I knew almost nothing about Amy Winehouse before I saw this documentary. I remembered Graham Norton joking that she “had a dead pet on her head,” and I remembered hearing a snippet of the song Rehab. Of course I remember the day that she died, when one of her co-workers sang, “They should have made her go to rehab, but she said ‘No, no, no!'”
So I went to the documentary knowing almost nothing about her.
Amy Winehouse’s story is an incredibly tragic story. She was an incredibly talented singer/songwriter, who succumbed to a drug addiction at a very young age. I listened to her music, pretty much for the first time. It was amazing to hear her sound. It was classic, and yet somehow modern. Hearing it again, I realized how much of a debt Adele owes to Amy for her sound. (I am sure Adele would agree with that.)
It is also a harrowing depiction of the burden of fame. One of the most gut wrenching moments takes place near the end of her life, when she watches footage of herself at a concert. She remarks to her companion, “I could really sing.” The companion agreed. Amy grew silent and then said, “If I could give it away so that I could walk down the street unrecognized, I would.”
Go see it for yourself.
Here is the trailer.
And here is a song they play in the documentary, “Tears Dry On Her Own.” I really like it. That girl was crazy talented.