‘That stupid club’ – musicians who died at 27


The tragic death of Amy Winehouse – from a suspected drugs overdose – means she joins what Kurt Cobain’s mother Wendy called “that stupid club”: musicians who have died at the age of 27.

The Rolling Stones

Brian Jones (centre), The Rolling Stones. Known for his flamboyant attire and recreational drug habits, Jones was found motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm July 3, 1969. The words in this gallery are taken from a new book, ‘The 27s: The Greatest Myth Of Rock’N’Roll’, by Eric Segalstada and Josh Hunter. Pic: PA Photos

Doors Doors

Jim Morrison, The Doors. Morrison was found dead on July 3, 1971 in a Paris apartment bathtub by his long-term companion, Pamela Courson. No autopsy was performed due to there being no evidence of foul play – but many rumours have arisen of an accidental overdose. Pic: PA Photos



Jimi Hendrix. Swallowing nine German-made Secobarbital sleeping tablets in a hotel room, Hendrix vomited and asphyxiated in unconscious sleep (September 18, 1970). At the time he had been working on a new song, which included the lyric “the story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye.” Pic: PA Photos


Janis Joplin. The big-voiced singer died of a heroin overdose, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol, on October 4, 1970. At the time she’d been working on a birthday greeting for John Lennon – the tape arrived on Lennon’s doorstep the day after she passed away. Pic: PA Photos

1969, Hollywood, Iggy and The Stooges

David Alexander (second right). The original bassist for The Stooges, Alexander was sacked in 1970 after showing up at the Goose Lake International Music Festival too drunk to play. He died of pneumonia February 10, 1975 after being admitted to hospital for pancreatitis, which was linked to his drinking. Pic: Getty




Richey Edwards (second left), Manic Street Preachers. The day before a promotional visit to the US, Edwards disappeared from the London hotel where he was staying. His abandoned car was found two weeks later near the Severn Bridge. The guitarist/lyricist was declared presumed deceased in November 2008. Pic: PA Photos

Very ‘Eavy

Gary Thain (second left), Uriah Heep. During his last tour with the band, Thain suffered an electric shock at the Moodie Coliseum in Dallas, Texas and was seriously injured. Drug addicted, he was unable to perform properly and fired from the band. Thain later died (December 15, 1975) of respiratory failure due to a heroin overdose. Pic: Getty

Photo of Grateful Dead & Warlocks

Ron McKernan (right). Founding member of the Grateful Dead, McKernan – a notoriously heavy drinker – was found dead (March 8, 1973) of a gastrointestinal haemorrhage at his home in California. His epitaph reads: “Pigpen was and is now forever one of the Grateful Dead.” Pic: Getty


Chris Bell (left). Along with Alex Chilton, Bell led the power pop band Big Star. Leaving the band in ’72, he struggled with intense depression stemming in part from his repressed homosexuality and dependence on heroin. Bell died on December 27, 1978 after losing control of his small Triumph TR-6 sports car which struck a wooden light pole – he died instantly. Pic: Redferns


Photo of Echo & Bunnymen

Pete de Freitas (second right), Echo And The Bunnymen. A garrulous figure, upon quitting the band, drummer de Freitas once asked for £15,000 restitution for all the cigarettes singer Ian McCulloch had bummed off him over the years. De Freitas died in a motorcycle accident on June 14, 1989 travelling from London to Liverpool. Pic: Redferns


Robert Johnson. Famous as the enigmatic bluesman who gave rise to the sold-his-soul-to-the-devil myth, Johnson died on August 16, 1938, having been poisoned, possibly by a woman with whom he’d been having an affair.