Our admiration for those skilled in the art of weaving sounds into enchanting permutations of sweet melody has always been well-known. Wherever and whenever, great musicians have walked on earth, they’ve left a trail of crying fans and pure love in their wake. However, dare I say, the truly legendary ones tend to fly too close to the sun, and burn their gold-crusted wings much before their time.
Yes, some of our favorites have faced their demise long before any of us would have liked. How does that old saying go? “You’ll be famous when you’re dead.” It isn’t like they had no control over their fate; on the contrary- most of them lived what we call; a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever heard of a curious phenomenon people call the 27 Club? If you haven’t, get ready for the biggest string of ‘coincidences’ that form quite a prestigious club that only the most memorable musicians who’ve crashed and burned at the young age of 27 are a part of.
Let’s talk about our absolute favorites. Morrison, Hendrix, Joplin, and Cobain. All 4 were icons in their time, and yet were never very satisfied with the lives they were leading. This is usually the curse that plagues the exceptionally intelligent and talented. They see what most fail to comprehend, the sheer hopelessness in which humanity is drowning.
Considered geniuses in their field, much like Newton, Tesla, Michelangelo, they suffered from severe depression, while making us all love what they did on the stage, going through that pain in their personal lives, which they never could share even with their most loyal fans.
Being on top of the world yet tormented, they battled this the only way they knew how; DRUGS!
Jim Morrison– He was found dead on the 3rd of July 1971, in his bathtub at his apartment in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Most ruled his death as a ‘heart failure’, but after years of rumor and gossip, it is vaguely agreed upon that Jim Morrison died of an accidental heroin overdose.
While some also claim that he actually never died and faked the whole incident, to avoid going to the jail on account of the countless cases pending against him.
Jimi Hendrix– “Arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” died on the 18th of September 1970, in London. Most thought his recent decline in health was influenza-related, but the coroner reported that Hendrix had asphyxiated on his own vomit.
An autopsy report later concluded that he had taken 18 times the recommended dose of barbiturates.
Janis Joplin– The queen of psychedelic soul, with her uninhibited soul stirring voice + a true rock and roll lifestyle, ensured that she was one of the most loved musicians of the 60’s.
She died on the 4th of October 1970, found by her producer overdosed on heroin, alone in her hotel room.
Kurt Cobain– This legend went out with a bang; literally. Unlike his predecessors, he didn’t go blissfully into the heroin abyss, he violently took a shotgun to his head, a suicide. It’s inarguable the turmoil this icon faced in his life, battling constantly with depression.
He used to say to his friends, if he was to just get out of the scene, he’d be totally forgotten, but if he was to die, he’d be immortalized. And that he did!
These brilliant musicians following in the footstep of Icarus have inspired millions of people by bringing sweet twisted melodies, to their ears much after their fiery demise. Yet, we are forced to think, would they really have been such iconic figures if they made it into their 60’s? We wouldn’t want to see their uniquely catastrophic energies diminish into oblivion. So, although they were taken from us way too young, there is an intoxicating beauty in the fleeting nature of their existence. They will forever be remembered as the kings and queens of rock, roll, and a whole lota soul!
– Zainab Wani