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When your musical number’s up

July 23, 2011

What is it with Rock stars and dying at 27?  As they possibly could have said, “to lose one musical hero at 27 may be regarded as tragic; to lose any number of them looks like carelessness,” but it does seem a bit weird don’t you think?

It’s just been announced in the last hour or so that Amy Winehouse, ‘troubled’ singer who ‘didn’t wanna go to rehab’ has been found dead at her London home. It’s a little too early to speculate on what the cause of death is, but already there’s an internet link suggesting that drugs may have been involved. And let’s be honest, given the long history of self abuse and recent incoherent stage appearances, it wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise.

But it’s the 27 thing that gets me. The roll call of those who’ve rocked off this mortal coil at the same age is pretty stellar. Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and even that giant of the Delta Blues Robert Johnson all struck their last chord at the same age. And there are many lesser lights who’ve also recorded their mortal coda at one score year and seven (there’s a song there I’m convinced of it.).

Members of Badfinger, The Stooges and even Echo and the Bunnymen have all met their musicmaker at the same age. And let’s not forget those members of the Grateful Dead, the Drifters and even Richie from Manic Street Preachers who went missing, presumed dead at the same tender age.

There’s even been a book about it: The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll, created by Eric Segalstad (author) and Josh Hunter (illustrator): http://www.the27s.com/

I haven’t read it and have no idea what conclusions it draws, but it does highlight that it ain’t just me who thinks it strange. That’ll be the same reason why there’s also been a film and numerous websites: http://www.the27club.net/

And as I write I’ve just looked at wikipedia – and yes you’ve guessed it, Amy Winehouse has already been added to The 27 Club!

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