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Forever And For Always

Forever 27 Club
 It is one of the most elite clubs in the world. In all of history, no more than 47 members have had the privilege, the woe, and the angst to be a part of it. The requirements are stringent, the rewards include being remembered forever as a person who could not fight his or her demons. To be a part of this club, you need to be all of the following- a talented, famous musician, regarded by most as genius You also have to suffer from an addiction, and be 27 years of age. And you have to die.

Simply put, this is the Forever 27 club. It’s members include legends like Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin. Factually, there is little I can tell you about their lives that a simple Wikipedia search cannot. This article isn’t about their fame, their notoriety or their mark in the field of music. From what I have gleaned from their music, I’ll strive to tell you who they were.

One fact is true of all these people. They were geniuses. Each one of them had a vision, an idea to change the music industry. More often than not, they managed it. And in the end, that was their curse. They were different. It’s odd that the very people who are elevated to the top of society, are never truly understood by the rest of them. These people yearned acceptance. Not in the social sense of the word. There was no event or party where they would not be recognized or even hero worshiped. They wanted true acceptance, understanding if you will, by the people who surrounded them. Their pain is all too visible. Just listen to their songs,focus on the lyrics, and you will see it as well.

Most of them came from humble beginnings, with an aim to change the world in a little way. I believe that they would have been perfectly happy without being touted as the leaders of the ‘new revolutions’ in music. They lived for their music, because it was all that made real sense to them. The only avenue where they could express all that worried them.

All that they were looking for was solace. As a society, we failed to give them that. So they turned to a less satisfactory substitute. One that could be found at the bottom of the whiskey bottle or the heart of the pills that they swallowed.

Kurt Cobain once said”I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.” This is essentially true of all the members of the Forever 27. To them, their own lives were so difficult to understand, that they yearned for one that was entirely different.
Amy Winehouse
Needless to say, they did die. As odd as it may seem to rephrase a movie line- for them, peace was never an option. Even after death they are remembered . Sadly, they aren’t remembered as people who strove to be normal. They are remembered as addicts who could not resist temptation in the end, and finally succumbed.

They will go down in the annals of music as people who revolutionized the world. Would it be too hard for us to remember them as people who just wanted to get along?

Love them if you want. Hate them if you wish. Ignore them if you must. But never forget them. Not the people they wished to be remembered as.

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Vijay Narayan


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