Tonight after the gym I was sore. My hand was spasming and knew I wouldn’t sleep. Some diversion was required. I’d binged watched the third series of House of Cards and finished it last week. It was rubbish and I won’t be lining up for season four. This week’s episode of season two of Fargo isn’t out yet. What to do? Turn to itunes of course and see what new movies are available. The offering was thin – a new documentary on Amy Winehouse. I know next to nothing about her other than she was big when my daughters were teenagers and she was a coked-up, skank who died of a heroin overdose. Lotsa tatts. Never mind, beggars can’t be choosers. I needed something to take my mind off the pain. I haven’t used painkillers through this latest episode and didn’t want to start now. Amy Winehouse was it.
Right from the start I couldn’t believe the sound coming out of my speakers. I didn’t realise she was a jazz singer. Modelled herself on Eartha Kitt and Tony Bennett. They were before even my time. That goes back to my parent’s time. When people talk of child prodigies they should have Amy Winehouse at the top of the list. Jewish girl from North London, abandoned by her father, she was, by the age of 18, well on her way to stardom. And the songs. I think two she wrote Back to Black and Love is a Losing Game are so sad. I loved this doco and didn’t expect to. The impending sense of doom as this great talent blew herself up on drugs and deadbeat boyfriends was heartbreaking. What a talent was lost to us all.
It’s remarkable that if I hadn’t broken my leg and had to spend so much time on my own this year, I wouldn’t have discovered Nanci Griffith, Gillian Welch or Amy Winehouse, three peerless female voices. Maybe that makes it worthwhile.
Vale, Amy Winehouse. We miss you. I would have loved to hear you sing opera.