Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse

I cried when my extraodinarily evanescent college band broke up. Though a cynic would point out that I might have been crying because the break-up was coincidental with the rending of relations between myself and my college boyfriend, I maintain that the even greater tragedy was the world's loss of Bottle Green's groovy, Irish-punk-rock-pop fusion.

However, it seems as if personally, I may have lucked out:


ROCK stars are famous for excess, and some pay the price. A new study suggests that they are up to three times more likely to die young than the rest of the population, mainly because of drug and alcohol abuse. Researchers led by Mark Bellis at Liverpool John Moores University looked at survival rates for over 1,000 European and American musicians who had their first chart success between 1956 and 1999. From 1956 to 2005, 100 of them died. Some 40% of the Europeans and 28% of the Americans died from overdoses, accidents or chronic disease related to drugs and drink. Cancer and heart disease, conditions associated with unhealthy lifestyles, together claimed over a third of the Americans. The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Since I just know we would have hit the big time had we not been torn apart by the fickle hand of fate, I suppose I have to thank said boyfriend for saving us both from a life of glamour, hard living, and premature death.

Thank you, John, wherever you are. I think.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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