Ok, so let me get this straight, any musician who dies under any circumstances and is 27 years old gets admitted to the “27 Club”, like it’s some sort of career achievement? And really people, a “club” for those who died? Would the media classify those who died serving our country in a war, part of a “club” or those who perished on 9/11 as part of a “club”, of course not. Those who fought in wars defending our freedom or those who senselessly were taken away from us are heroes and victims, not “club” members.
So let’s end this silliness about the “27 Club”, which was concocted by some stoner in the early 70’s, to bring forth a coincidence of four prominent rock figures who died in a two-year period, who all happened to be age 27. All of which had achieved legendary status:
Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones.
Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest guitarists of all time
Janis Joplin, groundbreaking female vocalist
Jim Morrison, the Doors
When Kurt Cobain killed himself, the media added him to this “club” as if it was some way to connect Cobain to the others. And ooh, here’s a coincidence, Kurt played a lefty guitar and was from Seattle, and so was Jimi Hendrix. Ooh, that’s freaky!
And 17 years after Cobain’s death, Amy Winehouse has died at age 27. And the comparisons to Janis Joplin have started. Based on this pattern in another 17 years some 10 year old kid who is somewhere learning guitar or writing poetry, will either end up as a founding member of a huge band as a guitarist, or he’ll front a different big band, but regardless, he’s dead at 27.
The Amy Winehouse death has brought all sort of wacky commentary (thanks Twitter!) about how great she was and that Adele or even Lady Gaga wouldn’t exist without her? Really? Adele? I mean a british girl who could sing soul music, needed Amy Winehouse? Umm…no, Dusty Springfield did that for any white female singer with soul, and I’m happy Mark Ronson liked Dusty and saw that in Amy, but really, if he didn’t do someone else would have with another singer. And Adele would have still had talent. And by the way do you think Amy Winehouse would have enjoyed critics telling her that she sounds like Adele if her next album came out? It would have happened, and unfortunately Madonna will have to deal with that with Gaga, but the difference is Madonna never has to answer to any anyone, her status is carved in stone, she’s got nothing to prove. Amy on the other hand still did; which is why the Adele thing would matter to her, whereas the Gaga doesn’t matter to Madonna and never will.
It’s also been stated that Amy dying is a waste of talent. No it’s not, she didn’t waste her talent, we got to see it. A waste of talent would have been if Elvis remained a truck driver.
And finally this outpouring that she was an addict and that drug addiction is a disease and we should all feel sorry for her life. I call bullshit on the feel sorry part. Addiction is an illness and a disease, and personally I view alcohol addiction and drug addiction as two separate things; alcohol is legal so therefore we are bombarded with marketing of it and anyone of legal age can buy it, so when that person tries it and gets addicted, they had no idea it would do that to them, and at that point all of the resources and help to fight that addiction should be employed to get that person clean, with no stigmas whatsoever.
Non Prescription Drugs are a different situation, they are not legal, and when people get addicted to them, maybe the solution should be they automatically go to prison and put in a recovery program there. I wonder how seriously people would take their post treatments and meetings if they knew falling off the wagon puts them back in prison? Aren’t drugs in your system possession of an illegal substance?
And back to the disease part of it, addiction is a preventable disease that also has a cure, probably 100% curable if you get the treatment and stay clean, unlike cancer where there’s no sure way you get it and no sure way to 100% cure it, same with ALS and many other diseases.
Any Winehouse could have been clean, she chose not to, she had many chances and supposedly a support system that cared about her who obviously couldn’t get her to stay clean despite the inevitable consequences. She wasn’t a waste of talent, she’s waste of time.
And that by no means is meant to belittle the seriousness and effort of those who fight addiction of drugs or alcohol every second of every day, I can imagine how difficult it is to fight the demons and the temptations, and for any friends of mine that are battling, I have always made sure that I am always there for them and if they slip up, I’m always there to help them on the road back, one day at time. And all of them have lived past age 27.
The 27 club is bullshit. Amy Winehouse was a great singer. But great singers are a dime a dozen and there’s a line down the block to replace her, if she hadn’t been replaced already. There are people who died in wars and terror attacks that will never be replaced, and if each one of those were given a list of things to do to save their lives, they would have done it. Amy Winehouse had that list, she chose not to adhere to it.
If you liked Amy’s work, listen to her albums. Don’t worry about what age she was when she died, worry about what happened to her, and put that thought towards a friend who’s got an addiction and try to help them.
Visit Alcoholics Anonymous here
Visit Narcotics Anonymous here