I’ve been planning to write about the “Dead at 27” phenomenon among rock-stars, hoping to come up with some insight into the significance of age 27. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and Robert Johnson all died at 27. Junkie-of-the-moment Pete Doherty’s mom says she is worried that her son may share this numerical jinx, and I don’t blame her. But I just came across a weird Christian website devoted to dead rockers, and I see that there is actually a wide range of check-out age. Twenty-seven is a cool myth, sort of, but now it’s debunked, for me anyway.
My half-assed stab at research did lead me to an online music journal called Blender, which names Dead at 27 as #8 in a list of the 50 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Music.
I love lists, and this is a good one. I would have put rap music at #1, and I would have put Madonna higher up on the list. But I like that they bothered to itemize the various scourges, and I know that lists of this kind are meant to stir up dissent. Blender is also nice enough to give us a list of the 50 Worst Artists in Music History. Here, they are pretty hit-and-miss, but I was so charmed by their selection of Insane Clown Posse as #1 that I was ready to forgive them for all their mistakes.
Until I realized that for some reason, I have confused Insane Clown Posse with a horrible “rapcore” band called Crazy Town. Crazy Town had a hit single that used to trigger a seizure of hatred throughout my entire nervous system whenever it came on my car radio. God, it was awful, I can’t even think about it. In my personal pantheon of the 50 Worst Artists in Music History, I will reserve the #1 spot for Crazy Town. Nearby will be Whitney Houston, thanks to her rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” I would also like to give Hoobastank a place in there simply because of their name.
Meanwhile, Pete Doherty has until March 12, 2007 if he wants to join the Dead at 27 club. Godspeed, Pete.