Avoiding membership of the ‘27 club’

By Scott Jamison

It was my birthday last week. Before you all rush off to gather presents and excuses as to why they are late, don’t bother. Although on second thoughts, if you do want to splash the cash feel free, but wait until you’ve read this week’s column at least.

So I turned 28. One of the big deals for me was surviving the 27 Club. For those not in the know, the club was talked about earlier this year when Amy Winehouse shuffled off this mortal coil and joined other noted musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Brian Jones in popping their clogs at the aforementioned age.

While my musical gifts extend as far as being pretty good at the Rock Band game on the Xbox, I wasn’t for one second delusional enough to think I could join the club on talent along. However, I’d be lying if I said several brief ‘what ifs?’ hadn’t crossed my mind throughout the course of the previous 12 months.

If I had indeed departed this plane of existence, how would I be remembered? A footnote in the annals of history or would I  have a legacy at all?

While I haven’t made the global impact of say Jesus or Gandhi, in my head at least I’m on a similar track, albeit ever so slightly further back down the road.

I’ve certainly touched enough people, literally and metaphorically, outside my immediate family and friends circle throughout my life in order to ensure my death would at least be a momentary downer for most of them.

The funeral of course would be spectacular. I’m thinking heads of state, A-list actors and rock music royalty (apart from those who perished at 27 of course).

Alas, I know I’m probably shooting for the stars there but a man can dream. In the novel High Fidelity, the main protagonist imagines his own memorial and suggests he would want a beautiful woman in floods of tears singing You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me by Gladys Knight.

While in reality I can’t quite stretch to that, a friend who is unnaturally obsessed by Dirty Dancing (aka Star Wars for girls) has promised/threatened to use my passing as an occasion to sing I’ve Had the Time of My Life from said film, so that may have to do.

This is of course is all moot anyway, as unlike so many of my illustrious (non-)peers, I survived the dreaded age intact.

Hang on, does anybody know if there’s a 28 Club?

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