The 27 Club & a BMJ study

deirdre

Senior Member.
but then this word has already been removed from the page?
did YOU remove it from the page? i dont really care, of course, about the word repeatedly as this thread is about the main BMJ study. (even though there is no proof it has been repeatedly)

The BMJ study supports this statement.
sure if we believe movie actors are musicians. (which i personally don't)
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
No, because I don't deal in vague terms like "the idea of the 27 club".

I'm saying it is right to test "famous musicians are at an increased risk of death at age 27" (which is a concise reformulation of the idea that there's something "weird" with the 27 club) using a sample that does not include Janis, Jimi and Jim.

Should I explain the concept of sampling as it applies to statistics in social sciences? From past conversations, I have the impression you're already familiar with it.

If you're chosing who's in, or not in, your sample, then you're *not* sampling, you're literally cherry picking.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If you're chosing who's in, or not in, your sample, then you're *not* sampling, you're literally cherry picking.
Precisely.
That's why the study uses a predermined criterium for their "famous musician" sample (#1 album in the UK before/at the age of 27) and includes everyone who fits.
 

Mauro

Active Member
Precisely.
That's why the study uses a predermined criterium for their "famous musician" sample (#1 album in the UK before/at the age of 27) and includes everyone who fits.
The BMJ study rigorously tested the question 'is there an excess of deaths at the age of 27 among the people which topped UK music charts between 1957 and 2006?'. It's a good study, methodologically sound, nobody disputes this.

But is it any good on shedding light on the '27 club' hypothesis? Well.. not much.. because:
  1. The '27 Club' hypothesis is ill-defined. It started with 'rock legends' but it now seemingly morphed to (according to the wikipedia references below) 'popular musicians, artists and actors'. Rock legends are one thing, popular musicians are a very different thing, popular musicians artists & actors are even more different. This problem of course is not specific to the BMJ article, it's inherent in the whole '27 Club' idea itself, just it cannot be swept under the rug by simply redefining the Club as 'musicians topping the UK charts between 1957 and 2006'.
  2. On would expect a statistical study to at least include the most eponimous examples on which the hypothesis is based (pointed out by @deirdre among others). Given the BMJ study leaves out three out of four of the original cases from which everything started (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix), and three out of five cases from which the hypothesis gained renewed fame (the other two being Brian Jones and, much later, Kurt Cobain, according to wikipedia), it's quite doubtful the sample chosen by BMJ was representative.
  3. Statistical studies should check for counfounding variables (as pointed out by many), ie. lifestyle of musicians vs. general population etc. etc., which BMJ didn't do.

Note: about the '27 Club' hypothesis itself my position is: 'not even testable' (too much ill-defined: see point 1 above). But in case some exact, non-cherry-picked, definition could be agreed upon it would turn out to be either false or explained by point 3 above.


Wikipedia references (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club):


1656591907801.png


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Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. At the time, the coincidence gave rise to some comment,[9][10] but it was not until Kurt Cobain's 1994 death, at age 27, that the idea of a "27 Club" began to catch on in public perception.[8
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Statistical studies should check for counfounding variables (as pointed out by many), ie. lifestyle of musicians vs. general population etc. etc., which BMJ didn't do.
The BMJ paper does compare the overall death rate for famous musicians with the general population.
Unless you posit that there are confounding factors that apply to age 27 but not adjacent ages, they're irrelevant for finding an age 27 death spike.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I fail to see how a non-musician can record a hit album.

According to the BMJ study:

The sample included crooners, death metal stars, rock 'n’ rollers and even Muppets (the actors, not the puppets).
Content from External Source

Here are the Muppet performers who are listed on the album's Wikipedia page (presumably the source for the data):
  • Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, Swedish Chef, Waldorf, and Newsman
  • Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, Sam the Eagle, and Marvin Suggs
  • Jerry Nelson as Floyd, Robin the Frog, Country Trio, and Uncle Deadly
  • Richard Hunt as Scooter, Sweetums, Statler, Wayne, and Mildred
  • Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Zoot, Bunsen Honeydew, and Muppy
  • Eren Ozker as Hilda, Wanda, and Janice
  • John Lovelady as Crazy Harry and Nigel
  • Fran Brill as Mary Louise
Would you say that none of them are non-musicians?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Thank you! The links were very convenient!
According to the BMJ study:

The sample included crooners, death metal stars, rock 'n’ rollers and even Muppets (the actors, not the puppets).
Content from External Source

Here are the Muppet performers who are listed on the album's Wikipedia page (presumably the source for the data):
"Released June 25, 1977".
Performers born before 25 June 1949 are not "at risk" and excluded from the study.

  • Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, Swedish Chef, Waldorf, and Newsman
born September 24, 1936 —> excluded
had a record label at one point
  • Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, Sam the Eagle, and Marvin Suggs
born May 25, 1944 —> excluded
  • Jerry Nelson as Floyd, Robin the Frog, Country Trio, and Uncle Deadly
born July 10, 1934 —> excluded
  • Richard Hunt as Scooter, Sweetums, Statler, Wayne, and Mildred
born August 17, 1951 —> at risk, died age 40
"His roles on
The Muppet Show included Scooter, Statler, Janice, Beaker, and Sweetums"
Janice: janice-muppets.gif
  • Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Zoot, Bunsen Honeydew, and Muppy
born July 16, 1946 —> excluded
born 25 July 1948 —> excluded
born 11 August 1931 —> excluded
born September 30, 1946 —> excluded
Would you say that none of them are non-musicians?
Would you say the inclusion of Richard Hunt ruins the dataset?

(They recorded a hit album, of course they're musicians.)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Precisely.
That's why the study uses a predermined criterium for their "famous musician" sample (#1 album in the UK before/at the age of 27
then they are choosing who is in and not in.
Note: about the '27 Club' hypothesis itself my position is: 'not even testable' (too much ill-defined: see point 1 above). But in case some exact, non-cherry-picked, definition could be agreed upon it would turn out to be either false or explained by point 3 above.
i like the Rock n Roll hall of fame as a data base. Winehouse is too young to be in it now..but she likely will be eventually (your first album had to be 25 years ago to prove you have staying power). Everybody else of note is in the Hall of Fame.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Well then: you should add "famous musician" to his profile on Wikipedia. :D
you should add it it to Kermit's page, he is the one the kids bought the album because of.

Article:
Kermit performed the hit singles "Bein' Green" in 1970 and "Rainbow Connection" in 1979 for The Muppet Movie, the first feature-length film featuring the Muppets. Kermit's original performance of "Rainbow Connection" reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2021

1656632361300.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I hope they included the trumpet player in their data.

But, seriously, The Amazing Marvin Suggs and His Muppaphone definitely trumps and debunks Jimi Hendrix. I'm convinced!
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
you know..the Rock and Roll Hall of fame would be a good and proper database (vs a uk #1 album thing) [ i would include nominated too as david johanson/the dolls should be in your numbers too...but you guys can debate that][/article]
You are prolly not aware but the rock 'n' roll hall of fame is considered a bit of a joke due to them missing a lot of big names yet including many objectively lesser ones. I do agree the BMJ #1 UK album criteria is terrible
 

Mauro

Active Member
CaptainCourgette said:
You are prolly not aware but the rock 'n' roll hall of fame is considered a bit of a joke due to them missing a lot of big names yet including many objectively lesser ones
but at least it includes all the big names of the 27 club.

Well, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is not that bad, even if it includes people such as Abba and Michael Jackson who, well, have nothing to do with rock (nor, to be honest, with music :rolleyes:). Let's compromise: if they indict Ian Curtis, and they promise they will never indict Amy Winehouse, I can accept it :cool:
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Looking into this issue has given me a real insight into how Wikipedia works - and, perhaps by extension, how information exists in the actual real world. The way I see it:

1. Once upon a time, between 1969 and 1971, four megastars of the rock music world died at the age of 27 and the idea of 'The 27 Club' was born
2. This was repeated as an interesting coincidence by word-of-mouth and written in books (probably I first heard it from my dad - a blues guitarist - and maybe read it in one or two books about Hendrix when I was a young teen)
3. Kurt Cobain dies in 1994. Some people say, wow, look there's another one
4. Fast forward to the internet age and sites hungry for content. They write articles and lists on any old shite. They search anything that will make people click. So now any time somebody even remotely connected to celebrity (Elvis's grandson?) dies at 27 they are connected to the 'club', all to get views and ad revenue
5. The Wikipedia article is maintained and managed by about 4 or 5 unknown people. Their criteria for including someone in the 27 Club is if they've been mentioned in a reliable source. And apparently local newspapers and trashy celebrity magazines/websites are classed as reliable sources
6. Since Wikipedia is the go-to place for initial information these 4 or 5 unknown people - and the content farming magazines and websites - have, in a sense, redefined the list. No longer is it about "music megastars" but "anyone even tenuously linked to celebrity as long as they've been mentioned as joining the 27 Club by a so-called "reliable source" (such as In Touch Weekly, The Fader, or The Birmingham Mail's low quality 'article' saying (I paraphrase) "probably some conspiracy theorists will notice that Jade Goody was 27 when she died")
7. If two studies are done these are presented as having "repeatedly disproven" the idea. The studies aren't checked and it doesn't matter if they're any good or not, as long as they're published by a "reliable source" seems enough
8. Linking to metabunk isn't allowed because metabunk isn't classed as a reliable source
9. Funny thing is, if I got a job on a content farm or maybe my local newspaper I would suddenly become a reliable source. Likewise if I went back to university and wrote some studies
10. Same thing, I think, if metabunk developed into something of a website that posted articles summarising its findings (are Mick's words here or on his YouTube 'unreliable' but 'reliable' if they're on some news show or in his book?)
11. It's all just individuals' opinions really. But as long as you're associated with the right publication it doesn't matter if you're fresh out of high school and mostly employed to make the tea, your words could help shape the world's most popular source of information. Same if you're one of those 4 or 5 unknown people with the determination and time to maintain and guard the content, whether qualified or not. A 60-year-old smarter and more learned than the average professor who chooses to express themselves in less formal places, however, is shit out of luck.

Funny old world, ain't it?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Likewise if I went back to university and wrote some studies
Get them published in a reputable journal (passing peer review), and you're golden.
This is how printed encyclopedias worked.

If you want to add Metabunk content to Wikipedia, get a reputable journalist to report on it.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Their criteria for including someone in the 27 Club is if they've been mentioned in a reliable source. And apparently local newspapers and trashy celebrity magazines/websites are classed as reliable sources

It struck me yesterday that there used to be 2 criteria for "famous enough" that was used in some quizes I used to participate in. One, for dead people, was that their obituary was published in a foreign national newspaper. The second was that their name in quotes needed to have so many thousand pages returned by a google search. They're not perfect, but worked remarkably well. The former would still probably work, but alas the latter seems impossible now, I can't get anythiing sensible from google any more at all.

Edit: quick test - https://www.irishmirror.ie/all-about/jade-goody - yup, she's famous enough
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Let's compromise: if they indict Ian Curtis,
i've never heard of Joy Division. assuming the judges are American?, he might be a tougher sell.

edit: oh they sound ok. theyre like a softer version of the psychedelic furs. neat.
 
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Mauro

Active Member
i've never heard of Joy Division. assuming the judges are American?, he might be a tougher sell.
Well, I'm happy you heard about Joy Division now :) . Their music may not appeal at first hearing, but that's the hallmark of truly great music (and of great art in general): it's not immediately pleasing, maybe not at all, but it needs some listening to be appreciated, afterwhich it becomes a shining gem. They were unique, great, true rock legends.

Sorry for this... can I say romantic, loving? (and a bit off-topic) post.

I've walked on water, run through fire, can't seem to feel it any more
Joy Division, New Dawn Fades

No words could explain, no actions determine, just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall.
Joy Division, The Eternal
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
it's not immediately pleasing, maybe not at all, but it needs some listening to be appreciated, afterwhich it becomes a shining gem.
i'm not sure i would say a shining gem. :) willing to go with diamond in the rough. <which is actually better than a shining gem.

maybe if i could understand more than 10% of the words coming out of his mouth it would have helped. i did look up lyrics separate since they said he was a poet who just happened to join a band. some good lines in there.

We went to see Bob Dylan in the late 80s and actually walked out, even though we loved him and knew the songs by heart. literally could not understand 1 freaking word. Thing about poets is... you need words to be a poet. :)

and alot of stooges, bowie, doors, talking heads influence i saw (including some identical riffs) so.. liked that part.
[edit add: im addin gBauhaus because i've had Bela Lugosi's dead stuck in my head since yesterday]

some good bass riffs and guitar riffs i liked alot.

but i did watch several vids and a 2 hour documentary, so now i know who they were. sad story. but i'm glad i learned something that so many people consider legend, that i had never heard of before. even their name was deep ( i thought it was kinda stupid, until i found out what it meant).

Thanks for encouraging me to look into them. it's cool.
 
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Mauro

Active Member
maybe if i could understand more than 10% of the words coming out of his mouth it would have helped.
Really? I thought not understanding words was only a problem of we Italian speakers. Luckily there's the Internet today, when I first met Joy Division I had to buy a lyrics book (which took me a year to find) in a brick&mortar shop if I wanted to understand anything at all :)

Thanks for encouraging me to look into them. it's cool.
I'm so happy, thanks to you :)
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Really? I thought not understanding words was only a problem of we Italian speakers.

Nah, I couldn't understand the words either (as a northern Englishman) - though I have only listened to one and a bit songs of theirs.

Next incarnation New Order was a bit more my cup of tea (well, two songs anyway).
 
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