Achieving perfectness at the zenith of career is surely the main objective of any living human kind, to complete the bright history of their life journey. The way they might enact even sometimes exceeds the limit of human kind’s normal thought, or in other term; through “mystique”.
In our country and most other eastern countries, mystical rituals for the sake of “life perfectness” have been acknowledged publicly, such as those in some certain regions in Indonesia; Mount Kawi in Malang, East Java or Mount Padang in West Java. Public already acknowledged that the mentioned places have been famed as places of sacred mystiques, places to do something that refers to “soul demotion”. To whom they would “give” their souls, surely only them, who undergo it, recognize.
In fact, there are several individuals who have profession in area of art within our community, heavily believe in such mentioned processions as the key supports for success of their career.
However, the phenomena of mystical “soul demotion” was actually not just the East people’s own tradition, as it can be found also in the West countries. The abovementioned phenomena also occurred in the West, although it is still too vague to be disclosed, in which the Western people’s cultures mostly more assume that mystique matters are just coincidence occurrences.
One fact which to the date has been still a controversy for the world’s music community, but rarely has been considered, is the phenomena of “Die at 27”, which denotes some famous names of world superstars who died at the age of 27, precisely at the top of their career. Names of them, among others are; Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Randy Road, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain etc.
However, it is not any kind of coincidence that those names actually were acknowledged as music legends during their times, and therefore it promoted a variety of mystical opinions from the world’s music communities concerning their deaths, as they had been assumed as individuals who conducted “soul demotion” towards “demons” for the sake of their career’s perfectness, with the due date of “contract” only just through the age of 27 year old.
The groups of huge fans of the mentioned world’s music legends surely averse of assuming their idols had done “soul demotion”, moreover finding the achievements they had created were priceless “legacies” for the subsequent generations of musicians to the date. Just as a compliment for them through a song which was written and sung by the famous singer, Billy Joel in the era of 80’s, entitled “Only the Good Die Young”.
However, the first proof was noticeably happened in the life story of a black famed musician, Robert Johnson, who had been said was murdered through a poisonous substance of strychnine, ordered by someone who was supposed to be his competitor, once his name was at the top of his glory as a blues singer and guitarist in USA in 1938, precisely when he was at the age of 27th.
Love, heart-burning and malevolent backgrounds have been clearly ‘official’ modus upon the death of the Blues “God”. Nevertheless, the animism culture of Blues’ musicians which actually brought by slaves from Africa to America in that era has connected his death with soul demotion ritual towards demon, called “Dambalah”. The ritual was conducted by Robert Johnson at a point had been assumed as a sacred mystical place of slaves in Mississippi, i.e. “Crossroads”, a cross point of Routes 61 and Routes 49 in Jackson, Mississippi, respectively connects Memphis (heading to north) and Greenwood (heading to east).
The authentic proof about the reality was even perpetuated by Robert Johnson himself through one of his songs in 1927—which has been still famous to the date—entitled “Crossroads”. When we take a look deeper into the lyrics, we may find following; “I’m goin’ down to the crossroads, down on my knees”. So, it can be concluded it was a personal experience of the writer/ composer about what he had undergone, i.e. bending his knee at the Crossroads area as a symbol of soul demotion.
Believe or not towards the mystical phenomena, the beginning of Blues emergence—a root of modern music—in fact, was intense by mystical matters and magical practices. It had obviously inflated the lyrics of songs written by Blues’ pioneers of the world, such as the term of “Voodoo” or “Mojo” (amulet). Moreover, an obvious description of amulet owned by a medicine-man as well as a legendary sorcerer who lives in Mississippi at the time, John Conguerroots was described by Blues stardom, Muddy Waters through his song, “I’m the Hoochie Koochie Man”. The second stanza of the lyrics suggests:
I got a black cat bone
I got a mojo too
I got the John Conguerrots
I’m gonna mess with you…
In line with the change of ages, the mystical phenomena legacies inherited form Western music legends actually have been still haunting the successive generations. Believe or not, certain death cases of music legends within era of 60’s through 70’s are allegedly the continuances of “die at 27” curse, although surely they happened through different mediums.
One of mediums has been assumed to be efficacious means of the “demons” to affect his “victims” nowadays, is what so called “drug”. The drug spreads among great musicians that days was formidable and dreadful, and it was not exaggerated if the dangerous stuff became a part that is eminently attached in their life, so as brought forth an idiom of “sex, drug and rock n’ roll”, along with various motives of its consumers, which surely are not good things to be adopted by later generations.
However, there is one interesting example; it is the life story of legendary singer of the famous The Doors, Jim Morrison. It is his efforts towards degree of perfectness in his career and his principle of drugs addictive (heroin and cocaine), which was inspired by traditions of Indian tribe. As it has been said, most of witches of ancient Indian in America consumed a substance—a kind of high-dosage drug—during their religious rites in order to “integrate their soul” or be focused towards the Gods, whom they believed as perfectness of soul. Ultimately, Jim Morrison was found dead at his apartment in Paris as a result of overdose on July 3, 1971, precisely at his “27th” year old of age, leaving his great works.
The ritual reason of Jim Morrison surely cannot be accepted by investigators of his death, and they insisted of assuming his death was one of many cases of drugs abuse. However, his group-mate’s, Ray Manzarek, testimony has been quite believed by his fans. Ray, the keyboard player of The Doors, admitted that he had once found figure of Jim Morrison was surrounded by spirits of ancestry of Indian tribes at the moment Jim performed on stage in particular show of the legendary group. Nevertheless, the testimony was finally failed as Ray Manzarek had been diagnosed being mentally ill at the end of his career then he must undergo a rehabilitation momentarily.
Other example of case was the mystery of the death of grunge music’s ‘God’, Kurt Cobain, whom had been said “giving up his soul” right at the age of 27 by suicide on March 1994 at his apartment in Seattle, Washington.
Up to the date, no one might be able to reveal the deaths mysteries at the age of 27 of the world’s music superstars concerned, leaving them still as “artificial” stories of life histories for the sake of business and popularity. The level of faith upon “Die at 27” phenomena among music communities of the world has been developed in a variety of elevations to the date.
How is your judgment?
Written by Budi “Abuy” Lumy – former vocalist of Bandung-based Time Bomb Blues & former senior editor of ‘The Flag’
English version by Rizkal D Satriadi
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