Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Memoriam: Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow


There's not much left to say about R&B crooner Amy Winehouse, whose July death by "misadventure" was foretold clearly by her blazing climb to fame - a trail littered by drug abuse, acts of violence, dangerous weight fluctuations, publicity disasters, and mental illness. But though the somewhat ironic posthumous autobiography that remains in the form of gigantic radio hits such as Rehab and You Know I'm No Good was all the rage on the blogs in the hot summer of her passing, the aching soul she brings to this Carole King hit always made me believe there was still a little girl in there, all hope and heart, struggling to break free.

Now a member of the pseudo-mythical 27 Club, Winehouse takes her place alongside Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Robert Johnson, Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (Grateful Dead), Chris Bell (Big Star), Kristen Pfaff (Hole), and many more interpretative geniuses whose flames burned out in their youth, all casualties of the conflagrant combination of the fickle temptation of fame and the fragility of the body. May her life and death remind us of how precious, and how volatile, the life of the artist on the edge can be.

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