Amy Winehouse, the British rocker known for her voice, music, and debauchery, has joined the infamous 27 Forever Club.
This is an exclusive group only rock stars can join by self-destructing at 27 years of age.
(One personal side note. I find it egregious that Robert Johnson is continuously left of this 27 Forever list. He was the king of the Delta Blues who transformed the guitar forever and is idolized by cult-like followers. He also died at age 27).
The media calls the 27 Forever Club a phenomenon. Psychiatrists say it’s a deadly age to be. Superstitious folk declare other powers at work, forces beyond our worldly understanding.
Why do so many rock stars die at 27?
Here’s the truth. Some famous Rock musicians die at 27. Average Rock musicians die at 30, or any other age for that matter. These include singers and songwriters and guitarists who were never the most known or flashy, but were truly in it for the love of the music.
In fact, by my amateur research, it seems a rock star is likely to die at any age, not just 27. Some die young from drugs. Others die in plane crashes like Buddy Holly and John Denver and members of Lynyrd Skynyrd. A few develop cancer and other life threatening diseases in their 50s and 60s like Frank Zappa.
Let’s take a quick look at some musicians who died at the age of 30.
Nick Acland of the band “Lush” killed himself at age 30
Marc Bolan of the band “T Rex” was killed by a car at age 30
Jeff Buckley drowned at the age of 30
Tommy Caldwell of “The Marshall Tucker Band” was killed by a car at age 30
Steve Clark of “Def Leppard”drank himself to death at age 30
Jim Croce died in a plane crash at age 30
Pete Farndon of “The Pretenders” overdosed at age 30
Andy Gibb (Little brother of the Bee Gees) died from a heart condition at age 30
With all this overwhelming evidence that 30 is a treacherous age for musicians, we focus only on rock stars who die at 27. We give them their own special club. It is full of noteworthy musicians. But other than that, the age distinction is unwarranted.
So, next time somebody tells you that 27 is a deadly age for rockers, just agree with them. And add, “Yep. And so is age 37, and age 52, and age 45.” And so on.
Before I go, let’s talk about one more category of Rock musician. These are the singers who will never die, like Chuck Berry. Chuck will live on, both literally and figuratively, forever.