Club 27 Remembered

The 27 Club – comprises an eclectic and exclusive collection of influential musicians, all of whom died at the age of 27.

The curse of 27 is believed by some to have begun with the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, a primary influence on many modern guitar slingers, who is famously said to have made a Faustian deal with the Devil. Johnson’s life (and death) was poorly documented but the widely accepted, heavily romanticised version of events maintains that after beginning his career as a mediocre guitarist playing on street corners, he met the Devil at a crossroads near Dockery Plantation, Mississippi, at midnight. There, the Devil took his guitar, tuned it, and handed it back, giving him a mastery of the instrument and thereby inventing the Delta Blues.

Jimi Hendrix
Died September 18, 1970
Died of asphyxiation in his girlfriend’s London apartment.

Brian Jones
Died July 3, 1969
A month after being kicked out of the famous group he had helped form — the Rolling Stones — guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones drowned in his own swimming pool.

Jim Morrison
Died July 3, 1971
Died of heart failure in the bathtub of his Paris apartment. In accordance with French law, since there was no sign of foul play, no further investigation was performed.

Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan
Died March 8, 1973
Keyboardist and vocalist of the Grateful Dead, died from internal hemorrhaging caused by excessive drinking.

Janis Joplin
Died October 4, 1970
Solo star and singer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, died of a heroin overdose.

Robert Johnson
August 16, 1938
Rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil, and to have died after being poisoned by the jealous boyfriend of a woman he was talking to, just as famed talent scout John Hammond was trying to hand him a one-way ticket to fame and fortune.

Pete Ham
Died April 24, 1975
Badfinger singer and guitarist, killed himself.

Dave Alexander
Died February 10, 1975
Joined Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers to form the Stooges in 1967, died of pneumonia and an inflamed pancreas.

Kurt Cobain
Died April 5, 1994
The Nirvana singer had been in the public spotlight for less than three years when he took his life.

Amy Winehouse
Died July 23, 2011
Passed away from alcohol poisoning.

Kristen Pfaff
Died June 16, 1994
Hole bassist, died of a heroin overdose.

Chris Bell
Died December 27, 1978
A founding member of influential power pop band Big Star, lost control of the compact Triumph TR-7 sports car he was driving home from a late-night visit, smashing it and killing him instantly.

Mia Zapata
Died July 7, 1993
The Gits were an up-and-coming Seattle punk band when singer Mia Zapata was abducted after leaving a friend’s apartment. Her body was discovered less than two hours later; she had been beaten, raped and strangled to death.

Zapata’s murder was featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ but remained a cold case until Florida fisherman Jesus Mezquia was convicted of the crime more than a decade later.

Jeremy Michael Ward
Died May 25, 2003
An integral part of Mars Volta, he tragically passed away from a drug overdose just months before the release of Volta’s debut album, ‘De-Loused in the Comatorium.’

D. Boon
Died December 22, 1987
Singer-guitarist D. Boon helped form California post-punk band the Minutemen in 1980. Died when the band’s van was in an accident near Tucson, Ariz.

Richard Turner
Died August 19, 2011
Friendly Fires touring trumpet player Richard Turner was swimming in a pool in South London, when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest, dying from a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Richey James Edwards
November 23, 2008
Manic Street Preachers songwriter and guitarist Richey James Edwards was “presumed dead” after the Welsh rocker mysteriously went missing in 1995.

Gary Thain
December 8, 1975
The bassist from Uriah Heep, died of an overdose.

Pete de Freitas
June 14, 1989
Drummer for Echo and the Bunnyme, died in a motorcycle crash.

Alan Wilson
September 3, 1970
Lead singer and songwriter of Canned Heat. Died of an overdose.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
August 12, 1988
NYC based artist, friend of Andy Warhol, and founder of the band Gray. Died from a heroin overdose.

Rudy Lewis
May 20, 1964
Vocalist of The Drifters, died from drug overdose.

Including the following:

Louis Chauvin (Ragtime Musician, 26 Mar 1908)

Nat Jaffe (Jazz Pianist, 5 Aug 1945)

Jesse Belvin (Rhythm & Blues Singer, 6 Feb 1960)

Malcolm Hale (Spanky And Our Gang, 31 Oct 1968)

Dickie Pride (Singer, 26 Mar 1969)

Alexandra (Singer, 31 Jul 1969)

Arlester ‘Dyke’ Christian (Dyke And The Blazers, 13 Mar 1971)

Linda Jones (Soul Singer, 14 Mar 1972)

Leslie Harvey (Stone The Crows, 3 May 1972)

Roger Lee Durham (Bloodstone, 27 Jul 1973)

Wallace Yohn (Chase, 12 Aug 1974)

Cecilia (Singer, 2 Aug 1976)

Helmut Kollen (Triumvirat, 3 May 1977)

Alexander Bashlachev (Musician, 17 Feb 1988)

Stretch (Rapper, 30 Nov 1995)

Fat Pat (Rapper, 3 Feb 1998)

Freaky Tah (Lost Boyz, 28 Mar 1999)

Rodrigo Bueno (Singer, 24 Jun 2000)

Sean Patrick Mccabe (Ink & Dagger, 28 Aug 2000)

Maria Serrano (Passion Fruit, 24 Nov 2001)

Jeremy Ward (The Mars Volta, 25 May 2003)

Bryan Ottoson (American Head Charge, 19 Apr 2005)

Valentin Elizalde (Singer, 26 Nov 2006)

Orish Grinstead (702, 20 Apr 2008)

Lily Tembo (Musician, 14 Sept 2009)