Club 27...

As the cocks first cries filled the dark sky and as the pitch black of night gently gave way to the dim morning of what would undoubtedly be another stiflingly hot day the alarm clock radio on my bedside table interrupted my peaceful slumber with the dull monotone voice of a BBC news anchor I wiped the sleep from my eyes while my mind worked hard to compute all the day’s headlines. As I lazily and rather reluctantly left the security of my bed and fumbled around for the light switch the dull, dry voice stopped me dead arm frozen in mid-air.

This is how I heard the news I and so many others dreaded: That 27 year old Amy Jade Winehouse had died in her North London apartment yesterday July 23. Thus giving the soulful diva entry into a growing and mystifying group of musicians who have all gone way too soon and from whom much greatness would have been expected.

The singer, whose distinct beehive hair style, heavy eye makeup, old fashioned sailor tattoos and big voice made you sit and take notice gained worldwide popularity with the release of her second album Back To Black (released in 2006 and went on to win five Grammy Awards) had fought constant battles with sobriety, depression and ‘every eating disorder you can have’.

In a valiant effort to help herself out of the pain that spawned such soul stirring music as Rehab,(in which life undoubtedly influenced art) You Know I’m No Good and the album’s title track Back To Black Winehouse visited London’s Priory Clinic before the start of the tour that would unfortunately be her last in May this year where the waif like song bird was booed and heckled off stage by fans in Belgrade Serbia after she murmured, mumbled and swayed struggling to remember the words to her own songs. She then promptly cancelled all the remaining dates on her European come back tour and flew back home.

The devastating loss of this tortured soul whose life struggle were as intriguing and touching as her powerful song lyrics brings to mind the deaths of other equally talented and sad souls who have left their marks not only on music and the industry but in the hearts and minds of fans of their ever enduring music and as my eyes scanned down the following list my sadness and anger only deepened:
• Jimi Hendrix
• Kurt Cobain
• Janis Joplin
• Jim Morrison
• Brian Jones (Rolling Stones Gutarist) to name but a few.

The train wrecks that were these afore mentioned people’s lives should not be taken lightly and maybe just maybe this time the youth of the nation will take note of the cautionary tales their lives each have to tell!

Above all I grieve the apparent waste of such the enormous talent that Amy had. The shooting star that’s light shone so brightly and briefly only to crash and burn.

But as Amy herself said: ‘I didn’t go out looking to be famous’ she was indeed just ‘a young woman who wrote what I knew’, that is what we should remember her for, not her tremendous tug-of-war with her inner most demons but the musical gems she left behind.

Phew, now that that’s said and done I can finally get back to remembering Amy Jade Winehouse the way that she would have wanted… with ipod in hand blasting Back To Black and B Sides through the little iconic white ear phones and singing at the top of my voice!

R.I.P Amy Winehouse!


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