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Johnny Novak

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Tag Archives: The Elephant Man

MTV Unplugged: Nirvana

Twenty years ago, Kurt Cobain died at the age of 27. 27 is a legendary number among the music community. A number of (in)famous musicians have all died at the age of 27. They form what is known as “The 27 Club”. There are six main members and thirty-eight secondary membersΒ in the 27 club. The main six are Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Even though Jones, Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison all died within twenty-four months of each other, all at the age of 27, the term “27 Club” wasn’t coined until 1994 when Cobain died. Many musicians believe dying at 27 to be a great honour.

What about outside of music? Does dying at 27 in another occupation have the same effect as dying at 27 in music? You be the judge. Here are some of the most well know non-musicians who passed away at 27.


Reggie Lewis


Reggie Lewis was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1987. He would remain with the team until his death in 1993. During the first round of the ’93 NBA Playoffs Lewis would collapse during a game from heart problems. In June of that year during an off-season practice he would suffer a sudden cardiac death on the court. He was 27.

Jonathan Brandis


Jonathan Brandis was a child actor from the late 80s/early 90s. He appeared in shows like Full House, The Wonder Years and the 1992 film Ladybugs. Friends of Brandis said he was depressed about his career and that may have been what lead him to take his own life in 2003. He was 27.


Joseph Merrick



Bet you didn’t think the elephant man would appear on this list. Joseph Merrick (often incorrectly called John) led a very tragic life. A lot of it was portrayed in the 1980 film The Elephant Man. Merrick suffered from unknown condition that caused tumours on his skin and abnormal growth of his bones that gave him an elephant-like appearance. His condition would eventually take his life when the weight of his head dislocated his neck while sleeping. He was 27.


So what makes the 27 club, “The 27 Club”? There must be some connection the number 27 holds, right?

The type 27 vacuum tube, used in many amplifiers, was used by all the musicians on the list. It was also introduced in 1927. “27 in ’27” does that mean anything? Highly unlikely.

Some people think 27 has a satanic connection. There are 27 books in the New Testament. Could that be it? Nope.

There has to be something that links the members of The 27 Club, right? Let’s stick with the main six. Why did Jones, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain and Winehouse all die at 27?


The reason why they all died at 27 was drugs. Don’t do drugs kids, you’ll probably live past 27.




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