27

A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home in 2011, the press inducted her into what Kurt Cobain's mother named the 27 Club. "Now he's gone and joined that stupid club," she said in 1994, after being told that her son, the front man of Nirvana, had committed suicide. "I told him not to." Kurt's mom was referring to the extraordinary roll call of iconic stars who died at the same young age. The Big Six are Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Kurt Cobain and, now, Amy Winehouse. All were talented. All were dissipated. All were 27.

Journalists write about "the curse of the 27 Club" as if there is a supernatural reason for this series of deaths. Others invoke astrology, numerology, and conspiracy theories to explain what has become a modern mystery.

In this haunting audiobook, author Howard Sounes conducts the definitive forensic investigation into the lives and deaths of the six most iconic members of the Club, plus another 44 music industry figures who died at 27, to discover what, apart from coincidence, this phenomenon signifies.

In a grimly fascinating journey through the dark side of the music business over six decades, Sounes uncovers a common story of excess, madness, and self-destruction. The fantasies, half-truths, and mythologies that have become associated with Jones, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, and Winehouse are debunked. Instead a clear and compelling narrative emerges, one based on hard facts, that unites these lost souls in both life and death.

©2013 Howard Sounes (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Sounes, a true crime writer, is especially incisive when it comes to dispatching conspiracy theories built around many of these deaths. He captures the sad truth behind a club for which a youthful death is the only entrée." ( Publishers Weekly)

Featured Article: The Dubious Honor of Joining the 27 Club


There’s one infamous worldwide club that has the honor of hosting several famous members for dubious reasons: the 27 Club. Named for celebrities who passed away at the age of 27, it is host to some of the world’s most famous musicians. The idea of the 27 Club came about when several popular musicians died between 1969 and 1971. While there’s no statistical evidence, it’s undeniable that it does seem to happen a lot.

What listeners say about 27

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This is the end... my Bea-u-ti-ful friend

This was one of my first non-fiction audiobooks. At first I thought it might be a little weird because it was an audiobook but on the flipside it was really well done and so interesting. The narration was really well done and the content was presented in a great non biased way. It celebrated the lives and musical contrirbutions of some of the greatest musical influences in the world that were taken far too young. Despite each musician's flaws they all had some things in common and this book explored each of them really deeply. The book was set up fantastically devoting 4 or 5 main time periods of the musicians lives dividing those into each individual musician separately. I really enjoyed this listen as it was not a typical genre I would have chosen. The narrator did a great job and even incorporated voices with English accents when appropriate. History buff, music nut or just want a look back at what the world was like in the 1960s or 70s this listen is for you. Give it a try.

2 people found this helpful

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Great listen

Simply loved it!!! The way this book was written was truly refreshing and overall intoxicating.

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Interesting Book

This book contains a lot of interesting information about the 27 club. The only odd thing is how the book is broke up and organized. It bounces back and forth with the different artists in an odd way.

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Interesting story of some self-destructive people

Well written and good job of telling each story while weaving them together. Good concept.

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sad and chilling stories

there are more things they have in common than you think. so talented and extremely sad.

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Very Informative

I was really surprised at how little I knew about Brian Jones. I was under the impression that he was the Rolling Stones 'pretty boy'! The band's 'Spin team' really did a successful job and I believed every single word. You will have to read the book to discover that little gem!

Of course we all think that we know all about Jimmy, Janis, Jim and Kurt however Howard Sounes really did his homework. There is so much more to these 'late' stars.

Now do not get me started on poor Amy. I adored that sweet girl and her voice was a gift from G-d indeed. Again I was totally taken in by her Father, Mitch. I had no idea that her Mom had MS and then just packed up and left Amy, her brother and her Mom to be with another woman. What a worthless worm?

Of course he comes back into the picture full time as soon as ink started to dry on her recording contract. Did you know that Amy was battling her demons and dying alone while her so called adoring Father was in the States performing his faux 'I think that I can sing like Sinatra act! Oh no he can't !

Todd McLaren gives us a great performance. This never get dull.

Really interesting listen/read.

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Biography Junkie?!

A great rendition of rock history for biography buffs! This title is filled with a lot of factual information that I didn't even know.... great read... oops I mean LISTEN!!! :)