If your age is 28 or older and you are reading this then you are probably not a rock star.
So you are obviously not dead.
I am going to be the umpteenth person to write about this subject: The Long List of Musicians Who Die At The Age of 27. I do so because there was a time when I thought to myself: “If you ever ‘make it’ in music then you will die at the age of 27.”
It was because of the Hendrix/Joplin/Morrison triage that I actually thought like this, like it was somehow an honor, or a rite of passage into rock legend status. You should die a young, usually substance abuse related, death.
At the age of 27 of course.
Then came along ol Kurt and his suicide which brought a more modern member to the list. It had been a while since any rock star that famous had died the 27 death. Almost 20 years later Amy Winehouse joins the group. What each have in common is obvious, but it does make you wonder if these artists were thinking something similar themselves? Like, man, I gotta take advantage of everything all of the time. Full indulgence. Because it’s either expected from me, available, part of the lifestyle, or a serious issue I have to deal with in the public eye. I’m not saying this isn’t pressure that 98% of musicians trying to make it wouldn’t want to have. It’s like a baseball fan saying how much they would love an athletes lifestyle, to get paid that much for just playing a game.
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1. Sid Vicious
Will any argue that this non talented, drug addicted, pathetic human being doesn’t deserve to be on this list? Let break it down: he couldn’t play bass, he couldn’t sing, he murdered his girlfriend, and he was so fucked up most the time, he would wear swastika t-shirts as some sort of punk rock statement. For some reason, legions of fans of the Sex Pistols have glorified and deified this man into some Godfather of the Punk Movement while greats like Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer (who had more talent in his left ass cheek than Sid had in his entire body), and Joey Ramone, though get their dues, are no where near the legend that Sid is. The most he ever contributed to music was an attitude.
2. Jim Morrison
As a friend recently told me, “Jim Morrison is a drunk stripper who was somehow romanticized into the greatest rock poet of a generation”. No one is questioning his abilities as a front man (behind Mick Jagger and David Lee Roth, it doesn’t get much better than Morrison). But to have movies made about his life, and book after book written about his lyrical genius is absurd to me. I love the Doors and their music. But lets face it, he wasn’t even close to being the best lyricist of his generation (can anyone say “Dylan”?), and his voice was a drunken howl at best. Though The Doors influence can still be heard throughout modern music, and Morrison truly was one of the first rock-n-roll clichés, I cant help but think that if not for Rolling Stone magazine, classic rock radio, and Oliver Stone, Jim Morrison would be about as popular as John Densmore (don’t know who he is? Exactly)
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