Musicians’ The 27 Club

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When people here ‘27 Club it is rare for someone to even know about it. The 27 Club was created in the 1970’s. It was created after 4 very famous musicians tragically died between the years of 1969-1971. Even after those death it didn’t bring much attention. The idea of the 27 Club didn’t catch everyone’s attention until 1994 when Kurt Cobain died. When the creation of this club began it started off with believing that these artists made some kind of Satanic pact. Others of course believed they were just suicides. When you put more thought into it you can always agree that drugs and traumatic pasts have so much to do with them. The fame might have given them all they could have dreamed about, but it also gave them more to stress about like how people saw them and trying to achieve more than they could handle to keep the attention of their fans. It isn’t all fun and games even when you have the fame.  There are so many members when it comes to the 27 Club, but when someone mentions the club 6 members pop up into the conversation. The members include: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse.

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The first member to be put into the 27 Club was Brian Jones. He was born on February 28,1942. When Jones was 3 years old his 2 year old sister died of Leukemia. Since then his life was always revolved around her death. He is best known as the member of the Rolling Stones band. They created the band in 1962. As the band began playing different gigs and making music Jones began feeling left out which then led to use drugs and drink excessively. Jones began getting violent and started having mood swings even when on stage. At some point Jones got bad that he even got arrested. That’s led to the rest of the members to make the big decision of asking him to leave the band. So in 1969 Jones was officially asked to leave the band. Of course this led to Jones becoming depressed and he didn’t find anything he cared enough to live anymore. On July 3, 1969 Jones overdosed and was found at the bottom of his pool.

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Jimi Hendrix was also one of the first members to join the club. Jimi was born from a teen mom on November 27,1942. He didn’t have a good childhood. His mom was a drug addict and his father was a drinker. When Jimi’s father noticed that he was left handed he never let him forget that he was a devil’s child. His parents never seemed to get along, he grew up seeing them arguing. He ended up being bounced around to his relatives with his two younger brothers. His mom ended up dying when Jimi was 15 years old. Jimi taught himself to play the guitar. He started drugs and alcohol young to deal with of his father and of course his mother’s death. That didn’t stop him from achieving to follow his dream. He received so much fame because of his guitar skills. He was eventually known to be the Ultimate Guitarist. All the fame brought self-image issues and Jimi started to over-work himself trying to make more music and give his fan more than he was able to. This of course had Jimi using more drugs to either stay up or deal with the stress. He continued to drown himself in alcohol and drugs until he overdosed on September 18,1970.

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Janis Joplin was born on January 19.1943. She actually made a big change in the music industry for women. She was known as the First Lady of  Rock’N’Roll. When Janis was younger she was actually already known as the misfit. Unlike all the other kids at school she didn’t think black people were any different. When in school Janis was bullied because she had bad acne. Although she tried to ignore the bullies it didn’t affect her mentally. She was voted the Ugliest Boy in school. When she went to High School Janis began using drugs to deal with the bullies. Janis already knew she wanted to be famous. She loved to sing and she went out to seek for her opportunity. She bounced back and forth from her home to other states trying to find her opportunity, but failed every time. Rock wasn’t known from having women in the music industry, so that made it very difficult for Janis. She was already a heavy drinker, but the continuous failed attempts to achieve fame led to her doing drugs. She finally made her big Hit but when she performed she was nervous so she drank and did drugs before even walking up on stage. Janis was already bullied for how she looked in school so fame made it worse when it came to caring for her self-image. She overdosed on heroin on October 4, 1970.

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Jim Morrison was known to be an intelligent, yet lazy kid when it came to school. He was more on December 8,1943. His was was in the Navy was extremely strict. When Jim was around 5 years old he was in the car with his family when they passed by a horrible crashed truck. They drove by dead bodies on the road and some of the bodies were actually torn apart in pieces. Jim never forgot that image and actually wrote the song PeaceFrog. Growing up Jim’s dad was a strict man with many rules. Jim was more of a free spirit and began rebelling against his father. He began to drink to deal with his father. When he decided to go the film school his family was extremely unsupportive. He began doing music and it became more stress for Jim. He began to use drugs and more alcohol to deal with not only his personal life but also his public life. He joined The Doors Band. When Jim was on stage he began to have violent outbursts. Jim knew he was getting worse, so he took some time off from the band so he could try to get himself together. When taking that break it brought more depression for Jim. He didn’t stop the drugs and he started drinking all day. On July 3, 1971 Jim was found dead, overdosed on heroin in his bathtub.

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Kurt Cobain is best know as the member on The Nirvana Band which was created in 1988. Kurt was born on February 20,1967. Kurt’s parents got divorced and he got separated from his younger sister. This was a huge change for a small child especially when not knowing when you will see you sister. This made Kurt feel lonely and his parent’s remarried rather quickly.He began having self-image issues at a young age. When Kurt was a teen he found a dead body hanging from a tree. He found drugs when he moved in with his mom. In 1992 Kurt married Kourtney. They soon had a daughter. Kourtney was a heavy drug user which make Kurt continue using drugs. His cousin began noticing the amount of drugs Kurt was using and warned him that addiction and mental illnesses. Kurt didn’t pay attention to his cousin’s warning. In 1993, Kurt purposely overdosed on drugs but he was found soon enough to save him. He didn’t want to live anymore and having the fame and so much attention made him want to leave this earth sooner. He wrote a suicide note on the day of his death and he stated, “it’s better to burn out than fade away.” In his note he also left a few words for his daughter who he loved, but he just wasn’t strong enough to stay on earth anymore. On April 5,1994 Kurt put a gun to his mouth and instantly ended his pain.

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We then have Amy Winehouse who was actually one of the more recent lost life. Amy Winehouse was born on September 14,1983. Amy was daddy’s girl from the day she was born but when she was 9 years old her father left to live with his new girlfriend. This left Amy’s mother struggling as a single mother who Amy hated. Amy seemed to have resentment towards her mother because her father left. When Amy was in school she actually began taking antidepressants and she would self-harm to grab attention. By the time Amy was in her 20’s she was already a extremely heavy drinker. Amy got engaged and married  Blake Fielder-Civil in 2007. Blake he used heroin and other drugs; eventually he got Amy using them too . Blake soon became her supplier for the drugs. Blake and Amy eventually got divorced after 2 years because the drugs started becoming the one thing ruining their marriage. Amy continued of course after the divorce which is when she was sent to the hospital over overdrinking. Her doctor warned her that she would face death if she didn’t seek help. That warning didn’t really stick with Amy, she still continued to use drugs trying to deal with the fame, self-esteem and depression. She once told her friend Alex Hainsand she felt that she was going to join the 27 Club. Amy started having seizures caused by the amount of drugs she was using. Amy stopped paying attention to her music career and all she cared about was the drugs and alcohol. Everyone around her began to noticed how exhausted she seemed to be. Amy died on August 7, 2011 from overdose when she mixed heroine, cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, whisky, and vodka.

These musicians are still remembered for having amazing talents. They had difficult situations to deal with from a young age and believe that maybe a little fame can fix it all. Their past haunted them even with all the attention that they received. The music industry didn’t help them either handing them the amount of stress and work a single human can’t handle. All this leading  to the use of drugs. Hoping that maybe just for a short while they won’t feel exhausted, stressed or the pain from the past. We lost these talented people way too soon because they couldn’t see the meaning of living anymore. People are still trying to figure out why it is that they died at 27. The list for the 27 Club continues to grow still no exact answer to why these artists give up their life at that age. Fans lost their loved musicians and not for moment did these artist allow their fans to see the pain they held inside until their last day.

Work Cited

  • “Amy Said She Always Knew She’d Join The 27 Club.” Mail Sunday, P18, July 14,2018.
  • Editors. “Jimi Hendrix Biography.” website. April 2, 2014, ,access date Oct.10,2018.
  • Editors. “Jim Morrison Biography.” website. April 2, 2014, , Access date Oct 10,2018
  • Lord,Douglas C.  “A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse.” Library Journal, Vol 139 Issue 5, March 15,2014, p87-87,
  • Simon Napier-Bell. “ What rock’s 27 club told me about talent and mental illness.” Times, The(United Kingdom), p8,9-8,9, March 27,2018.
  • Lucijanic,Marko;Breitenfeld,Darko;Miletic,Jelena;Bulijan,Danijel;Ozimec-Vulinec,Stefanija. “Rock Musicians’ Club 27.” Alcoholism: Journal on Alcoholism & Related Addictions, Vol 46 Issue 2,2010,