Being a true artist is far from easy. The stretch limo quickly becomes a fishbowl. The press. The pressures. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, right? “Time to go on stage.” You’re sitting in the green room backstage in some city. Thousands of fans waiting in front of the stage. You might’ve had too much of something. You go out there because you have to. It’s your job. Perform. “My fans are there to see me. I love them. Where’s the stage?” You go out there and sing. You stumble up to the microphone. Your mind is mushy; it’s like a dream. You know the song, but somehow it’s lost in translation. Your fans boo. You try another verse and they keep on booing.
Media pundits, fans, commentators, bloggers, tweeters, and thousands of people who have never even heard of Amy Winehouse’s music had strong and vocal opinions about her premature death. “Her fault. She said no, no, no to rehab!”
People are free to choose their own destinies. Most stay at home watching TV and many have no problems bad-mouthing a dead celebrity. The media generously serves it up. The headline reads,
[We click and read]
What comes first? Fact or speculation? Speculation as long as it sells. It always does. The more sordid, the better.
Not only do we get to harp on her when she’s booed off stage, we get to talk smack about the crack she smoked. Clever. Clever indeed.
Like Greek mythology’s gods and goddesses, famous musicians are human in form, possess super-human creativity and prowess, have access to privileges, are conversation fascinations, yet suffer from that flaw that always get them in. Like the stories about Zeus, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones all have conflicting stories about their deaths. They are revered. Remembered. Mourned. Criticized. Admirized. Virally zipped to martyrdom.
Have you sold five million records? Have you won five Grammys? Have you pushed yourself to star status? Do you have fans? Do you have the press on your ass, every fucking day? You are just doing your job. A slip-up at work is at the very worst an uncomfortable nine minutes. Now imagine being Amy Winehouse. Your every move is watched, judged, diced and analyzed. Now, that’s not that awesome, is it?
Amy, we recognized your old soul in your music, your original, yet, timeless voice. When you were ON, your timing and delivery was sensuous, alluring, and irresistible. You battled demons that few can understand and stood your ground whenever your approach was challenged. It takes guts. Pride. Determination. It probably felt like you had no choice and you didn’t. In 27 short years you still managed to change the face of music and a young crop of fresh stars were made in your wake. Thanks for the music—it’ll live on forever.