work of the genre.

Future Blues (1968), best album of the group, played a major part by Alan.

He was found dead by his bandmates, overdosed on pills with gin.

 9. Kristen Pfaff (26/5/1967 - 16/6/1994)

Kristen Pfaff played bass with Hole, the band led by Courtney Love, the wife of Kurt Cobain. She joined the group and participated in their best-selling album, Life Through This (1994).

She would have had a quick affair with Kurt. By tragic coincidence, Kristen was also found dead, overdosed, and also at the age of 27, two months after Cobain.

10. Gary Thain (15/5/1948 - 8/12/1975)

This New Zealand's Bassist is still considered one of the best in the history of heavy metal, and lived his golden years as a member of Uriah Heep, participating in albums like Demons And Wizards (1972).

In September 1975 he was electrocuted on stage. He made it out alive, but his life was never the same. Uriah Heep was dismissed due to his heroin addiction, depression and died of an overdose.

 11. Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan (8/9/1945 - 8/3/1973)

McKernan played keyboard at the Grateful Dead, one of the experimental bands of the hippie generation. He was the one who appeared more in shows, because he was known to hold the attention of the public.

Unfortunately, he also drank like there was no tomorrow and died of gastrointestinal bleeding.

12. Pete Ham (27/4/1947 - 24/4/1975)

Singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Welsh group Badfinger, he was one of the few that knew how to avail themselves of the influence of the Beatles, launched works as Straight Up (1971).

After falling out with his manager and unfortunate financial situation problems he hanged himself at his home in England, three days before his birthday.

13. Chris Bell (12/1/1951 - 27/12/1978)

The singer, songwriter and guitarist was another American who took great influences of The Beatles.

Beside the singer, songwriter and musician Alex Chilton joined the band Big Star, which sold few records but influenced countless other rock bands such as REM and Oasis.

The lack of commercial success earned him severe depression. Died from a car accident.

14. Pete de Freitas (2/8/1961 - 14/6/1989)

Pete de Freitas was one of the best rock drummers in the '80s, and played with Echo & The Bunnymen.

He was with the band when they played in Brazil for the first time in 1987 in anthologic shows. Participated in great records, including Ocean Rain (1984) and Echo & The Bunnymen (1987). He died in a motorcycle accident.

15. Mia Zapata ( 25/8/1965 - 7/7/1993)

In September 1986, she and three friends formed The Gits, a famous punk rock band. She was the lead singer of the band.

In 1992 the band released their debut album, Frenching the Bully. The reputation of the band gradually increased in the Seattle grunge scene, before the band finally start working on their second (and last) album, Enter: The Conquering Chicken, which was eventually released in 1993.

Mia was raped and killed in the central district of Seattle. Many years after her death, the police finally caught her attacker, Jesus Mezquia.

16. D. Boon (1/4/1958 - 22/12/85)

Dennes Dale Boon was a composer, vocalist and guitarist. He graduated in 1980 with Mike Watt's influential punk band Minutemen.

Boon was lying on the back of a van in the Arizona desert, when the van left the road and he was thrown through the back door, breaking his neck and dying instantly.

17. David Michael Alexander (3/6/1947-10/2/1975)

He was bassist and founder of the influential rock band The Stooges. He was fired from the band in August 1970 after the presentation at the Goose Lake International Music Festival for being too drunk to be able to play.

In 1975 he died of pulmonary edema at 27 in Ann Arbor after being hospitalized with a diagnosis of pancreatitis caused by alcoholism.

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