Gene Simmons is putting pen to paper (or fingertops to keyboard) to write a new book with his theories on “The 27 Club”, all of the rockers who have died at the age of 27.
The artists who died at that age is quite astounding and it’s not just the big ones that everyone knows. The list includes:
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (Canned Heat)
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (Grateful Dead)
Rudy Lewis (The Drifters)
Pete Ham (Badfinger)
Gary Thain (Uriah Heep)
Chris Bell (Big Star)
Richey Edwards (Manic Street Preachers)
Dave Alexander (Stooges)
Plus many, many more.
Simmons talked to WRIF in Detroit about the book (via Blabbermouth), saying “You’d be shocked at how deep this runs mysteriously. But, again, it’s not about the idea that it’s 27, although we ask that question: ‘Why then? Why not 28? Why not 30?’ and all that. But it’s really about when you become rich and famous and everybody admires you, what is that thing that makes people destroy themselves, even to die? What is that? The rest of the world adores you and your fans love you and they give you money and fame and all that, and then you kill yourself. I don’t get it.”
The publisher said about the book:
Beginning in the summer of 1969, a slew of major rock stars all died in quick succession: Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, all hugely influential musicians of their time, passed away, under tragic circumstances, and at exactly 27 years old.
This is how the rumor of the ’27 club’ — the idea that there is something fateful, myth-worthy, or even cursed about turning 27 — began. Since then, the morbid pantheon has continued to grow, now including art prodigy Basquiat (d. 1988), legendary NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain (d. 1994), and nu-blues heroine Amy Winehouse (d. 2011), among other unforgettable figures. Becoming a member is a perverse privilege, but the cost of entry is dangerously high.
In ’27’, rock legend Gene Simmons of KISS fame, a man with over 10 million album sales and many a story to his name, will serve as our guide to the enigmatic 27 club, examining sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll from the inside, and answering our enduring questions… Why do we find ourselves obsessed with the untimely deaths of the famous and the infamous? Is the 27 club just a compelling urban legend? What does age 27 really mean for our most beautiful and damned?
27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club by Gene Simmons is scheduled to be released on August 14 via powerHouse Books.