Amy Jade Winehouse (September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011)
“They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’
Yes I’ve been bad but when I come back you’ll know know know
I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
He’s tried to make me go to rehab but I won’t go, go, go”
Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Joining the ranks of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin, all iconic musical legends who were taken during the prime of their lives and their influence, Amy Winehouse is dead at the age of 27. Almost an eeriness of the trans-global influence and defining style of music and the age and nature of their deaths. All these artists that penetrated our souls with their own pain brought a sound and integrity to their music that few have or will again. Given the rare talent each possessed and the inner demons they fought, it is almost a Shakespearean tragedy to bear witness to their ultimate demise.
Today, Amy Winehouse was found dead in our London apartment. The cause and circumstances around her death will of course be one of tabloid laureate for weeks to come, but the bottom line is that in the scheme of long term effects on the music industry and how we remember our idols, it will not matter. What will matter is that the music will continue on for generations to come and strangely in the wake of death, her message of life will come through to many troubled youths and adults who are looking for a sign of inner peace.
I am not nor do I pretend to be an authority of Amy Winehouse, but as an appreciator of talented poets who have the ability to write lyrics and music that penetrate deep into our inner psyche and help us find clarity in moments of grey, Amy Winehouse possessed a raw honesty that was needed in the music industry. She opened up her skin and let fans around the world watch her slowly bleed to death.
Amy struggled every day with fame, talent and addition. Did she want to be famous? Perhaps not, but in her intelligence and genius, she was able to shape messages through her lyrics and admit to her fans that she had problems and was trying to deal one day at a time. She gave us answers when we were afraid to ask the questions. She reached those that were most afraid and said “You are not alone”.
It is a painful day for fans around the world, but like every event, we had a way to invoke a rippling reaction. In a time with apathy has become almost a new religion, today’s youth needed a voice. She accepted the responsibilities of the job without accepting compromise. She did not follow a path but created one. Some jumped right on board while others were hesitant to take the risk.
Isn’t that what it was all about for Jim, Jimi, Kurt, Janis and Amy. It was about fucking the establishment of compromise and etching a legacy. All these poets were innovators who were flawed. Flawed not by their addictions, but by a world that so needed them, and thus they perished under the pressure. They didn’t want to be leaders, but they were forced into a role because they were granted the destiny to invoke change in a world desperate for it.
Goodbye Amy Winehouse and thank you for letting us see the world through your eyes, even for a short period of time.