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Against doctor’s orders, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan hit the road one more time with the Grateful Dead. The band’s 1972 tour of Europe is legendary. But at the time, Pigpen was just trying to stay above ground. You could hear it in his voice when he took the mic onstage. Close your eyes and his voice was a window into the past. But listen closer, and you’d hear something else. Something you couldn’t quite put your finger on. A distance. Some pain. Truth was, Pigpen was on borrowed time. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A dark cloud of death hung over the Grateful Dead as they went into the studio to make what is arguably their masterpiece, American Beauty. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones…they were all gone. All dead at the age of 27. But time didn’t stop. Time marched on. The cold hands of death could close in on any of them. But who? When would they go? And how would they go? For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Busted down on Bourbon Street. Fleeced by a member of the family. Plastered on a runaway train barreling through the Canadian countryside. As the Grateful Dead faced a number of new challenges and detours, their music moved steadily ahead on solid footing – evidenced by the back-to-basics songs that made up Workingman’s Dead, their best album in years. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Though Ron “Pigpen” McKernan continued to feel like he was being pushed out of the Grateful Dead’s creative circle, he could still make an impression. Just ask Led Zeppelin, who got an up-close and personal look at Pig’s .22-caliber pistol. The fear that they felt standing next to what seemed like, to them, to be an American cowboy in the flesh was dwarfed months later…by the fear and violence that ran rampant at the Altamont Speedway. This episode contains content that may be disturbing to some listeners and includes graphic depictions of violence. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As Haight-Ashbury devolved from a counterculture mecca to a commodified tourist haven, and the Grateful Dead searched for the perfect sound to complement their continued evolution, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan found that his musical contributions were becoming obsolete. It wasn't long before he had to face the fact that the he was finally losing control of the group he had created. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As the Grateful Dead’s star continued to rise, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan felt he would rather be a dark star, invisible to the world. But he couldn’t hide. Not from the throngs of fans. And not from the San Francisco Police Department. Maybe they saw Pig’s leather vest and cowboy hat and figured he was an outlaw. Or maybe they just wanted to outlaw his type and the whole freaky scene along with him. And they tried to do just that in the fall of 1967, as the sun set on the Summer of Love and the Dead waited like sitting ducks at their house at 710 Ashbury Street. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan wonders if he's the only person not tripping inside a warehouse in the burned-out Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the Grateful Dead are soundtracking yet another acid test. He further wonders if he's the only one who recognizes the gravity of the situation when the LAPD burst in. Later, he falls hard for a likeminded blues lover who turns on her lovelight. But not before he falls into a pit of despair when he is unknowingly dosed and embarks on a trip from which he may never return. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan could already feel his influence in the band waning from early on. Even back when the Grateful Dead were still known as the Warlocks. Whereas Pig subsisted on raw power fueled by alcohol and blues music, the rest of the members of the band were functioning on a completely different level. They listened to music, talked literature, and explored the cosmos...while loaded to the gills on LSD. Pig did not partake. He found himself not just playing in a band, but navigating a world of merry pranksters, acid tests, and long, strange trips. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan was the primary figure and driving force at the core of the Grateful Dead's origin story. He was an old soul, a digger of deep moods, a devotee of biker chic, and a tireless student of the blues. His devotion to classic Americana kept the band grounded even when they found themselves lost in experimental improvisation. But as the Dead evolved and became more famous, Pigpen became more of an outlier. While the rest of the band dropped acid, he drank Thunderbird. While they looked to the future for a new strain of American music, he looked back to the past. And by the time he died in 1973 at the age of 27, the band that Pigpen had started all those years ago no longer had room for him. For more info on the 27 CLUB and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Get ready for Season 5 of the 27 Club to take the strange and not-so-long trip of Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, a founding member of the Grateful Dead. Pigpen wasn't just a member of the Dead. He was the Dead. But just like Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones or Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd, Pigpen felt his role in the Grateful Dead shrink as the rest of the band members expanded their minds and their sound. The story of Pigpen is about a major musical and cultural shift that took place as the 1960s gave way to the 1970s. It’s a story of acid tests and bottles of Thunderbird, of angels from hell and a nine-fingered wizard, of busts down on Bourbon Street and shakedowns in the Haight…and of the man who tried to pull his band back down to earth as they continued to get pulled higher into the cosmos. It's a story that ends tragically...at the age of 27. The 27 Club is hosted by Jake Brennan, creator and host of the award-winning Disgraceland podcast, and produced by iHeartRadio and Double Elvis. Season 5, all about Ron "Pigpen" McKernan and the Grateful Dead, launches Thursday, June 9, 2022. For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011 at the age of 27, the world mourned. For many, the grim reality was far from surprising. What was surprising, however, was what happened next. Sordid stories were told about her last night that contradicted the accepted narrative. An autopsy was called into question. And years down the line, there was a contested attempt to bring not just her music but her likeness back to life.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Five years had passed since her last album. Her ex-husband was facing jail time for burglary. But Amy Winehouse chose to focus on the positive. She may not have been entirely sober, but she was no longer using. She had found a new person to love, and one who loved her. And then...the bottom dropped out.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
One of Amy Winehouse’s final collaborators was Tony Bennett, who, unbeknownst to her, had his own stories to tell about struggling with addiction and fear. But no one, not even Tony Bennett, could help Amy Winehouse. A concert in Serbia became a new low point. Hallucinations and paranoia turned reality into a nightmare. And there wasn’t one tabloid, blog, or social media platform that wasn’t there to capture it all – every last slip-up and wrong turn.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amy Winehouse wasn’t sure exactly what she was getting into when she accepted a £1million offer to play a private show for an anonymous Russian oligarch. Even more concerning was the uncertainty that lay ahead. After she squandered an opportunity to collaborate with a living legend and tried to burn the bridge of one of her most steadfast musical partners, Amy faced a crossroads. The two paths were clear. One was brightly lit; the other was dark. The choice was surprisingly difficult.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amy Winehouse gravitated towards trouble like a moth to a flame. She hung out with the libertines of London’s seedy society, which regularly left her life in shambles. A multi-day drug binge left her on death’s door. She left decorum at the front door when a holiday trip to the theatre turned violent. Yet despite all this, she still managed to give the people the one thing they were never expecting – hope that it would all turn around soon.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When Amy Winehouse first met with producer Mark Ronson, their candid conversation would become a musical legend. That fateful meeting led to a career-defining song, a critically acclaimed album, and a creative vision that would cement her place in the pop pantheon. It gave her confidence to wage a war against the people who were hurting her the most – and win. But that momentum would prove no match for the steady stream of challenges, from old habits to hurricanes, that refused to disappear.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners and includes descriptions of an eating disorder.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amy Winehouse made music that sounded like alchemy, thanks in large part to collaborators like producer Salaam Remi. Alchemy was something that became increasingly absent from Amy’s time outside the studio; in its place were lurking paparazzi, incessant boos, cases of Jack Daniels, and a life-sized gallery sculpture that predicted the worst.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There were two sides to Amy Winehouse. One side was triumphant. The other side was a disaster. Two consecutive appearances at the Glastonbury Festival made that crystal clear; one presented Amy at her best, and the other presented her at her lowest. But no matter which side she found herself on, she pulled no punches. She even threw some punches of her own.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amy Winehouse didn’t compromise her sound for anyone. She had her creative vision under control. Meanwhile, her personal life spiraled out of control. She ran for her life down a dark London street following an unhinged and violent domestic dispute. Her money was offered up in an extortion deal to prevent her husband from doing time for the assault of an innocent man. And in 2007, London police made their maiden raid of her Camden flat – and were shocked by what they found inside.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including domestic violence and descriptions of self-harm. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Amy Winehouse fused the past with the present to make music for the future. Her own future was compromised by a series of escalating challenges that coincided with the worldwide success of her sophomore album, Back to Black. She accepted a Grammy Award while her beloved Camden burned. Her violent antics inside and outside the pub were pure paparazzi fodder. And just as she reached the upper echelon of British society, new revelations threatened to tear her down. These stories and more on the Season 4 premiere of the 27 Club.For more info on the 27 Club and other great shows, visit the Double Elvis website and follow Double Elvis on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (24)

Lena Fisher

we still doing this shit. really.

May 16th
Reply

April All Year

Texas indeed

Dec 6th
Reply

Feod Akke

It encompasses a continuum of severities, ranging from aggravating heat rash to life threatening heatstroke. https://tutuappx.com/ https://vidmate.onl/

Jul 21st
Reply

Dee Smith

My all time favourite singer 👩‍🎤 Nothing in this podcast would make me think anything else Omg 😱 she’s the GREATEST SINGER

Apr 22nd
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Chuck Norris

love the flow of this podcast, it's incredible.

Nov 3rd
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N Me

well done! the grit of the time & industry are well portrayed..i really enjoyed the show.

Aug 12th
Reply

Tessa S

Wait did he just say “overwrought psychedelic Sinatraisms?” This is the best podcast EVER.

Aug 11th
Reply

Karen Thomas

Jimbo should have gotten a vasectomy.

Aug 6th
Reply

Johnny Utah

JIM MORRISON IS STILL ALIVE AND WILL LIVE FOREVER!!!

Jul 16th
Reply (3)

M Morr

not happy about the sexual content in adds. unpleasing and I cannot recommend this to anyone when the adds are talking about sexual performance. off putting and a Downer. is that the best advertiser you could come up with. sexual performance. lame and stupid.

Jun 29th
Reply

M Morr

this is good. will you venture past artist that did not pass away @27? would be interested bin that too.

May 15th
Reply (1)

Ryan J Harris

Can’t wait for Jim Morrison! When is that starting!!?

Apr 24th
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N Me

nice nod to the great Hunter S., great episode..well, well done Sir!

Apr 22nd
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Bryan Ruiz

awesome Jake. Hey you said you were going to do one about Selena I'm from corpus christi her hometown can't wait for that one

Apr 20th
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Perigrine77

Best episode yet with the best rock voice ever Jake Brenner

Mar 5th
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Perigrine77

I’m gonna say that this is the best podcast by far THE BEST Jake Brenner has done. Awesomely done brotha

Feb 28th
Reply

Perigrine77

GET DOWN BROTHA!!! Jake Brennan you make us hate the wait for the the next cast. Good stuff

Feb 14th
Reply

Mark Maitland

Sounds awesome! Can’t wait to listen.

Feb 8th
Reply

Alack Roberts

holy fuck that ad with that british dude is TERRIBLE! nobody wants to hear an ad where you're being screamed at.

Jan 31st
Reply (1)
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