Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Amy Winehouse

What did Amy Winehouse ever do to cause this much negative and over the top hurtful comments from so called “caring” people? The sort of liberal bunch that would cry their eyes out at Peggy Mitchell leaving Eastenders but are straight away fighting over the soapbox to preach their opinions on someone they didn’t know and didn’t understand from the start. Just reading some comments on both Facebook and even international newspaper sites (where there is a box for comments) and seeing those who find simply reading a news story not enough and feel that adding their own version of events is the next step they MUST take. Idiotic comments such as “if she wasn’t famous and just an ordinary Joe in the street there wouldn’t be this much press attached to her death”…well fuck me if that’s not the most obvious thing anyone has ever said, probably up there with the fact that when my dog died when I was younger it didn’t get as much press as Princess Di’s death, outrageous I know! Of course she is getting more press, she’s famous, she’s in the public eye, and the amount of hassle she was given by the press over the years the very least they could do now would be to give her a good write up and try and concentrate on the most important aspect of her short life… the music. Also while we are on the subject lets stop with the Billie Holiday comparisons, two different people from two very different times and it’s simply lazy journalism to jenga the two together. Amy was if anything an individual that made “Amy Winehouse” music.

Facebook and Twitter is the haven for the cretin. Most people use them and other social network sites (no I can’t think of any others either but I’m sure there must be some) to organise nights out, post pictures and generally chit chat crap with their friends… and that’s fine that’s it’s purpose. Some people on the other hand think it’s a tool to bring down the government and feel they are some how urban cyber terrorists as they are using a picture of Scarface as their avatar and writing in a bold font and feel that every single thought or opinion needs to be shared with everyone from their uncle and aunt to their year 7 geography teacher in their buddy list.

The attacks in Oslo at the weekend weren’t Amy’s fault. Nor her fans, her friends or indeed family, so probably best not trying to link them in terms of which is more important or more politically sound to be upset by. The attacks in Oslo were horrific and its beyond comprehension why anyone would want to do something like that ever. But to think that the public as a whole and persons individually have a grief bank account and can only choose one side and that if you are upset about Amy Winehouse’s death that you have drawn your line in the sand and are sticking two fingers up at Norway is ridiculous and an insult to both sides, and considering ‘Back to Black’ has sales over 2 million in just the USA alone imagine if there was an Amy Winehouse fan who was killed in Oslo? My god! The heartless bloggers would probably have an aneurysm trying to work that one out.

There will be many music obituaries run in the wake of Amy Winehouse’s death and I’m certain they will be more articulate and fact based than I could muster but if you take the whole thing back to basics, she made one dynamite classic album in 'Back To Black' crammed full of great tracks such as the obvious ‘Rehab’, ‘My Tears Dry on Their Own’, ‘You Know That I’m No Good’ (recently covered by Wanda Jackson and Jack White no less), the title track and of course the almost centre piece and most poignant 'Love is A Losing Game' (another song that was later covered, this time by Prince). Am I going to be the first one to stand up and say lets see how “amazing” and “classic” ‘21’ is looking in 5 years.

The debut ‘Frank’ had shining moments such as ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ and ‘I Heard Love is Blind’ was still the sound of an artist finding her place and music direction and was more the act of an artist showing their potential and laying the groundwork to what was to come next. In fact the question of her recording output is another issue which many people are taking offence by, the fact she only managed two albums. Two full albums isn’t bad going and put’s her in good company with The Libertines (two albums), beats The Sex Pistols (only one album) and just misses Jimi Hendrix’s tally with only three albums being released in his lifetime. On the other hand you have artists such as Cliff Richard who has released an ear stagnating 33 studio albums!! Quantity doesn’t always mean quality and this is a perfect example. In fact I believe the author Barbara Cartland managed over 500 books in her career. Where as J.D Salinger had only ‘The Catcher in The Rye’ as his major contribution, which one is being taught at schools? Clue: It’s not ‘The Duke and the Preacher’s Daughter’.

Some people are never going to make 50 years old, it’s just written all over their face. Everyone knows people like it and if you don’t then have a look in the mirror and maybe think about getting a gym membership. These people travel through life at 100mph and do nothing by half. They aren’t all saints but at the same time they aren’t all evil either, they are individuals like you and me and it’s just unfortunate that their fuse is burning out faster then others. They say that the line between insanity and genius is a fine one, although it’s something that I can understand the meaning behind and see where the saying is coming from it has always confused me, as the difference between Mozart and a mad tramp sitting in his soiled under-crackers making a helmet out of kitchen foil to “keep the aliens away” is hardly a fine one to separate! I do agree that individuals that are capable of creating heartfelt and soulful work whether in art, literature, film or music have a definite skin too few and by giving everything of themselves to their chosen form manage to create works of great beauty while also taking the scars from the ordeal afterwards.

So throw the soap boxes on the fire, use Facebook to get your friends together have a few drinks, crank ‘My Tears Dry on their Own’ and send Amy on her merry way..

…and I didn’t even mention ‘Valarie’ “sorry Charlie Murphy, I was having too much fun”...

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