With the tragic, but perhaps not too surprising, death of Amy Winehouse earlier today, we can now add her name to the 27 Club. The 27 Club is a group of rock musicians who died at the young age of 27, including highly influential musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain.
The death of Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones kickstarted the phenomenom. Jones drowned in a swimming pool in July of 1969 and the coroner’s report labeled it as “death by misadventure.” Next came Jimi Hendrix who died in September of 1970 by asphyxiation after mixing sleeping pills and alcohol.
- Amy Winehouse found dead
- Foo Fighters: Back and Forth proves Grohl as the anti-rock star
- Chris Cornell talks Soundgarden reunion, his hair
Just a little over two weeks later Janis Joplin died in October 1970 from a heroin overdose. In July of 1971 Jim Morrison of The Doors died of supposed “heart failure” but the details were murky.
Nirvana’s engimatic frontman, Kurt Cobain, died in April 1994 at the height of his fame from a supposed gunshot wound to the head, combined with high amounts of heroin found in his body.
While these are the most famous of musicians who belong to the 27 Club, there are many, many more who also died at the age of 27. Robert Johnson, famous guitarist who was said to have sold his soul to the devil, died at the age of 27 under suspicious circumstances, but poisoning by strychnine is often mentioned. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead also passed away in his 27th year of a hemorrhage caused by alcoholism.
The Stooges bassist, Dave Alexander, died from pulmonary edema. Kristen Pfaff of Hole died of a supposed heroin overdose. The Mars Volta and De Facto member Jeremy Michael Ward also died of a heroin overdose.
So what is it about the age of 27 combined with some of the most influential and rock ‘n roll greats? Drugs seem to play a signficant part in the death of the majority of these tragic deaths. Is it that immensely creative people feel the need to use/abuse drugs as part of creating the music they are so famous for? Is there no correlation at all to rock stars, but just simply the consequences of what happens when people of any population continually abuse drugs?
The death of Amy Winehouse is a tragedy, as it is when any young person dies, for whatever reason. As of yet, there are no confirmed reports of how Winehouse died, although her struggles with heroin and other drugs is well documented. If it does turn out that her death was caused by drug abuse, will it affect the struggles for others going down the same path?
What do you think about Amy Winehouse’s death? How about the 27 Club? Let us know in the comments below!
For information and updates on all Houston concerts and tour dates, exclusive interviews and more, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or you can subscribe at the top of the article to get updates delivered straight to your inbox.