Commemorating Cobain And the Rest of 'The 27 Club'

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Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic (left) live at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.
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Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic (left) live at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

COMMENTARY | On April 5, fans commemorate the 17th anniversary of legend Kurt Cobain's tragic death. Most are honoring him by posting commemorative articles and blog entries online, but according to an article in The Seattle Times, some are dedicating a memorial of a concrete guitar to him.

Cobain's death gained him access to "The 27 Club," a group of influential artists who died at the age of 27, most of whom have controversy surrounding their deaths. The music industry has been majorly affected by the contributions of those in the "club," and the three most influential members, Cobain included, are discussed below.

Jim Morrison

Most Notably From: The Doors

Known For: Singing, songwriting, poetry

Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors, is arguably the most influential member of "The 27 Club." His voice is entirely distinguishable from most others, and his deep, poetic lyrics are remembered and quoted often. Morrison was a classic poster child for the rock-and-roll genre; he was sexy, suave, smart, and mysterious. His oftentimes unique song structure and deep writing style have been mimicked by countless artists since his popularity, and his influence can even be seen on the myriad of teens and adults who don Doors clothing. Morrison's personality and musical style have been immortalized by his tragic death, and his passing has made his music more widely influential and more widely known.

Kurt Cobain

Most Notably From: Nirvana

Known For: Singing, songwriting

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer for Nirvana, was also a rock-and-roll idol. He encapsulated the drug-induced-slacker persona which plagued the time during which his music was blooming. He served as a role model for many, being an intellectual and a self-destructive genius. Cobain's songwriting technique and smart, albeit hateful, lyrics have been replicated by many bands, and he certainly changed the face of the grunge genre. According to the aforementioned Seattle Times article, Cobain tragically died in April of 1994 due to a shotgun wound to the head. Much controversy surrounds his death, and through the discrepancy, Cobain's grungy music has reached a wider audience, and has become even more influential in the music industry.

Jimi Hendrix

Most Notably From: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Known For: Songwriting, guitar playing, singing

Most guitarists have undoubtedly heard of (if not been influenced by) guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix has been noted by prestigious music magazine Rolling Stone as the best guitarist ever to grace the musical world. Granted, his recordings leave a lot to be desired, but it cannot be argued that he had an extreme amount of musical and artistic talent, and left those who saw his shows breathless and awed. His influence is incredible, and his style is still prevalent in today's rock. He also served as a bit of a poster child for the rock genre. Hendrix was a drug-using, humble, and laid back artist, simply writing and performing his passion. Hendrix died at 27 as well, and his death immortalized his music and persona just the same as Cobain's and Morrison's.

"The 27 Club" consists of many artists who contributed major aspects of the music written today. Their music has all been immortalized by their incredible talent, and, sadly, by their young passing. The anniversary of Cobain's death should not only serve to commemorate one great artist, but also to make connections and appreciate all of the musical geniuses of the past.

Sources:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014692751_apwacobainsculpture1stldwritethru.html

http://www.forever27.co.uk/27/

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-guitarists-of-all-time-19691231/jimi-hendrix-19691231

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