Live fast, die young. If you want to guarantee musical immortality, then this is the age at which you must die, in order to gain maximum kudos. Here are five who did just that.
James Marshall Hendrix was a guitar legend whose short, four-year mainstream career inspired a generation. Always the showman, he was a live gig specialist, pioneering the technique of amplifier feedback. Although an American, the ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Purple Haze’ singer spent much of his time in England, where he enjoyed most success. He made London his home, and it was at his girlfriend’s Notting Hill apartment that insomniac, Hendrix, fatally overdosed on sleeping pills in September 1970, robbing the world of arguably the most naturally gifted electric guitarist in history.
Born in Texas in 1943, Janis Joplin fell in love with blues music at a young age and couldn’t wait to leave her home town for the bright lights and hippy scene of San Francisco. Falling in with a group of alcoholic and drug-addled fellow ‘creatives’, Janis seemed to enjoy the itinerant lifestyle of a jobbing musician, and after cultivating a dedicated live following, broke through to recording success in the late 1960s with songs like ‘Mercedes Benz’ and ‘Me & Bobby McGee’. Her drug abuse, however, was a constant ghost, and despite several successful clean periods, her demons eventually won out, and ‘Pearl’, as she was known, succumbed to a heroin overdose in a Hollywood motel, in October 1970, just 16 days after Hendrix.
Charismatic and mercurial, James Douglas Morrison was the lead singer with LA rock band, The Doors. Known not just for an electric stage presence, but also for his talent for poetry and art, Morrison relied on drugs and alcohol to kick start his imagination and spur his creativity. His love life was intense, although the one constant throughout was his common-law wife, Pamela Courson, also a rabid drug user. He and Courson decamped to Paris in March 1971 to write songs and get inspired, but one night in July, Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of their apartment, apparently having taken heroin, thinking it was cocaine. The official cause of death was ‘heart attack’, although no autopsy was ever performed and mystery still surrounds his demise.
Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain was considered the spokesman for a generation of disaffected youth. Intense and insular, he was obsessed with how he was portrayed by the media, and would get frustrated when his artistry and ambition were misinterpreted. He also suffered from a painful stomach condition, which he assuaged by turning to heroin. His destructive relationship with Hole singer, Courtney Love – also a heroin user – garnered many column inches, and their marriage in 1992 seemed to herald a downward spiral from which Cobain never recovered. In 1994, after a failed suicide attempt in Rome, he returned to Seattle, where he shot himself at his Lake Washington home during a solo heroin binge, his body lying undiscovered for several days.
Winehouse was known for her soulful lyrics, beehive hairdo and excessive eyeliner, and was the first British female to win five Grammys. She also possessed the biggest, brightest, self-destruct button in British pop history, helped by her boyfriend/husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, who introduced her to crack cocaine. After mainstream success, Winehouse managed to kick the drugs, only to fall into alcoholism. After stints in rehab (her most famous songs, ‘Back To Black’ and ‘Rehab’, chronicled this time), divorce from Fielder-Civil, and struggles with emphysema, Amy seemed to be getting her life back on track, but her habit of binge-drinking, then abstaining, caught up with her one day in July 2011, when she was found dead on the sofa of her London home, having consumed two bottles of vodka.
About the author: Goseethem.com compares tickets prices for top concerts and events. So if you are looking Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Adele tickets with GoSeeThem.com check them out and compare prices from sites like Stubhub, Viagogo and GetMeIn, often you can grab a bargain at the last minute!