Monday, July 25, 2011

Amy Winehouse

I don't eulogize often, and I am not sure this will even be a eulogy in the traditional sense. If you did not hear already, British singer Amy Winehouse died from a drug overdose this weekend.

I really loved Amy's music, and her voice was one of my favorites. I don't know that she was that likable of a person, but drug addicts seldom are. I am not overly saddened by her death, but more that it took so long. By the time she got any press in the States with Back to Black (her second album) she was already pretty bad off. In a Rolling Stone interview she was painted rather horribly, and while I am no fan of that magazine it seemed an honest account of the meeting. Frankly, I never expected to see another album from her either due to her death or perhaps she would simply vanish. I do blame a lot of her problems on her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, who reportedly started her on harder drugs. Whether this is fact or not, it is pretty clear he is a major scumbag who was imprisoned "following his guilty plea on charges of trying to pervert the course of justice as well as a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent." [link]

Now, certainly one could conceivably refuse the descent into severe drug addiction, though for many I find this concept hard to swallow. When you are already a troubled person, and a bit of an odd-ball (Russell Brand mentions how odd it was that she was a jazz singer) you often look for anything to alleviate the pain. When someone you think loves you offers an escape you are likely to take it. The same could be said for extreme exercise regimens or religious zealotry.

Anyway, I loved Amy's music, and my only regret is that she did not die quickly enough to avoid becoming a joke. She had one of the great voices and that is what I'll remember.


Lockwood said...

This piece from The (Portland) Oregonian has been the best of the articles I've read:
Excerpt: "It's nothing but sad. When someone -- anyone -- dies young, it's just sad. We can sub tragic, or heartbreaking, or even unfair, and those words are all applicable, but they're nothing but variants of sad.

British singer Amy Winehouse was 27 years old when she was found dead in her London home on Saturday. That the outcome felt so inevitable, so cliche, made it all the more sad."

As I tweeted on Saturday, I wasn't all that familiar with her music, probably only 3 or 4 songs. But I'd been quite impressed with every bit of her work I'd heard. I was saddened to hear the news more that I would have expected; I think I was rooting for to pull through and pull out of her nosedive more than I do with most celeb trainwrecks, simply BECAUSE the tabloids were making such hay with her latest fiasco. I hoped she would succeed despite the goddamn vultures. Now she'll never have the chance.


Darius Whiteplume said...

Thanks for that link, I will have to read it.

I would have liked to see her turn around as well. Russell Brand, who knew her before she was famous, did a nice piece on her. I imagine if we looked at addiction differently she might have been helped.

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