Sunday, July 24, 2011
Ironically, Amy joins Rock n’ Roll Heaven headliners Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain – all 27 at the time of their deaths.
I don’t know the exact age but I remember reading somewhere that the life expectancy of any rock star is somewhere in the 50’s. Granted, they pack 90 years of living in those 50+ years but still. That’s waaaaay too young.
And it brings up the question – is it worth it? The fame, the girls, the money, the highs? For me, absolutely not. But that’s really easy for me to say because I had no shot whatsoever of becoming a rock star. When the Beatles first burst upon the scene and every kid scrambled to learn how to play the guitar I took the lazy route and tried to master the harmonica. (Hey, John Lennon played one. And so did Bob Dylan. Of course, they played other instruments and were also talented.)
But looking back, it was a blessing. Amy Winehouse was given an enormous gift, which proved to be a deadly curse. It’s easy to say she made a lifestyle choice but that’s not entirely fair. Without her extraordinary voice would she still have gone down the same path? I couldn’t say. I never met Amy Winehouse. With no music in her life perhaps she would have lived another seventy years happily selling handbags at Harrod’s. Or her demise might’ve been two years earlier.
One thing for certain though -- rock stardom takes its toll. The demands are high. Touring, recording, losing Grammys to Milli Vanilli. Some handle it better than others. Not everyone dies. Some go on to become AMERICAN IDOL judges or golfers (Alice Cooper). But others, like Amy Winehouse, are not so fortunate.
Now come the tributes, the shrines, candlelight vigils. Her CD’s will top the charts, seventeen unauthorized biographies will be available by next week (each claiming to be the real story, even the one that blames her death on corn syrup in baked goods), the E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY will play on a continuous loop until the next rapper is gunned down, and the movie will be released next May. Talk about the part Lindsay Lohan was born to play.
Amy Winehouse crosses over from troubled, fucked-up rock singer to icon, martyr, legend.
I’m sorry but all of this makes it hard to mourn. I kind of hate admitting that but it's true. And that's almost as sad to me as her being only 27 and none of us being surprised.
By Ken Levine at 6:09 PM