“And every now and then I think about the fact that I’d become a legend if I died at 27.”
– Uno, Rex Orange County.
The Forever 27 Club has variously been referred to as a cult, a rock and roll myth, a historically real phenomenon, an artistic curse, and a marketing strategy. It could be all of them or none of them.
Forever 27 – What Is it Really?
This ‘Club’ refers to an eclectic group of musicians and other artists from various fields who died at the age of 27 precisely, due to a variety of accidental causes, largely related to substance abuse and drug or alcohol overdoses and the like.
The Club began to take shape with the sudden deaths of a number of rock and roll sensations between the years of 1969 to 1971. From Janis Joplin to Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones – all of them died sudden and accidental deaths at the age of 27 in that brief span of time, causing people to take notice of the emerging pattern. This pattern crystallized into a cultural phenomenon and ultimately into the Forever 27 Club with the death of musician Kurt Cobain at the same age under similar circumstances in 1994.
Since then, this exclusive club has gathered more members into its growing fold, causing medical journals and research groups to take notice and delve into the why of this apparent ‘spike’ in artistic deaths at the given age of 27. The lifestyle of the concerned individuals, of course, played a part in this phenomenon with substance abuse being a thread which connects not a few of these individuals and in fact, their sudden and untimely deaths. From Joplin to Lewis to Winehouse and more – drug or alcohol abuse has been the factor that kept swelling the ranks of the 27 Club.
Here we’re going to be talking about some of these figures, illustrious artists and troubled individuals connected by the sudden nature of their deaths due to unsustainable lifestyles that eroded with repeated substance abuse at large, in more ways than one.
“May you stay, – Forever young!”
The lives of these talented artists were radiant and briefly, like shooting stars, they lit up the stage of their fields of music and art. But like the shooting stars, their fire died tragically young due to a variety of drug and alcohol abuse issues. The Forever 27 Club is not an attempt to glorify the tragic and pathetic burning out of these talents. It is a sad memorial to the fallacy and the unfortunately dark reality of the glamorous rock and roll life, and a cautionary tale against the demons of drug and alcohol abuse.