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Be famous or die trying: The 27 Club

Apr. 9, 2018
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What would you do for a little success? Would you sacrifice your happiness, your family, or friends? Would you sacrifice yourself?

Everyone wants to leave their mark on the world before they die. A lot of us spend our whole lives trying—bumping heads everywhere, sacrificing our mental stability—just so we can feel a little bit more special in comparison. 

Our society rewards superficial success; as a result, we often neglect to acknowledge the time and energy others have spent dedicated to their work. Our society glamorizes what is on the surface, the final product, but we fail to highlight the process people undergo to get there.

The 27 Club is a symbol of how our society functions. We do not justify fame and success as a result of hard work, but rather, as a product gained through deceit.

The 27 Club rose to fame through its famous members: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, and Jim Morrison. These four famous musicians died at the height of their careers, and what connected their deaths was the commonality of their ages—27. 

A popular conspiracy theory regarding the 27 Club involves a Satanic pact. It’s hypothesized that young, upcoming musicians are promised a successful career in exchange for spreading Satanic ideals to the minds of the youth. These musicians, therefore, were selling the integrity of their souls for success. Their deaths were all riddled with mystery, which simply caused more second-guessing from the public and further established the conspiracists’ platform. 

Another popular theory pertains to the astrology of Saturn. Astrologists believe that people begin feeling the effects of Saturn starting at the age of 27. When Saturn crosses over, people often face a crucial change or moment in life. These changes then push oneself to a point at which they are unable to carry on. This stress, added onto the already high-pressure lifestyle of musicians, only creates more problems for these musicians.

When speaking with my coworkers and friends about the 27 Club, we joked about the possibility of joining just so we could have a head start into the fast lane. As creators, many of us seem almost desperate, trying to leave our mark behind on the world and hoping that the things we do will lead to a ripple of consequent changes.

Like many others, I want to leave my mark. From a young age, I was taught that hard work is the only pathway to success. I don’t believe in any shortcuts. But after spending so many sleepless nights working, facing one rejection after another, it is frustrating. I understand that one day, I may actually die before I achieve the levels of success I daydream about.

Even with all of these conspiracy theories, the talent these musicians held cannot be overlooked. They weren’t famous because they were in the 27 Club—in fact, the theories about the 27 Club would not even have surfaced without these artists’ talent and ability. Societal fascination surrounding musicians is the primary cause of the 27 Club’s rise in notoriety. People looked up to these musicians and wanted to be like them, and even if the theory is as crazy as a satanic pact, they were able to believe in them. 

So, do you want to be famous now? Or do you want to spend your whole life chasing success?