A lot of people make a big deal about the 27 club. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain are the most commonly named members. Some argue whether Cobain belongs, as there is evidence he committed suicide at age 27 partially so his name would be connected with the others. If we include him, we may be encouraging others to commit suicide at this age so they too can be members. The blues singer Robert Johnson isn’t named as often, but he too died at 27, and if you’re willing to accept non-musiciains, one could also include Columbian football player, Andres Escobar, American Football player, Pat Tillman, and actor Jonathan Brandis.
But are there any other clubs worth mentioning? Sure there are. The 27 club probably came about primarily because Brian, Janis, Jimi and Jim were all superstars, all born within two years of each other, all died within two years of each other, all at 27. Robert Johnson died back in 1938, which is one reason he is often forgotten.
However, one could argue the “30 club” is compelling:
Emily Bronte, English novelist, 1848
Patsy Cline, American singer, 1963
Sylvia Plath, American poet, 1963
Andy Gibb, British Singer, 1988
Jeff Buckley, American singer, 1994
There are some interesting members in the “32 Club”
Alexander the Great Macedonian King 323 BC
Brian Epstein, British businessman and manager of the Beatles, 1967
Bruce Lee, Chinese martial arts actor, 1973
Cass Elliot, American singer, 1974 (Mamas and the Papas)
Keith Moon, British drummer, 1978 (The Who)
John Bonham, British drummer, 1980 (Led Zeppelin)
Karen Carpenter, American singer, 1980 (The Carpenters)
Bill Hicks, American comedian, 1994
The “35 club” can even claim singers Phil Ochs (1976), Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990) and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (2004)….not to mention Mozart (1791)
So statistically, there really isn’t anything special about the number 27. You can find a group of famous people who died at any age. But this logic isn’t going to have an effect on the emotions of fans. So “The 27 Club” will live on.
Jim Morrison would be 62 today. He was born on December 8, 1943.
It should also be noted, that John Lennon was assassinated in 1980 on this date, at the age of 40. Which means Morrison would have been 37 when Lennon died, and I turn 37 in a month.