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The 27 Club and white lighters


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#1    Ajnaya

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:20 AM

The 27 club (or forever 27 club) is an unusually large group of influential musicians that died at the age of twenty-seven.

7-3-69 Brian Jones of Rolling stones drowned in a pool after a night of drinking.
9-18-70 Jimi Hendrix asphyxiated on his own vomit after drinking a bottle of wine with a bottle of sleeping pills.
10-4-70 Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose.
7-3-71 Jim Morrison of the Doors died of a “heart attack” though no autopsy was done.
4-8-94 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana died of a gunshot wound to the head(self-afflicted).
5-8-73 Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead died of GI hemorrhage.
7-7-93 Mia Zapata of the Gits was raped and murdered.
6-16-94 Kristen Pfaff of Hole died of a heroin overdose.

There are more than thirty other names that I haven’t listed.  There are some conspiracy theories that involve these musicians gaining their talent and success through deals with the devil, which apparently expire when they are 27.
According to legend Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain all had white lighters on them when they died.  Many smokers (including myself and many friends) will not use white bic lighters because they are perceived to be bad luck because of this.
I was wondering if anyone knew more about how this is considered a conspiracy, or why.  Or if there are any other theories on this that could be discussed. Sorry if it's been asked before.


#2    supervike

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:13 PM

A very odd coincedence.


#3    aquatus1

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:07 PM

What qualifies as an influential musician, and how many of these died before or after their 27th birthday?


#4    flyingswan

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:12 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 12 January 2011 - 03:07 PM, said:

What qualifies as an influential musician,...
Well, five of the eight I've actually heard of.

Edited by flyingswan, 12 January 2011 - 03:14 PM.

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true" - Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
In which case it is fortunate that:
"Science is the best defense against believing what we want to" - Ian Stewart (1945- )

#5    Mamooshie

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:55 AM

I have never heard of this before reading your post.  This is interesting.  I did not find much info regarding this Forever 27 club though.  I did find the list of all the diffrent names and it showed how they died.  I didn't find the information about the white lighters.  Did you have a link for this information?


#6    Ajnaya

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 08:23 AM

Some links to white lighter references.  Unfortunately I learned about it through word of mouth and there doesn't seem to be much online about it.  I realize it is a superstition mainly held by pot smokers, so it probably is more of a comfort to people to think if they avoid white lighters they will be "protected" from police and whatnot. My link My link My link

I consider these influential musicians because they were innovative in creating their own very distinct styles of music that helped influence distinct sub-genres of rock, plus they are recognized in the following ways...
"Rolling Stone magazine ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004,and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history.  Hendrix won many of the most prestigious rock music awards in his lifetime, and has been posthumously awarded many more, including being inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. An English Heritage blue plaque was erected in his name on his former residence at Brook Street, London, in September 1997. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6627 Hollywood Blvd.) was dedicated in 1994. In 2006, his debut US album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Registry, and Rolling Stone named Hendrix the top guitarist on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time in 2003. He was the first person inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. He is widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in the history of music,and one of the most influential musicians of his era across a range of genres. Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as "the spokesman of a generation." Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, sold over twenty-five million albums in the US alone, and over fifty million worldwide."-wikipedia quotes
And any musician that still has t-shirts and merchandise with their pictures on it being sold commercially and successfully after being dead for 40 years has my personal vote as influential.  

Brian Jones died at 27 years, 4 months, and 5 days. Jim Morrison was 27 years, 6 months, and 25 days. Janis Joplin was 27 years, 8 months, 14 days. Jimi Hendrix was 27 years, 9 months, and 21 days. Kurt Cobain was 27 years, 1 month, and 15 days.

I have a few books on Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, I'll take a look and see if anything's mentioned in them. If there is I will definitely post what I find.


#7    supervike

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:43 PM

It's just that all of the ones you mention were very talented, and also living a very dangerous lifestyle of excess (due to their talent).

It's very odd they all die at 27, but they were living on a very dangerous edge.


#8    Ajnaya

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 02:39 AM

I agree I don't think there was any conspiracy involved, I just found it interesting that some people thought there was.  I was mainly hoping that someone else might have a different theory, simply because I find it interesting.  Thanks for responding  :)


#9    Jesse208

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:36 AM

...i gotta get rid of my white lighter,

Its crazy how they where all 27, BUT they did live crazy lives so its a tough subject


#10    Atana

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 05:44 PM

Sadly the 27 Club has a new member today - Amy Winehouse was found dead aged just 27.


#11    ShadowSot

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 05:51 PM

So... how many famous muscians and such die after or before the age of 27? Can't just shoot randomly and then draw the target.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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#12    Stack

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:21 PM

View PostAjnaya, on 12 January 2011 - 05:20 AM, said:



There are more than thirty other names that I haven’t listed.  There are some conspiracy theories that involve these musicians gaining their talent and success through deals with the devil, which apparently expire when they are 27.



Here's a nice article on it: http://historicmyste...com/the-27-club

It mentions the white lighters, and traces the club back to the 1908 death of Louis Chauvin. Morrison, Hendrix, Joplin and Jones all died within 2 years of each other, which must have started the urban legend. Blues guitarist Robert Johnson, 5th on Rolling Stones Greatest Artists of all time list, also died at 27, in 1938. There's a well known legend of him selling his soul to the devil, in part because of his famous songs titled "Crossroad Blues" and "Hellhound on my Trail".

It also mentions how Cobain often talked about joining the club as a kid.

There are 40 musicians in the 27 club according to wikipedia.

Just from this list of premature musician deaths, I counted 24 dead who weren't 27 at the time:

http://new.music.yah...-before-age-30/

Edited by Stack, 23 July 2011 - 08:28 PM.


#13    unclefred

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:58 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 23 July 2011 - 05:51 PM, said:

So... how many famous muscians and such die after or before the age of 27? Can't just shoot randomly and then draw the target.
Obviously the ones who didn't make a pact with the Debil!


#14    gnostic-deity

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:49 AM

this intrigues me. sorry about amy winehouse, but really u could see that one coming.

oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive

#15    Obviousman

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:46 AM

View PostAjnaya, on 12 January 2011 - 05:20 AM, said:

The 27 club (or forever 27 club) is an unusually large group of influential musicians that died at the age of twenty-seven.

Could you provide some statistics to support that?

- What percentage of the population (US / UK) die at the age of 27?

- What percentage of the same population are classified as musicians?

- What percentage of those musicians are "influential", and how is that defined?

- What is the comparison between those?





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