Forever 27

Some of the most famous rock musicians in history died at the age of 27. In the minds of many they are “Forever 27.” But where are they now? Some would like to think they are at a big party in the sky. Some say, “Heaven must have one hell of a band.” Some may hope for an eternal life full of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” in heaven. How many have bought into the rock n’ roll fantasy presented to the young people of America? The record company executives have profited untold millions, destroying young lives.
The wild, fast-paced lifestyle of these musicians has captured the attention of millions. It seems as if they lived an exciting life, but what caused them to die so young? Why is suicide thought to have been involved in each one of their deaths? What caused all the loneliness and pain that they tried to cover up with drugs and alcohol? They started their careers broke and homeless; they ended their careers rich and famous. Why couldn’t that make them happy?

Can’t Buy Me Love

All the money they had couldn’t buy love, and all the fame they had couldn’t give them peace. They watched all the people draw near when they became rich and famous, acting as if they really loved them as a person. Every time these musicians tried to love someone, they would find out that people’s true motives were to gain fame and fortune for themselves. Perhaps that was what Jimi Hendrix was suffering with when he wrote the note that was found next to his drug-overdosed body:

The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye;
the story of love is hello and goodbye…

If only he had known that life can go on forever in peace, and a love can be found which never departs.
The more people are overtaken by their selfish ambitions, the further they drift from the image of God, and the purpose for which they were created. Pure love cannot be found through someone’s selfishness. The empty husk of love people settle for in selfishness eventually passes away. They get connected to an evil realm, which promotes living for themselves with little or no thought for how they ruin the lives of others. They soak themselves in drugs and alcohol trying to escape the screaming voice of their conscience. They can’t help but dig the same grave for anyone willing to listen. This spirit tries to capture young people who are easier to convince and not so set in their ways.

The Path of Fame and Fortune

Jim Morrison sang,

Gonna’ make it, baby, in our prime
Come together one more time1

What was he thinking when he said, “make it”? Did he anticipate how his life would end up? Did his fans? If you follow someone you will end up where he is going. Those who follow this reckless path will end up where it leads… IN DEATH.
Death speaks through these musicians, trying to direct your way of life. It glorifies living on the edge, tempting death. It tries to make you think you’re invincible.

Well, I woke up this morning, and got myself a beer.
The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.2

When death’s “Forever 27 CLUB” started to take shape, it quickly captured the attention of people all over the world. The media took off in full swing (to their music), promoting these young, dead musicians for every penny they were worth. They were 27, and died on drugs. Now the criteria for being a “legend” in the music scene changed. If you really wanted to be remembered, you had to be… FOREVER 27.

It’s Better to Burn Out than Fade Away

Kurt Cobain was one of the most famous musicians in the 90s. His drug-laced music was a magnet to anyone who was looking for a change. He soon found himself on top of the music charts, looking down at the life he once had. He had become an idol and a perfect tool for evil spirits to speak through.
By the time he turned 27, he felt as though he had reached the peak of his career. He found himself on the same peak that his heroes had stood on years before.
Now it was time — time to make a choice. He could coast down the other side of the peak and lose his fame, or he could die and be “Forever 27.” Only Kurt Cobain knows what finally motivated him to choose death. He shot himself while on heroin. He left a suicide note that gave us a window into what he was thinking in the final moments of his life:

“It is better to burn out than fade away.”3

Once again, “Forever 27” was reignited in another generation of youth. The entrepreneurs fueled the fire, sending posters and T-shirts all over the world. That fire is still burning today, urging people to live life with reckless abandon with no thought of the consequences.

The Cold Reality of Death

Is heaven a place where you can just go to when the time is convenient, or when life becomes too difficult? What makes people think that these musicians are all in heaven still jamming, but somehow happier than they were in their time on earth? Does the lifestyle of these people represent the image of God that will endure through eternity? Did these people fulfill the purpose for which they were created?
It might just seem like thoughts you’ve had yourself, justifications you’ve come up with for things you’d really like to do. But it’s more than that. There are spirits at work that want you to think that even if you live a life of “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” that God is not going to condemn you for “having a little fun.” But regardless of what anyone tries to tell you, there are significant consequences for going against the truth you know in your heart.
One of my best friends thought he could just “go to heaven” when life got difficult. He thought it was better to “burn out than fade away,” as Cobain wrote. So he shot himself. My friend thought he was going to see him. He thought he was going to heaven to meet all of the musicians whose words touched him, so long ago. But instead, he has to face regret, agony, and torment in death.
When my friend died, it woke me up to the reality of death. It could have easily been me who fell into the same trap. Drugs had become part of my lifestyle also. Each day was another game of Russian Roulette. The music I listened to engulfed my entire thought process. I was living my life according to the words that touched me through these musicians. I wanted to live like them.
I wanted to have a life that was radically different than the people around me. I saw the way people went to school, got a job, and died, just as billions had done before them. I saw life like an assembly line factory that produced programmed robots, just to be put in a box and buried when they stopped working. I wanted to do something different, and these musicians were the first clues I could find to lead me out. I wanted to be far away from being just another programmed robot in society.
As years went by, I got into more drugs, and more trouble. I found myself in and out of jail, with a trail of wrecked cars and broken relationships behind me. I decided to move to Florida, thinking that getting away from my old friends would get me away from my old habits. I soon found new friends, and along with them came new drug dealers. The new life I was seeking to find turned out to be the same scene with a different mask, with the same music pulling me down into that plastic society I wanted nothing to do with. Again, I decided to move — this time to California.
I drove my van across the country, taking in all the beautiful landscapes. I went on in hope that a purpose for my life was waiting for me on the other side of the mountains. I traveled up and down the coast for months, looking for the perfect place to start my new life. I wanted to find people who were “outsiders” like me. I wanted to find people who weren’t programmed robots in society. But I couldn’t find anyone who thought the way I did. Everyone I met seemed satisfied. I couldn’t find anything that had meaning. I decided to start living in Mexico, because the rent was cheaper there, and so were the drugs. I had to numb the growing pain of my purposeless life.
Life in Mexico was just that. I got to know some people and we began to push the limits of nightlife. One night, I woke up to a Mexican doctor who was leaning over me and asking me questions. I had overdosed, and someone had brought me to the hospital. I quickly slipped out and staggered down some random road. I was lost, in Mexico. I had never felt so drained in my whole life. I had climbed out of wrecked cars many times, and even had guns pointed in my face, but never had I been so close to death.
I was covered in a cold sweat as I walked along the dirt road, and thought I would collapse, at any moment. It felt as if every ounce of life had been sucked out of my soul. Following the lyrics of my “heroes” had brought me to the edge of the same pit of death they were drawn into. I felt as if I was teetering on the cliff of death and could hear my heroes singing from far below. Their music was the middleman, inviting me to “join the party.”
With no money in my pockets, I began waving down taxis, one after the other, until finally one driver gave me a ride to the U. S. border. He was already taking another woman there. I got out of the taxi and dragged my worn out, exhausted body to the inspection line. An officer caught sight of my condition right away, and ran my ID. He found out that I had a warrant in another state, and put me in handcuffs. I was thrown into a cold cell with nothing to think about except the death that I had just barely escaped. I knew that God had given me another chance to live.
Five days later, I was released from jail because the warrant wasn’t serious enough for them to extradite me to another state. I began spending a lot of time on the California beaches, staring out into the horizon for hours. I was praying that God would show me the purpose for my life. I would watch the sun melt into the distant ocean as another day blew by like a wave in the sea.
I labored with God, day after day, to show me the reason for which I was born. I needed to find a real life that was worth living. I needed to live for something more than just getting rich, or die trying. I needed to find God.
One day, as I was walking along the beach, a bus caught my attention. It was painted like a “Hippie” bus of the ‘60s, and people were selling fruits and vegetables in front of it. It reminded me of the ‘60s Movement that once captured the USA by storm. It made me sad to think about all the people who were in the Movement and then traded “peace and love” for a suit and tie. I walked up to the bus and began talking to these people. They were very kind and hospitable, offering me some iced tea and cookies they had made. After a short talk with them, they invited me to their house for a celebration. I thought I was just going to a hippie party. Little did I know, I was really going to the answer to my prayers.
When I arrived at their house, I was greeted as though they had known me all my life. The warmth I felt assured me that I was experiencing the love of God. I watched as the children of these people played their instruments and danced with everyone in a giant circle. I noticed that everyone seemed to be happy. I had never seen anything like this before. I started to ask the people around me questions, and they responded with words of truth that opened my eyes. They told me that they followed the Son of God, and that Yahshua was His actual Hebrew name.
Their “Yahshua” sounded so alive compared to the stale “Jesus” that the world had preached to me for many years. They explained to me how they all lived together and shared everything in common, causing there to be no needy among them. Every question I had about life was answered and I could see my purpose being revealed before my very eyes.
My hopelessness gave way to hope as I heard that I could have a new life and be cleansed from my guilty conscience. I willingly gave my life to follow Yahshua and be a part of what He was doing on the earth. Now I am no longer alone, but belong to a people. I am following the One who is worthy of my life.
We are longing for you to come and be with us, to be enabled to love, and fulfill your purpose. You will meet people who will do what it takes to love you, to bring healing and restoration to your entire being. It may be hard to believe, but there are answers to your deepest questions. Please come and see for yourself.

  • 1. Doors, Five To One: Waiting For the Sun (1968)
  • 2. Doors, Roadhouse Blues: Morrison Hotel (1970)
  • 3. Kurt Cobain’s last words, Suicide Note (1994), See page 3

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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