Thanks @Mariah Adams!
Re “why want to live…” I am not sure it was their choice to die young. I know, the drugs and all… Many do drugs without explicitely wanting to die right then and there. Especially in the 70s, drug abuse was something the world did not know much about yet. There was a lot of experimenting going on.
An overdose is usually an accident, not an intentional suicide. But indeed Joplin, Hendrix, Billy Holiday and some others were so good, it was hard to imagine them going anywhere higher beyond that point in time. It is as if they had fulfilled their purpose and left — at their peak, rather than go downhill and fall apart slowly… Now they live on young and bright in our memories.
I am thinking of my dad. He was quite a character back in the day. Then, he lived to be over 90. He had managed to cheat death time and time again. Miraculously survived a grenade hit that had chopped off his entire right arm; survived being hit by a bus and a number of other accidents. The once brilliant lawyer, an intelligent, educated, talented and charismatic person with a lot of admirable principles and ideals, a man that had so much to offer, he had become a terrible person in his old age . No dementia or Alsheimer. He was too intellectually active for that. Just a personality development — or deterioration, rather. All the worst character traits fully surfaced and took over. Totally obliterated all the good stuff he once had. He had became a bad charicature of the man he once was. What is the worst, as he had lived to be 96, his “bad” years had lasted as long, if not longer than his good ones. How am I supposed to remember him now?
So much on staying alive.