Back To Black – Amy Winehouse RIP

This is a tribute written in sorrow, but not in surprise. She was 27 years old, just like Janis and the Jims, and just like them she was touched by the grace of the musical Muses. Amy was tough but vulnerable, hard but delicate, brazen but insecure, a working-class girl turned diva who had it all except what she really wanted.

Her best-known songs are about going back to black, saying no to rehab and leaving on those fck me pumps. In each one of these songs, Amy bared her soul for all to see the tragic little girl beneath the celebrity shell. Offstage she was brash, uncouth and unruly. On stage, when she performed these songs, was when the real Amy stood exposed, the artist that reached us with the raw power of her voice and some kickass songs. The emotional intensity of her sober performances was unrivaled, which may explain her propensity to getting smashed… if alcohol is the only way an artist has to protect him/herself from emotional drainage onstage, there is always going to be a lot of drinking going on backstage.

Amy had already gone back to black more than once in her troubled private life. She had said no to rehab in numerous occasions, and was pushing 30 just like those girls in the clubs with their f-me pumps. Instead of writing new songs and touring the world capitals like the star she could have been, she just kept singing the same old songs over and over in increasingly obscure venues. So she hit the bottle, which was probably one of the reasons she wasn’t creating new music. Some remedies are worse than many afflictions.

Amy now sits with the legends, for what it’s worth. Many would choose a long life of anonymity over the shooting star of celebrity, but we are not oblivious to the price paid by true artists in their fleeting passage through this plane. So let us then end this short tribute with the words of another great singer who left too soon:

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town
I’m counting on you Lord, please don’t let me down
Prove that you love me, and buy the next round
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town

Rest in peace, Amy. In the great club in the sky, the drinks are on the house and nobody ever gets old. Have one to our health; we’ll do likewise down here with the bitter. Hold the chips, luv.

Word portrait from

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