Monday, 25 July 2011

Curses and Music 1: The 27 Curse and Amy Winehouse

'Hello! My name is Buffy. Ask me about curses.'

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  episode 1, Season 6

Welcome to Buddha's Black Dog, my blog on curses and spells: for what it's about  (and my other blogs).  see 
Buddha's Black Dog is  organised thematically, and older posts will be linked to  after each post.

The singer- songwriter Amy Winehouse died on 23 July 2011 at the age of 27 - a huge loss not just for her family but for music. There is little doubt that she was one of the great jazz-soul singers of her generation. The obituaries for her made much of the fact that she died at 27, thus joining the so-called '27 Club' - victims of the Curse of 27, a belief that 27 is an especially unlucky number as several well-known musicians (and entertainers) have died at that age including

Jim Morrison

Brian Jones

Jimi Hendrix

Janis Joplin

Kurt Cobain

See the wiki entry for '27 Club which lists the famous (and not so famous) musicians  who died at at the age of 27 -

In fact,  dying in  your late 20s is not that uncommon if you have spent 10 years or so abusing your body with drink and drugs. As the mag The Stylist points out -

'There is some scientific evidence to suggest that turning 27 can mark a turbulent time for people, with the brain going through some bizarre transformations at that age. "The prefrontal cortex of the brain [the part involved with judgement] does not finish developing until people are 25-27," say neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr Daniel G Amen, author of the book Magnificent Mind At Any Age. "In your 20s, a process called 'myelination' occurs, where nerve cells become wrapped by myelin to provide insulation. If you disrupt this process, with drink or drugs, you're going to be more vulnerable to depression and compulsive actions."

"Rock stars spend a lot of time inside as they can't go out and be recognised," adds Amen. "This causes low vitamin D levels, which makes them more vulnerable to depression. If you have a confluence of all this, combined with drink/drugs, then trouble can brew.

Se also this very useful site for statistical analysis of the '27 Club' phenomernon -

It does indeed look as if 27 is a bad year for musicians.


ANCIENT CURSES 1: the Curse of Akkad
ANCIENT CURSES 2: Otzi the Ice Man
ANCIENT CURSES 3: Egyptian Curses
CURSES THAT WORKED 1: the Curse of Shakespeare's Tomb 

My other blogs are

A Glasgow Album - a photoblog drifting in a melancholy manner around the city


a series of photographs of dogs tied up outside shops and other places (not too melancholy)

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