27: A History of the 27 Club through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse
When singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home in 2011, the press inducted her into what Kurt Cobain’s mother named the 27 Club. “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club,” she said in 1994, after being told that her son, the front man of Nirvana, had committed suicide. “I told him not to…” Kurt’s mom was referring to the extraordinary roll call of stars who died at the same young age, including Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison of the Doors. All were talented. All were dissipated. All were 27.
In this haunting book, author Howard Sounes conducts the definitive forensic investigation into the lives and deaths of the six most iconic members of the Club, as well as some lesser known members, to discover what, apart from coincidence, this phenomenon signifies.
In a grimly fascinating journey through the dark side of the music business, Sounes uncovers a common story of excess, madness, and self-destruction. The fantasies, half-truths, and mythologies that have become associated with the Club are debunked. Instead, a clear and compelling narrative emerges, one based on hard facts, that unites these lost souls in both life and death.
27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club
The summer of 1969 was a momentous one in modern history. It was a season punctuated with change. Apollo 11 landed on the moon, thousands of young fans flocked to rock ‘n’ roll festivals like Woodstock and the controversial Altamont Freeway concert, the Manson Family cult were on a high-profile killing spree, and the first uprisings that would become the Stonewall Riots began. It was an electric summer of violent endings, new beginnings, and social unrest.
It was also the summer that a myth was born–beginning with the tragic, untimely death of Rolling Stones founder, Brian Jones. The world soon lost two more huge music stars: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Not only did losing these three beacons of music culture seem to signal the end of a musical era, it also felt like a foreboding sign; they had all died at exactly the same age. All three had lost their lives at the pinnacle of their creative output, and all three were exactly 27 years old.
People have speculated that there could be a dastardly lineage, from the poisoning of blues pioneer Robert Johnson in 1938, through these icons of the 60s, and more recently to rebel chanteuse Amy Winehouse’s death from alcohol poisoning in 2011. Could it be a twisted fate that the world’s very best creative souls come to early, often violent, deaths at just 27 years old? Over time, this idea began to be known as, “the 27 club,” and it has persisted in the public imagination.
In 27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club, rock ‘n’ roll icon Gene Simmons takes a deep dive into the life stories of these legendary figures, without giving credence to the romanticized idea that being in the “club” is somehow a perverse privilege. Simmons wills us to acknowledge the extraordinary lives, not the sensational deaths, of the musicians and artists who left an indelible mark on the world.
LIFE Gone Too Soon: The 27 Club- Rock Icons Who Died Too Young
The story of the 27 club is a one of brilliance: precious, fragile, and amazing to behold. Six musical artists who all happened to die at the same early age—27—did more than perform memorable songs: They expressed ideas and emotions that were shared by enthralled followers from their generations and beyond. The stories of these luminous artist lead to tragic ends. But the lives they led were transformative—to music, to culture, and to countless lives.
In Gone Too Soon: The 27 Club, LIFE pulls you into the brief and explosive lives of musicians Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse through photographs and interviews. Read how Hendrix uniquely mashed together blues and rock into a paisley-patterned kaleidoscope of sound, look at images of Cobain’s infamous MTV Unplugged special and much more. The legacy of these artists still lives and breathes onstage, embodied by musicians who looked to these icons for inspiration.
Please note that this product is an authorized edition published by Time Inc. and sold by Amazon. This edition is printed using a high quality matte interior paper and printed on demand for immediate fulfillment.
The 27 Club
Janis Joplin. Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse. Zachary Flowers. I always knew my brilliant brother would one day be listed among the great artistic minds of our time. I just didn’t know he would join the list of exceptional talents who left us too young, too soon.
I was always the calm one, the perfect foil to his freewheeling wild spirit. But since his death shortly after his 27th birthday, I’d found myself adrift and directionless.
I knew it was time to face my destiny, and I was ready to yield. But then I met Nate, Zachary’s best friend. Only he could help me put the pieces together, fill in the blanks that Zachary left behind. I needed him to answer my questions—and I wanted him for more. He awakened in me a sensuality that had never been explored, never satisfied. Nate’s presence controlled me, his touch seared me, and it was up to me to convince him that he was brought into my life for a reason….
NO CLIFFHANGER ENDING. THIS IS A STANDALONE ROMANCE.