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Admittance to the Musicians 27 Club.

Updated on July 25, 2011

The 27 Club

Getting into the musicians "27 Club" one has to be a musician and then die at the age of 27. Some musicians have had tragic ends to their lives, along with being very young. Some, if not many have died in plane crashes, others have died in car accidents, suicides, and drug overdose's. There has also been a few that have died at a younger age. For instance those that have died much younger than 27 are Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. For me Michael Jackson dying just short of his 50th is still young. The number of musicians dying at 27 is a fairly long list compared to other age brackets.

An interesting side note might be what does the number 27 signify? Not much but if you break it down 2+7=9 with the number nine as the sum. One of the meanings of the number 9 is completeness, and is also the length of human gestation. Other interpretations are that it means finality or judgment. There are many that have made it on the list that are only known to those that really follow music. Then there are a few that are very well known and were famous at the time of their demise.

This is only a partial list.

Mia Zapata
Mia Zapata

Lesser Known Members of the 27 Club

Robert Johnson: August 16, 1938 was a well known bluesman and died from poisoning.

Jesse Belvin: February 6, 1960 was an R&B singer, songwriter and died in a car crash.

Rudy Lewis: May 20, 1964 was a vocalist for the Drifters and died from a drug overdose.

Alan Wilson: September 3, 1970 singer for Canned Heat and died from a drug overdose.

Ron McKernan: March 8, 1973 founding member of the Grateful Dead dies as a result of alcoholism.

Roger Lee Durham: July 27, 1973 singer for the band Bloodstone and died from injuries sustained while riding a horse.

Wallace Yohn: August 12, 1974 organ player for Chase and died in a plane crash.

Dave Alexander: February 10, 1975 bassist for the Stooges and dies from pulmonary edema.

Peter Ham: April 24, 1975 member of the band Badfinger and died by hanging himself.

Gary Thain: December 8, 1975 bassist for Uriah Heep and died from a drug overdose.

D. Boon: December 22, 1985 was the lead singer for the punk band Minutemen was sleeping in the back of a van when it went off the road and was ejected out of the vehicle.

Pete de Freitas: June 14, 1980 drummer for Echo & the Bunnymen and died in a motorcycle accident.

Mia Zapata: lead singer for the Gits who was murdered in Seattle in 1993.

Kristen Pfaff: June 16, 1994 bassist for Hole and died from a heroin overdose.

Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin
Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison
Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain

27 Club's Most Notable

Brian Jones one of the founders of the Rolling Stones and could play multiple instruments was found dead in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969. Some controversy around his death and was recently reexamined by Scotland Yard.

Jimi Hendrix was a pioneering guitarist and songwriter took an overdose of sleeping pills and asphyxiated on his own vomit.

Janis Joplin was a vocalist and songwriter died in 1974 from a drug overdose.

Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971 and was the powerful lead singer for the Doors. He was a songwriter and poet. Cause of death was heart failure and his death was controversial.

Kurt Cobain was the troubled lead singer and songwriter for Nirvana. Kurt took his own life in April 1994 from a shotgun blast.

Amy Winehouse she was found dead in her apartment and at this time autopsy is being performed. The trouble singer had been battling addiction.

They may be gone but their influence on music continues.  When you look at the list you realize that many of these deaths could have been avoided.  Fame for some can be a hardship because of the notoriety that comes with it.  This leads to the ultimate decision that life is better if ended.  In using drugs and alcohol which may contribute to their thinking that suicide is the answer.  Then the other side of abusing your body is that it just gives out.  At 27 if your body just gives up, then they were not taking very good care ot it.  Then you have accidents, and murders that seem even more pointless.  Fate or someone steps into your life and takes your life away.  No matter how they ended up on the list, it is way too young.



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    • iskra1916 profile image


      8 years ago from Belfast, Ireland.

      Very interesting article!

      I enjoyed reading it.

      Keep up the good work


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