Excess and tragedy are the stuff of music legend, but it is only with hindsight that deeper patterns emerge. None of these is more striking than the deaths at age 27 of some of the greatest musicians of our time.
Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Brian Jones. Kurt Cobain. Founding bluesman Robert Johnson. All died at 27. Their stories, as well as those of ill-fated members of the Grateful Dead, The Stooges, Badfinger, Big Star, Minutemen, Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Mars Volta, are here presented for the first time as a profound and interlocking web that reaches beyond coincidence to the roots of artistic causality and fate.
The 27s is the first comprehensive account of the lives and legacies of the thirty-four musicians who make up (to date) rock’s most notorious myth. It is also a capsule history of rock & roll, twisting and turning through decades and genres, unfurling layers of numerology, philosophy, and astrology along the way. The text is complemented by compelling and multifaceted artwork that brings a nonlinear graphic-novel edge to this major contribution to the study of rock culture.
Those few steps from the landing to Albertine’s door, those few steps which no one now could prevent my taking, I took with delight, with prudence, as though plunged into a new and strange element, as if in going forward I had been gently displacing the liquid stream of happiness, and at the same time with a strange feeling of absolute power, and of entering at length into an inheritance which had belonged to me from all time.
This was at a show by Howard Devoto’s Luxuria, whose song “Mlle” opens with the original French version of this passage.