Monday, 25 July 2011

The 27 Club

Someone pointed out, eerily, that recently deceased chanteuse Amy Winehouse is not alone among her peers in shuffling off this mortal coil at the tender age of 27. So many other rock stars have nose dived into self destruction at this age it is flippantly referred to as The 27 Club. The roll call is remarkable: Kurt Cobain, Robert Johnston, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones.

So why do so many of these high fliers crash and burn at such a tender age, leaving the rest of us to wonder what might have been? Is it the excesses of wealth and premature stardom? It's interesting to note that most child stars suffer in their adult years and the death toll is high, which would support this theory. Witness River Pheonix and Judy Garland. Or is that confusing cause and effect? Are they drawn to the risky life of entertainment by the same self-destructive streak that eventually kills them?

Whatever the answer, there is always something seductive about the young star dying in their prime. And in Whitehouse's case, the downward spiral could not have been more public. Only last month she was forced to pull out of a European tour after being booed off stage in her opening concert, clearly out of it and unable to even remember the words of her much loved songs.

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