The 27 Club

This article was written by Phineas Upham

The end of the 60s didn’t happen on New Years Eve 1969. Instead, it began in September of 1970. The death of Jimi Hendrix was the first blow, but in true “they die in threes” fashion, two more important figures would soon follow suit. These first few deaths formed something colloquially known as “The 27 Club,” a group of creative minds who met their demise all too young.

The official cause of death for Hendrix was asphyxiation. Monika Danneman, the last person to see Hendrix alive, spent his last day with him. She cooked him a meal, drove him to meet with friends, then stayed up with him well into the next morning. When she awoke close to noon, Hendrix was unconscious and non-responsive. He had choked on his own vomit thanks to an overdose of barbiturates, but the coroner left the verdict open.

Within a month, Janis Joplin would succumb to a heroin overdose. She didn’t show up for a recording session, and her producer found her dead in her hotel room. Her dealer had apparently given her a more potent dose than usual, as many of his customers were also found to have over dosed.

Tragedy struck again within a year. Jim Morrison, front man of the popular band The Doors, was found dead in the bathtub of his hotel. He was also 27 years old. The three deaths sparked something of a frenzy, with the media making note of various singers who had died at that age.

The next famous death to join the club would be Kurt Cobain, but he was not the last. The 27 Club holds names like soul singer Amy Winehouse (who repeatedly expressed terror at the idea of joining the club), and Mars Volta sound engineer Jeremy Michael Ward.

Phineas Upham

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.

Comments are closed