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Rockers Beware The Curse Of 27

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« on: May 26, 2009, 08:39:32 am »

                                              Rockers beware the curse of 27

                                       Is it just coincidence many died at this age?

                         Lavishly illustrated book explores lives and deaths of 34 musicians.

By Phil Kloer
For the AJC
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson did it first, reportedly with help from either the devil or a jealous husband. Then came Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, all in 10 months, faster than one of Hendrix’s own solos. Kurt Cobain brought it home to a new generation.

They all died at age 27, and became the main highway markers on the road to one of rock music’s most popular myths —- that there is some sort of curse or coincidence that makes 27 a deadly age for rock stars.

That belief gets an extensive treatment in the new book “The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll” by Eric Segalstad and Josh Hunter. The two published it independently through their company, Samadhi Creations, and it’s also distributed by Random House.

“The 27s” presents the lives and deaths of 34 musicians, famous and not-so, and mixes them up with smatterings of ancient history, astrology and numerology, but without reaching any conclusions about the validity of the concept.

The use of “myth” in the title shouldn’t be construed as debunking the idea, says co-author Hunter, a graphic artist who lives in Buford.

“We settled on the word myth for the title because of the way we look at mythologies in our own culture,” he says. “To us there’s a lot of similarities to Greek mythology and the way we remember stories of our past.”

So does he think there is true significance to the number 27 and the deaths of musicians?

“I definitely don’t have the answer,” says Hunter. “We wanted to lay out all the findings and leave it up to people. But there’s more than coincidence here.”

Of course, there are plenty of famous dead-too-soon rockers who did not die at age 27, from Buddy Holly (22) to John Lennon (40). But followers of the 27 theory can even point to one “near miss” —- in the famous Paul McCartney death rumors of the late 1960s. McCartney would have been 27 if he had died as reported.

In addition to a music history, “The 27s” is also an artistically arresting book, thanks to Hunter’s eye-popping artwork, which is woven through the text in the manner of a graphic novel. It can be read linearly, or at random.

“It is a lot like a nonfiction, pop-culture graphic novel,” says Hunter. “We wanted to have something visually enticing, something someone could open in the middle of the book and just learn something.”

Hunter and Segalstad met at a farmer’s market in Missoula, Mont., in 2004, where Hunter was displaying his portraits of rock stars, including Hendrix and Joplin. Their very first conversation touched on the so-called 27 Club, which led to their collaboration on the book.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 08:40:41 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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