They call it the ’27 Club’, the exclusive list of musicians who died at age 27.
This weekend Amy Winehouse joined the club featuring The Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison, Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Amy Winehouse was found dead on Saturday in her London apartment, the apparent victim of a drug overdose.
Rolling Stones guitarist and founder Brian Jones started the club on July 3, 1969. He was found dead in his swimming pool. The coroner ruled it was “Death by misadventure”.
Jimi Hendrix was next. He died on September 18, 1970 choking on his own vomit after a night of pills and alcohol.
Three weeks later on October 4, 1970, Janis Joplin was dead. An official cause of death has never been given but Janis is said to have died from a heroin overdose.
Jim Morrison’s death is also somewhat sketchy. He was found dead in his Paris apartment after having left the Doors and moving to France. Jim’s girlfriend at the time, Pamela Courson, found him dead in the bathtub. She said he had died from a heroin overdose but the official cause of death is listed as heart failure. Pamela died from a heroin overdose three years later. Jim died on July 3, 1971.
Kurt Cobain was death by suicide. The lead singer of Nirvana shot himself on April 5, 1994.
Maybe the 27 Club goes back to 1938. That was the year blues singer Robert Johnson died from Strychnine poisoning at age 27. Johnson was the most influential blues musician ever, inspiring the Stones, Eric Clapton, AC/DC and thousands of musicians.
Legend has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads near Dockery Plantation in Mississippi at midnight. He took his guitar to the crossroads and met the devil who tuned it for him. The devil played him some songs and then returned the guitar. In exchange, Johnson gave his soul. The devil called in the deed when Johnson turned 27.
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