27: A History of the 27 Club through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse by Howard Sounes (2015)
27: A History of the 27 Club through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix,
Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse
by Howard Sounes
Da Capo Press, 2015
Drugs, drunkenness, and depression all too often lead to one conclusion: death, especially if you are a famous musician aged 27. From blues legend Robert Johnson to Grateful Dead keyboardist Pigpen McKernan, the list of “27 Club” members is long and varied, but drugs and mental illness played a part in a large number of deaths. There are, of course, some who are more famous than others, and they are the main focus of Howard Sounes’ book, 27: A History of the 27 Club. Sounes examines the life, ascent to fame, descent into madness, and ultimate death of the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors’ Jim Morrison, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse.
The in-depth look at these six individuals, their disposition to addictive behaviors, their frantic mood swings and deep depressions, creates a sort of sympathy for them in the reader’s mind. They had the faculty to alter their course, but for whatever reason could not bring themselves to change in time. I have read quite a bit about Hendrix and Morrison in the past, but this was my first real exposure to the rise and fall of the other four musicians and the similarities they shared with each other. I can still remember hearing of Cobain’s demise on the radio in 1994; though I was not a fan of the grunge scene, the significance of the singer’s age was not lost on me.
Sounes does a great job profiling each of the rockers, without offering a solution for future superstars to avoid death, other than perhaps to steer clear of intoxicants and surround yourself with positive people that can help combat bouts of depression. 27: A History of the 27 Club is a worthy addition to the library of classic rock bookworms.
A new book featuring the artwork of grunge legend Kurt Cobain and others associated with him. The description from the book’s website follows:
‘Kurt and the Gang’ is a sticker collection chronicling the life, influence and friends of Kurt Cobain. The book is packed with 72 stickers and printed illustrations designed by 13 artists from around the world. Together, in some way, we hope to have captured a very unique and awesome generation of which Kurt was a giant part.
Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington State. He was tragically found dead, in his Washington home with a shotgun to his head, in April of 1994.
Kurt Cobain has been remembered as one of the most iconic figures of the Twentieth Century, within music and beyond. Eric Olsen wrote, ‘Viewed by many as the ‘last real rock star’, a messiah and martyr whose every utterance has been plundered and parsed”. He is the figurehead of Generation X, a poster boy for the MTV era.
‘Kurt and the Gang’ features illustrations of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Dylan Carlson, El Duce, The Pixies, Lead Belly, Daniel Johnston, Dave Grohl and many others based around the Cobain scene.
and Illustrations from Patrick Schmidt, Murray Somerville, Chris Golden, Sean Morris, Brooke Olsen, Christoper Worker, Rob Goodall, Chaos vs Cosmos, Michael Hsiung, Paul Windle, Laura Handyside and Sophy Hollington
You can place your order for the book, scheduled for an October 29 release, at the Belly Kids store here. The first fifty pre-orders will include a free print.