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"The 27 Club" refers to the popular musicians who died at the age of 27. Some of the most talented musicians and also the most troubled souls belong to the 27 club. Each of the members belonging to the club has their own tragic past and miserable life.
As I sit to write this article while listening to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," I find myself in a state of melancholy. Some names from the club are Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, etc.
Humans regularly die at all ages; it can be 26, 27 or any other number but what makes the 27 club so unique is the names which were in the club. I am not being biased here; it's just that I appreciate their work more, and I like listening to the 27 club exclusively.
Let's have a look at some of the members of the club, their contribution to music, rock n roll and for making today's music sound dull.
Kurt Cobain is the person who changed alternative rock forever and will always be remembered for his sad, rebelling and hoarse voice which best suits his guitar skills and his lyrics. Cobain was the one who was inspiring an entire generation. He had a troubled childhood and the main reason behind this was his parents' divorce when he was just 9.
In an interview, he said "I remember I was feeling ashamed, for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn't face some of my friends at school anymore because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, a typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that."
On his 14th birthday, his uncle offered him a choice and asked whether he wanted a bike, or a used guitar and Cobain took the guitar. Soon he was mastering Led Zeppelin and 'The Cars' songs. He rarely found someone at school with whom he could play music and vibe with. He also presented himself as homosexual by befriending one although he was not. He did this just to piss off homophobes and remain alone. Cobain was highly influenced by "The Beatles" and would often sing their songs when he was young.
Jim Morrison will always be remembered as the most iconic and influential figure in rock music. He was a rebellious and a counterculture icon who through his on and off stage acts made headlines. After graduating from school, Morrison lived a "bohemian lifestyle" in Venice Beach. He lived there with his friend Dennis Jacobs, who also wrote some of the songs of "The Doors." According to Jacobs, Jim lived on canned beans and LSD for several months. Soon "The Doors" was formed with Jim, Jacobs, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore.
The doors received nationwide acclaim after their single "Light My Fire" spent three weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. By the release of their second album "The Doors" had become one of the most popular bands in the United States. In 1967 he was arrested. In late 1967 at an infamous concert in 1967, Jim was arrested on stage! which further added to his controversial image among people.
Throughout his life, Jim was linked to various women, and he regularly had sex with groupies. Morrison later left L.A. and went to live in Paris because he enjoyed there and had peace. Jim died on July 3, 1971, at the age of 27. He was found in a bathtub, and the official cause of death was given as heart failure.
Jimi Hendrix was an American singer, songwriter and rock guitarist. He had a short career of just 4 years, but he was regarded as the most influential and the greatest guitarist of all time. He started playing guitar at the age of 15 and will always be remembered for his eccentric guitar playing. He even joined the army and after coming back the following year, he started doing small gigs.
He moved to England in late 1966 and within months earned 3 U.K. top 10 hits. He achieved fame in the U.S.A. after his performance in Monterey Pop Festival.
He made headlines at the Woodstock Festival as the world's highest paid performer at the age of 26. His music was inspired by rock n roll and electric blues. He had a rare ability to play the rhythm chords and the lead lines together.
He liked playing with overdriven amplifiers and gain (increased amplitude from input to output port). He was the first person to use the wah pedal (guitar effect pedal that creates a distinct voice often mimicking the human voice). He was the first to use such instruments to add to his music. According to his friends, he could not handle liquor and turned into a completely different destructive person after drinking. Sadly, Jimmy also joined the 27 club Illuminati.
Janis Joplin was an American singer and is widely regarded as the premier female blues vocalist of the 60s. She just did 4 albums in her musical career. Audience and critics both regarded her on stage presence as eccentric. She died due to a drug overdose in 1970.
Joplin remains as one of the top-selling musicians in the United States with around 15.5 million albums sold in the U.S.A. Joplin repeatedly came on and off drugs during her lifetime. Joplin also died at 27 and became another page in the 27 club book.
Amy Winehouse was an English songwriter and singer who was known for her musical style and her deep vocals. She was the first British female to win five Grammy awards. Her musical style was a mix of soul, rhythm, and blues. She loved her bee-hive hairdo and also the Cleopatra makeup. She was also an alcoholic and had too much of success and stardom at a very young age. It is argued mostly that Amy became a popular figure not because of her contribution to music but because of her lifestyle.
Whatever others think about the 27 club, I think that this club has a special place in framing the music throughout years.
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