5 Toastmasters Speech Topics
on The Forever 27 Club

Toastmasters speech topics on the famous musicians and guitar lesson heroes Jones, Hendrix, and songwriter producer Joplin, Morrison, and Cobain belonging to the so-called 27 club for speaking and writing jobs of TI members. In the two years surrounding 1970, the world of music and entertainment lost four major influences, all at the age of 27 and most to drug-related deaths. These rock stars are often referred to as the Forever 27 Club: 

More of an odd classification than organization with t-shirts, although they all do have t-shirt memorabilia. So, they are ideal for developing not-boring very special Toastmasters speech ideas!

The specific member list is debated for years - with more than 20 candidates of stars and celebrities deceased at age 27. However the usual focus is on the four deaths around 1970 of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. They are Forever 27 and famous as ever.

Below I will give a short bio of each of them, consider them as handy starting points for developing Toastmasters speech topics for public speaking speeches on not-every-day themes and people.

Brian Jones - Jones is responsible for the English rock band The Rolling Stones as the founder, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. He only played guitar for one decade, having received his first guitar lesson for his 17th birthday, yet he left the legacy of a band with 55 albums and one of the most prominent music magazines.

Jones is credited as being among the first musicians to play the slide guitar in the UK. He drowned in a pool on July 3 1969 surrounded in rumors of foul play. The Stones released the song Honky Tonk Woman that same day and two volumes of poetry were self-published by Morrison that year.

By the way, the other members of the Rolling Stones are also good Toastmasters speech topics, but you thought so yourself I guess :-)

Jimi Hendrix - One month after Jones died in the summer of ‘69, the legendary original Woodstock festival - a good TI topic idea too - took place with Hendrix and Joplin among the more than 30 performers. Both Rolling Stone and Guitar World magazines voted Hendrix as the best electric guitarist of all time.

Hendrix was also the singer, songwriter and producer of his music. More than 300 recordings were left behind unreleased when he overdosed on sleeping pills in September of 1970.

By the way, what do you think of music magazines like Rolling Stone as resources for many interesting Toastmasters speech topics?

Janis Joplin - Just two weeks later, Janis Joplin overdosed on heroin. This American singer-songwriter ranked #46 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 vote of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and Time magazine - great source for other Toastmasters speech topics - referred to her as probably the most powerful singer to emerge from the white rock movement.

She joined the band Big Brother and The Holding Company in 1966. Joplin was a self-proclaimed drug user throughout her short career and had a trademark beverage of southern comfort. As a typical rebellious flower child of the 60’s, Joplin helped to popularize tattoos with the small heart on her chest and a contemporary wristlet.

The other two speech topics for Toastmasters members on the core of the Forever 27 Club are the late Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. I will discuss them now briefly.

Jim Morrison - Besides being an American singer/songwriter and published poet, Morrison was also a writer, and the director of a documentary film. He was raised in an overbearing military household and became an alcoholic in adolescence. With long bushy hair and a charismatic attitude he helped form the psychedelic rock band The Doors in 1965.

The band has sold 80 million albums worldwide. In March 1971, Morrison moved to Paris and shaved his beard.

He died of heart failure, possibly from an accidental overdose, while taking a bath on July 3, 1971 – exactly two years after Jones. Yes, The Doors' rock music albums could serve as source for finding more good Toastmasters speech topics for oral purposes.

Kurt Cobain - The overwhelming fame and age 27 death of Kurt Cobain allows him to be an honorary Forever 27 member who increased group awareness with his death over two decades later. Cobain is the American singer, guitarist and songwriter of the multi-platinum nineties rock band, Nirvana.

You know, the lyric themes of the CD albums could serve as Toastmasters speech topics too. In the book Heavier Than Heaven, Cobain’s sister said he talked in their childhood of wanting to join the 27 Club.

He committed suicide with a shotgun on April 5, 1994 at a remarkable age of 27 years.

Study their story and consider them as candidate Toastmasters speech topics. When you search the net, you will find many more musicians, famous producers, songwriters, entertainers and celebrities who died at 27. It seems strange, but sometimes the truth is strange and unexpected ...