Several years ago, when my Dad was ill and knew he was going to die in the not too distant future, I asked him if he was afraid. His answer was no. "I just don't feel like I've finished, I don't feel like I've done everything that I was supposed to do." That was what I thought about when I heard this morning that Amy Winehouse had passed away. Now, I'm not a crazy Winehouse fiend. I was still getting into Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings when Winehouse hit. So I let "Rehab" stew for a while before I broke down and bought Fade to Black. It was a promising album, and along with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' arrival, it looked like there would be a resurgence of interest in soul music. I was jazzed, as were a lot of other soul music freaks.
But it wasn't necessarily Winehouse's voice that sucked me in, though that was part of it. It was because she was one of us. By that I mean, those of us who have at one time or another championed music of the past, unraveled at the seams, had a hard time reeling it all in, and basically let music take over our lives. It's what separates us from the button down mortgage brokers. I think of myself at her age, 27, and I was on just as shaky ground, at one point hospitalized, from whooping it up like there was no tomorrow. I finally wised up, and I was looking forward to Winehouse getting back on her feet and showing us what she had in her. Sadly, we'll never find out what could have been. She didn't finish.
I was having second thoughts about posting anything about her, figuring that all sorts of blogs would have much more to say about her passing. That all changed when I ran across her cover of the Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" It made me stop for a moment and feel something that I hadn't with "Rehab" and some of her other better known cocksure songs, a certain vulnerability. Listening to it might even soften up some of the rubber necks who seemed to take delight in her personal setbacks. There's also a trio of songs from an obscure unofficial release, referred to as "The Ska EP," with a reggae cover of Sam Cooke's "Cupid," a cover of the Special's "Hey Little Rich Girl," andd the Maytal's "Monkey Man." "Fuck Me Pumps," from her first LP is down there because I like the fact that someone wrote a song called "Fuck Me Pumps."
8/7/2011 NOTE: Due to a notice from Blogger, all links have been removed on this post. I do not yet know which was the offending link, but I know enough to play it safe until I have more details. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Amy Winehouse at Wikipedia
Amy Winehouse - Official site