Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse is Gone

By Norm Richards

Amy was not with us very long. 27 years seems so brief a time. Time enough to touch my heart and my soul. Her voice struck me first. At first, I never knew what she looked like. I thought she was black. She was a thin woman from England with Jewish background. I'm not sure history or religion played much part in her life though. Her father is a working class bloke, a taxi driver who loves music. He shared it with her just as I always have with my own children.

Amy is many years my junior and close in age to my son. He's developed a great love for music and now shares that with his own son. I love that about my kids. My daughter loves music too. Dance took over her life. She's gone onto a professional career in business and now, today, her life is taken over by her children's dance demands. They're fine award winning dancers and will continue to perform.

But today, I feel for the parents of Amy Winehouse. I make my condolence for her passing. She was a soul sister to many around the world including me. She suffered and wrote about it. That's not so different than me. She put her words into song and interpreted that wonderfully.

I own her video "I Told You I was Trouble" Amy Winehouse Live in London. It documents her career and her visit to the USA. I love her performance with the big band. She has two black men backing her on vocals. That somehow seems appropriate rather than female backup singers. It might have been misunderstood like she was trying to copy The Ronettes. That was never true. He voice alone was different than what Ronnie Spector did although Amy's stage look resembled her. I love a performer who finds a look. Lady Ga Ga did it recently and Cher and others did too. So Amy's gone. What did we learn from her? It doesn't hurt to feel. It does hurt to love but we have a human heart and can't help ourselves. Mainstream media would rather report Amy's drug and alcohol abuse. But we understand. We know we can escape. We know we can medicate. Does it help? Maybe, for awhile. We know the love and hurt Amy had for the people she knew. We have relationships too. I'm grateful we knew her for awhile. I feel better for it.