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Missing Amy


Since 1979, I had long forgotten about the idea of anything exciting happening in music until I heard something on WFUV one night in the summer of 2006. It was a new female singer from the UK with a soulful voice I had not heard in years. The song was called “Back To Black”. The singer was Amy Winehouse.

I had noticed a resurgence of soul music coming from the Brits when I heard Joss Stone a few years earlier. Joss was a 16-year-old prodigy with a voice like Aretha Franklin. Her first album, Soul Sessions, is mind-blowing. However, Joss was a glossy pop star and sometimes went into over-singing, Mariah Carey territory. Great singer, not enough attitude.

Amy was a raw, dirty, drunk girl in high heels and a backing band that reminded me of everything I loved about bands like The Specials and The Blockheads. She was a throwback, but to the right era and what Joss lacked in attitude, Amy had in excess. I started reading about her stage antics, her drinking, her brash crude ways and thought, “man I hope this is real, because I really like it”

Turned out it was. Amy Winehouse went on to international stardom when her second album, “Back To Black” hit. Her mega-hit “Rehab” was this millennium’s punk opus. It you think about it, a drug addict refusing to get help in this overly self-aware world is about as punk rock as you can get nowadays.

Aside from that song, which I think is her worst song, the rest of this record is amazing. The production is reminiscent of Motown and ska. It’s brilliantly produced by Mark Ronson, but it works because Amy Winehouse was a genius at interpreting a song. I still listen to “Back To Black.” In my opinion, it’s the best album of the new millennium. It has not been topped.

Sadly, she was on a self-destructive path.

There have been countless arguments about her place in rock n roll history. Some say she wasn’t around long enough to be an icon. I disagree.

Amy Winehouse deserves the same notoriety as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and all the others in the infamous 27 club. She was a brilliant singer, a true artist that sparked a wave of soul music. Amy gave birth to Adele, Duffy and the Brit soul explosion still happening today. But Amy was better than all of them. The others riding her coattails are just glossy versions. Amy was real. She meant it. She was as real as The Sex Pistols. She lived every song. You felt it. Nobody comes close.

The saddest part is Amy Winehouse was ridiculed and berated in the tabloids for her drug addiction. She died and was given 1/8th the press than that bigger crack head, Whitney Houston.

Amy Winehouse did more for music on one album than Whitney Houston did in her 30 year career.

The mistreatment of her legacy is shameful, but in a way, it fits her character. She refused to fit in with the crowd. Amy was a punk rocker to the end.

She never released a third album. They wanted her to make a poppier record and she said No, No, NO.

RIP Amy Winehouse  – September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011

Check out these AMAZING live performances. This girl was brilliant !!!

Back To Black (live)

You Know I’m No Good (acoustic)

Love Is A Losing Game (video)


About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

8 responses to “Missing Amy

  1. marlhtv

    Honestly, it makes me sad on how many people we lose to such situations. I suppose it is a selfish reason I am upset they were taken through whichever means, but, only once in a while will we find talented artists around this world. Hopefully hidden artists will come out of the shadows and make correct business decisions so we can enjoy their art as well.

  2. Gerard ⋅

    Normally I don’t like that kind of music at all, but I have to admit I had to buy it when i heard a few songs of her. I think that was in 2007 or so. So did most of my rocking friends and I remember we were all amazed about her and us buying it. Great voice she had and her passing was a true waste of talent.

  3. Jim "Nipo" Antonucci ⋅

    Music is hard… like many art forms, it comes from within. The torment and emotions that come forth is in that persons soul and when it comes up it can be beautiful. But it’s sad to know that the greats also have to live with that inside them, some use it as a release some do not. Sad to say Amy found her release as to many before her in a different way.

  4. Im so glad to see so much amy Winehouse love in the comments of this blog. I thought I was the only one upset when she died. I think the idea of someone not being around long enough to make a mark is utter garbage and you can throw that out for any argument not just music. The Sex Pistols, The Beatles, Sandy Koufax, Barry Sanders they weren’t around very long and are still considered some of he greatest ever. Amy deserves her place in music she 100 million times for influential and inspiring than Whitney Houston. Amy tried to deal with her issues through her music, but that can’t expel all your demons when this society wants to invade every facet of your life. I always imagined her being produced by Danger Mouse in the future and just dreaming of the possibilities but sadly that shall never come to be. RIP Amy.

    • Stevie GB

      People that know good music latched on to Amy right away. She had the passion and the talent and she was real. Sad that she is gone but people of this caliber tend to self destruct and leave an everlasting mark in rock n roll hsitory. She was one for the ages for sure.

  5. What a sad ending for a promising young woman. Your knowledge and passion for music is evident. Thanks so much for dropping by my site. I’ll be following yours as well. 🙂

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