Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Observations, Amy Winehouse

I've read and watched so many things about Amy Winehose in the past few days. Nothing I have seen says it any better than this piece by MSNBC's Martin Bashir and the video that follows it. The vid is an hour long but so worth watching. If you must just skip to 47 minutes and just watch "You Know I'm No Good." Damn she was good.

"Just a few hours ago, one of the world’s most talented musical artists was laid to rest, as the funeral service for Amy Winehouse took place in London. Amy Winehouse had only spent about seven years as a professional musician but her contribution to popular music already places her very near the top of her business.

Her two albums, “Frank” and “Back to Black,” sold more than four million copies. She won a total of 23 music industry awards, including five Grammys. It’s estimated that over the last three years, she made almost $20 million from recording and performing and all in such a short space of time.

I saw her twice and she had a voice that harked back to previous eras, somehow combining Motown, Soul and Jazz but all in modern form. Her tone was smoky, burnished with an old single malt whiskey – brought to fruition at an incredibly young age.

It was her sound, but sadly, it also became her life. She was a drinker, who by her own admission “didn’t know when to stop.” Her parents talked openly about her drug use and her father once claimed that smoking crack-cocaine had given her emphysema – a debilitating condition for anyone, but imagine its impact upon a woman whose work relied upon her lungs and voice.

There has been some helpful discussion about addictive behavior and how all of us need to understand that many such people are not criminals but are seriously ill and in need of care and support. But if you listen carefully to the lyrics that Amy Winehouse wrote – there is a universal theme that almost proved too difficult for her to bear – that happiness never lasts; that love, as she put it so expertly, is a losing game.

Amy Winehouse’s music was profound because she confronted some of the starkest truths of our existence. That’s some contribution and all in such a short space of time. Amy Winehouse was just 27 years of age when she passed away on Saturday."

Amy Winehouse - Live At Glastonbury Festival 2008


  1. Lurve the post as always KC. Somehow, she had all this talent but at the cost of being so saddled with this debilitating addiction that cost her the life that was so brilliant. Wished I had seen her and had the chance to soak up some of her at her best.

    Sadly, she is gone and part of me thinks that people who have such addictions that are so self destructive get put off in our minds as we'd rather watch the freakshow than see her really get well.

    So young, so brilliant, so sad that she's gone.

  2. Thanks for the comment Lacie, glad you liked it and I hope you watched the vid.

    I'll tell you what, it sometimes seems the talent and the addiction go hand in hand. I have no idea which leads to the other but I know so many people that could learn from her. Sad but I tend to worry about myself first.