Amy Winehouse, RIP

By Adele

I was shocked by Amy Winehouse’s death — even though I knew nothing about her beyond her name. Amy seemed a victim of what I call “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome. Killed by the overblown worship of a talent that didn’t (yet) fully exist.

I watched a video of “Rehab,” where she sang what will undoubtedly become her famous last words once the autopsy results are in…

“They tried to make me go to Rehab,
I said, ‘No, no, no.”

Chef Jamie Oliver probably put it best when he tweeted that Winehouse was a “raw talent.”

Tony Bennett, who must be taken with a grain of salt in his geezerhood, doing “duets” with young singers who can prop up his pipes, called Winehouse “an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition… an exceptional talent.”

To be all that, she’d at least have had to master diction. I watched several of her videos to see what Tony was talking about, and you can’s make out half of her lyrics. (I know, I sound like Karen kvetching about Treme. Sorry.)

Almost as much as Amy’s death, it shocked me to read that her album, Back to Black, won 5 Grammies!

Who are we kidding? Personally, the woman was a walking trainwreck who looked like the bride Dracula left at the altar. Professionally, she had a so-so voice, if you separate the slick trappings from her actual performances. And Cole Porter (the human) isn’t exactly turning green in his grave in envy of her snappy lyrics.

So another one bites the dust because people keep mistaking sheer guts for talent. Amy Winehouse might have one day become a great musician if everyone hadn’t jumped the gun and declared her first trickles of drivel “pure genius.”

Maybe we should learn to hold our applause until these superstar wannabes do their homework, pay their dues, and outgrow the navel-gazing phase. In that time, they might also develop the maturity and stamina to survive in the pressure-cooker of fame.

We’d have a lot fewer idols, but they’d probably last a lot longer.


9 Responses to Amy Winehouse, RIP

  1. Mandy says:

    I agree with some of what you said, but I urge you to listen to her albums before judging so glibly, Adele.

  2. Noel McWormald says:

    Amy was constantly in the media in the UK 2 and 3 years ago. Everyone there knew and talked about the fact that she was a “member of the 27 club” waiting to happen. Along with Janis, Jimmy, Jim, and Kurt. The people who “handled” her actually “handled her” all the way to the grave. Hope they serve as pallbearers to make it official. The woman should’ve been watched like a hawk, not thrown out on stage in a drunken, drug-induced stupor to face the ire of her fans and then left alone, in despair, to do herself in. She needed support and was victimized by greedy hangers on. She WAS the definition of a “hot mess,” but I think she showed more than a modicum of talent. Doesn’t matter… the bottom line is that “greed is” NOT “good” We see it in our politics and I think it’s what we’re seeing here. Winehouse was a child star, in essence, who was put through the meat grinder of the industry. Coupled with her own raging demons, she was bound to come out of the grinder as sausage meat.

  3. Anne says:

    I agree wth you! Amen!!!!!

  4. Amy Winehouse is responsible for her own death–let’s not sugar-coat this fact or enable others like her (e.g., Lady Gaga) to rise to stardom. I bought Winehouse’s CD because I thought the “no, no, no” to rehab was a joke; turns out the joke was on Amy. While her “Rehab” CD lies cold in my trunk buried under a pile of beach towels that smell of mold, Amy is buried 6-feet-under a pile of lies. Let’s face it, Winehouse was no Judy Garland, even though they met the same fate…RIP, Amy; let’s hope that some good can come of your death by design, which is chapter one from the Book of Club 27.

  5. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Mandy. I DID listen to a lot of Amy’s songs before writing my post, so I don’t think I judged her glibly, nor did I dismiss her potential for being great someday, like maybe whenever she decided to get over her urge to look like a freak — the look had a very limited shelf life before she turned into a cartoon of herself. Undoubtedly, her music “spoke” to certain fans who could identify with it, much as teenagers identify with Bella’s angst over that ridiculous sparkly vampire in the Twilight series. But that isn’t going to turn Bella into Jane Eyre, who’s continuing to have movies made of her story over a 100 years after the book was written.

    I think Amy is, unfortunately, destined to become a footnote in musical history, maybe a minor cult figure. She probably could have accomplished much more.

    I have to agree with Noel. Winehouse was a hot mess, and it’s a shame that everybody around her indulged her and sat back and while she self-destructed and turned her most famous song into a parody of her life. It’s always amazing what people will do for money. Well, the joke’s on them. No more Amy to make their fortune from.

  6. Zappa's mom says:

    Very,very sad

    But I hate addicts.Yeah,yeah,I know,its a “disease” and “don’t hate the player,hate the game” and other such shit,but you you junkies out their lying to,stealing from,and betraying the people that love you also suffer from the disease of assholeness.

    But Im not judging


  7. catsworking says:

    ZM, you have a point. Junkie. Asshole. The 2 do seem to go together. When do you ever meet a lovable, happy junkie?

  8. MorganLF says:

    Tragic how? No one really cares. She was a self-absobed, self-destructive mess with dubious “talent”. She had talent for bad behavior ….. So sad too bad, bye, so long, farewell …yawn.

  9. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you always brighten our day.

    After listening to “Rehab” a few times, I can’t get the damn thing out of my head now, along with the image of her pouty lips spouting, “No, no, no!”

    Then I wondered if they played a medley of her greatest hits at her funeral today to remind everybody why she was being planted (or whatever they did with her) rather than traveling the world on tour.

    It is hard to feel sorry for people who luck into fame and fortune with a mere wisp of talent and then do everything they can to sabotage themselves. And other poor suckers with a lot to offer just struggle from day to day and never catch a break.

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