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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Kurt Cobain and the enduring legacy of the 27 Club

30 years since Kurt Cobain's death at 27, reflecting on the eerie phenomenon of the '27 Club' and the commercialization of rebellion.


It is hard not to consider the suicide death of grunge rock legend Kurt Cobain – 30 years ago to this day – without feeling a creepy shiver down your spine.

The American musician/singer/songwriter was just 27. The same age as Rolling Stones member Brian Jones when he drowned.

Ditto with rocker Jim Morrison of The Doors, guitar maestro Jimi Hendrix, singer Janis Joplin… And who can forget booze-ridden singer Amy Winehouse, who was also 27 when she died.

Clearly popular music adulation and 27 don’t go together very well.

Despite their unscheduled early departures from this mortal coil, all those musicians are still remembered – and revered by many.

ALSO READ: Imagining a 50-year-old Kurt Cobain

That is more than testament to the persistence of memory, it shows the power of the modern global entertainment machine to never let the music die… mainly because there are billions in profit still to be made.

Ironically, for one who despised the excesses of consumer capitalism, Cobain’s memory lives on in a revival of his counter-culture fashion aesthetic – the oversized cardigans, bug-eye shades, ripped jeans and flannel shirts.

Perhaps it’s just as well he’s not around to see the commodification of his legacy.

Rebellion, in the end, is just another word for a highly marketable product.

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music rock Rock n Roll suicide