Rolling Stones’ founder Brian Jones died aged 27

Updated May 30 2016

You might have read on these pages recently about the so-called 27 Club being a bit of a myth. This was mentioned at the tail end of my recent post, Musicians Living Fast and Dying Young. Here’s the link to that story, if you’re interested.

The post was about studies on rock star deaths conducted by Dianna Kenny, honorary professor of music at Australia’s University of Sydney and included a link to the graph on the right below. As you can see, it shows the most common average age of death for performers in the music business is 56, rather than the much  publicized age of 27.

Mind you, when I realized Robert Johnson was a founding member of the 27 Club, I decided to do some investigation.

Others dying at the age of 27 include Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat’s Blind Owl Wilson, Grateful Dead’s Ron McKernan, the Doors’ Jim Morrison, the Stooges’ Dave Alexander, Stone The Crows’ Les Harvey, Uriah Heep’s Gary Thain, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, Inner Circle’s Jacob Miller, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Pete Defreitas and, more recently, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Manic Street Preachers’ Richey Edwards, London singer Amy Winehouse and many more.

Janis Joplin in her prime

It’s an unbelievable coincidence and extremely tragic that so many talented music stars died at such a tender age. But as Professor Kenny points out, you could easily have a 26 Club with members including Otis Redding, Gram Parsons, Nick Drake and Wings’ Jimmy McCulloch, etc. or a club for every other age group. Every age has its unfortunates who don’t make it any further in life.

I suppose the thing about the 27 Club is that so many were so very famous. For more on Dianna Kenny’s findings, click on the link below

“Man, I’ve been digging your blues articles. Very cool.” PhillyCheeze’s Rock and Blues Reviews @phillycheeze Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2 June 2015