Doors: 7 p m / Talk starts: 7.30 p m
Neil Young once sang, ‘It's better to burn out than fade away.’ Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison all exited this mortal coil at an early age, attaining mythical cultural and immortal status that only death can provide. Their demise was originally viewed as occupational tragedies, victims to the excesses of drug and alcohol that sadly often are a part of the rock and roll lifestyle. Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, however, highlighted a strange commonality that these icons shared: they all had been just 27 years old when they passed away.
Why We Love the 27 Club examines the phenomena of the death at this specific age, and why seemingly so many of our most creative and inspiring artists seem to burn out, as Young so prophetically said, at this particular moment in their career. What implication does this age hold, both for the artist and for our culture? Why are we- the fans left behind- enthralled with the myth iteself? How does an early and heartbreaking passing of some of our most beloved stars impact the perceived assumptions for our own lives? And is the ‘27 Club’ even a real thing, or simply a strange coincidence that has been blown out of context by our own fear of mortality? Why We Love the 27 Club delves into these issues by exploring the complicated relationships between celebrity, death, artistry and expectation, providing a unique and provocative investigation into how technology, media and humanistic need for guidance are forming novel ways of expressing value, forging self and finding significance in an uncertain world.
Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike is a media and music academic and author, specializing in fan culture, the cult of dead celebrity, music and music heritage. She has written and presented extensively on fandom and media, using her experience as a former American music industry and Silicon Valley executive to explore a range of societal issues and behaviors. Jen's recent appearances include TruTV, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC 4, Camp Bestival, Bestival at Goldsmiths University of London , Channel 4, Bass Guitar Magazine, Absolute Radio, The Guardian, Manchester Off The Record, Liverpool Sound City and Classic Album Sundays.