Flickr image by Finding Josephine
On Saturday, July 23, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her bedroom. She joins a historic list of artistic talents we have lost too soon. She is another name added to the dreaded “27 Club” which includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain as musicians who lived no further than age 27 and who died after years troubled by alcohol and drug abuse. By all accounts, those close to her (and I’m sure to the others dying before her) knew at some level early death would be a tragic, but not unforseen event. Though we wish for it, not everyone can have a happy ending.
My favorite song from Amy is “Tears Dry On Their Own” from the “Back to Black” album. I love the spunky lyrics, throwback soul sound and sly joy that can be heard in her voice as she sings. It is a song on the Life Theme Songs playlist on my iPod. It is what I thought of to make me smile after hearing the awful news of her death because for all the things that haunted her throughout life, I envision she had the purest moments of joy when writing and performing.
Who are some of the musicians that you miss?
Did you have the opportunity to see them live in concert?
What is it about their music and/or life that inspires you today?
Reading your post makes me realize I don’t have a musician that I miss. That’s sad. I like music, but I rarely get attached to the artist. Not sure if I want to know what that means!
Amy Winehouse is a sad story, but it was sad years ago when she was in and out of rehab without any obvious improvement. I wonder how those around her were able to watch her self-destruct. It must have been frustrating.
Bridgette, I have some artists I’ll connect deeply to and then others where I just like the music as catchy and nothing else. Yes, Amy’s story with addiction has been sad for the entire time she hit the media mainstream and, I’m sure for her family and friends, even before that.
Yes, Amy’s too-early death is so sad, although not entirely surprising.
One of the artists I will miss after he’s gone is Bob Dylan. I was lucky to sit in a park in Brooklyn and hear Bob Dylan play a couple of years ago, and I know I will tell my grandchildren about that day. He is an extraordinary contemporary poet and I’m glad to have lived in just a little of his time.
Naomi, what a great experience! There is something so personal and connecting from hearing an artist live and I imagine the park concert was even more so.
Michael Jackson. What a musical genius. Loved him from day one.
Yes Diana. Him being gone is still weird. So glad we have all he left behind.
There are a few that I miss a lot, but Michael Jackson is on top of that list, closely followed by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
I like the way Angela thinks! Okay, I found the musician I miss. . Karen Carpenter. Her death actually had an impact on me too because years after she died her brother (I think) released the details about why and how she died through a TV movie. I was young but had a friend who was suffering from anorexia. We finally were able to put a word to it, and her parents saw her condition as more than weight loss. My friend got much worse before she got help, but at I don’t think anyone would have known how dangerous anorexia was if that later information about her life and death hadn’t come out. 🙂
I remember when the truth came out about her death. You are right that it put a face and good information in the media about the disease. Glad your friend was able to get help.
With Frank, Dean, etc. gone it is a lost era. No one is really replicating it.
Nice post! Short, sweet and poignant. Amy was an amazing talent and her self-destruction was painful to watch. The beauty of recording artists is that we can continue to enjoy their music and memories even after they are gone. Amy needed to leave a lot more good memories.
Thanks Patricia. Yes the watching of someone self destruct is heartbreaking. For her I’d hoped the music would be enough to sustain, but that isn’t how addiction works.
Thanks for doing this post, it’s a nice tribute to those music greats who have gone too soon. I’d have to say I miss Michael Jackson, such a great, great talent.
Thanks Kate. Yes on losing MJ, a friend I grew up with said she didn’t know a world without him. So true for my gen. I had access to my father’s stacks of Jackson 5 45s since birth. I’ll always remember where I was when I learned he died.
Y’all are gonna laugh at this…but I miss the Rat Pack. I saw Frank Sinatra perform in Las Vegas back in the 80s (I was much younger than the rest of the crowd) and he was amazing. For me it was part of the old Hollywood/Vegas glitter and glitz, but it’s such a great memory. I will always regret never having seen Dean Martin perform live – I love all his Italian ballads. I’m sure there are others but those are the two that first came to mind.
I also saw George Burns in Tahoe once (I think he was 90 and he sang a great song wishing he was eighteen again. Good memories.
Lesean, not laughing at all. Like you said, there was a class and glamour to those performers and that era. People sang live each night and made the show personal for each audience. How lucky you were to see Frank live. I feel like that about MJ and will always cherish that concert memory.
Pingback: Didn’t We Almost Have It All: Grammy Roundup | Barbara McDowell's Blog
Pingback: Dick Clark and the Legacy of American Bandstand | Barbara McDowell's Blog