Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to Black

I often wonder what happens to talented young people when they hit their twenties.   They've been told all their lives how wonderful they are, their art, their music, their intellect is so far above the norm that they  stand out in the crowd. They not only stand out, they stand head and shoulders above it.   When does that constant idolization of family and then new made fans become not  enough?  It seems that suddenly the more bizarre the behaviour the more outrageous the appearance the less the  talent shines.  I first heard Amy Winehouse several years ago.  I can't remember what she was singing,  it may have been Back to Black or You Sent me Flying...but her smokey jazz voice brought a faraway feel to the heart.  You could listen to her, close  your eyes and imagine yourself in a speak easy of the 30's or or in a front row seat at a high class night club.  If you glanced behind you there would be other patrons dressed to the nines, band box bright.  And through it all, Amy's voice was the tenuous thread keeping you rooted to  the dream.  Hers was not a rock voice, it was mellow and liquid and had she not fallen on drug addiction we would be listening to her long into the century. 
There was another artist I admired, also not a country artist, not a jazz singer...a rock singer like almost no other.  Janice Joplin lived life high and hard from the beginning, it seems.  Of course the one I remember her for the most was Me and Bobby McGee...Janice could belt out a song like no body's business and when she was gone, there was no one like her ever again.   She too was twenty seven years old.  She too couldn't kick the habits of her youth.  She too was missed almost immediately, her record sales going up.  Like Amy's.  Amy's record sales have gone through the roof.  That's because there will be no more, no more smokey throated liquid lyrics sometimes emotional, sometimes slightly vulgar sometimes to vulgar for airplay, but no more all the same.  I wish that the love and adoration of family and fans had been enough.  I hope that lessons of her shattered life will serve as a warning for others in the same position.  Sadly, it won't be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpuL7FpDeMA&feature=related

33 comments:

jabblog said...

Sadly, how true.

Brian Miller said...

there is a whole group at 27 that snuffed out their lives...i think the push for creativity, always looking to out do yourself can push some beyond boundaries they may not usually cross...this was very sad to hear...

Akelamalu said...

It makes you wonder if with true talent comes a self destruct button doesn't it? :(

lailani said...

So true. As we have walked a path watching one, from our home, travel the path of addiction, you wish they could just let it go. But that is their bondage or their god. either way, it seems to scew perspective and trap and destroy.

cheshire wife said...

When you are young, talented or not, you think that you are indispensable and can get away with anything. Getting high on drink and drugs is a big adventure which sometimes goes disastrously wrong. We just don't hear about it when it happens someone unknown. Don't get me wrong I think that Amy's death is dreadfully sad.

Vee said...

Very true, and it all comes back to being willing to listen to those who love you when they say, "You're not doing well. Take your meds." The self-medicating habit doesn't work. Never has and never will.

Donna said...

This was SO sad...drugs...I Hate them!! And I remember Well Bobby McGee...What a song that was...We'd all sing it like there was no tomorrow...
(((HUG)))

Pastor Sharon said...

It makes me sad! It's such an intense loss for all of us who can lose ourselves to the smoky room of that high class night club aire you wrote about when Amy sang her songs.

I wish prayers were enough to end the ruthless battle of drug and alcohol addiction.

Good way to honor her memory! I love this.

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, for the love of others to be enough. Seems to me the love has to start on the inside, catch the cosmos, and go from there. Without it, there is nothing but--loss.

Your post touches my heart.

ds said...

A life snuffed out at the age of 27 is a terrible waste: Amy, Janis, Jimi(okay, he wasn't 27), Jim Morrison, Heath Ledger. What is it that makes some succumb to their demons and others manage to hold on for a while or several decades more?

Pondside said...

Such a gift, such a waste.

i beati said...

Sometimes the two are intertwined and the real self is lost somewhere

Lee said...

Good words and lovely memorial to Amy, Sandi! It's sad that there are so many ways to lose a budding young life...drugs, drink, driving, war, suicide, cancer. Sometimes I think the whole world needs healing. She was indeed a glowing light in a world where such talents are needed to light the way for younger generations. RIP Amy.

Love,
Lee

Jinksy said...

I think it's the silly money that accompanies fame which leads to their downfall, as much as anything else...

ancient one said...

I didn't know her or her songs, but I see it in so many young people who will never be famous, unless they are remembered for their self destructive ways. It breaks my heart.

Anna said...

Sandi, well said: 'I hope that lessons of her shattered life will serve as a warning for others in the same position.'. It is sad what happens to those talents. Anna :)

Merisi said...

"The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed." Søren Kierkegaard

Amy's death is a tragedy, a public one, unlike so many other deaths we never read about. Artists are blessed with their talents, unfortunately, at times they are cursed too.

Carver said...

It is so sad. I still listen to old Joplin albums.

NitWit1 said...

I seem to hear of a different star deceased at least one week. The moral integrity of our universe is sadly increasing. I had to fire my housekeeper for using drugs and she was more than 27.

But I am not perfect either.

Hilary said...

Yes.. so tragic. So much can lead to this inevitable loss.. the "immortality" of youth, fame, fortune and sadly genetics. She was a train wreck set in motion long ago. I hope she's in peace.

Maggie May said...

All through chemo last year her songs haunted me on the radio and I thought I might die.
In the end it was she who did this. I will miss those songs which she bravely sang through her despair..... while I still battle on to live!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Alice said...

hi.
l'm back but in a different space..

luv Alice (fff)

KrystalHope said...

do you have a twitter account so I can follow your posts?

NitWit1 said...

Everything you say is true. But their lives really mirror thousands of unknown whose demise comes early due to their substance abuse and experimentation.

It permeates our society. Our nation may fail to meet its debt, but its demise is rooted in morals.

I recently fired a housekeeper after she scammed me for money for hydrocodone with the excuse she was late on her electric bill.

We have a regular drug house two doors down and users in 3-4 houses on my block. It's like a movie on Saturday evening to set on our front deck and watch the traffic, usually on foot or bicycle (as all have lost driver's license) scurry to a certain residence to get their weekend fix.

And I live 2 blocks from the police station.

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for your visit today.

I wonder, too, about young people who never find on the inside what others deliver so freely from the outside. There is much to ponder here. What holes can't be filled. Life has taught me to watch my words.

CatHerder said...

Great post. My oldest son who is going to be 21 is an actor..been acting since he was a toddler its all he ever wanted to do. He is in NYC all day most days..i worry so much about the pressures and the exposure to such horrible things...i can only hope he uses his head.

Donna said...

Just checking on you Sandi!!
hughugs

Merisi said...

Hello, Sandi!
I hope everything is fine and summer has treated you well so far. Many hugs from V.,
Merisi

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Well put Sandi. Such a waste of life and a tremendous loss for family, friends and fans.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Sadly it was only a matter of time, such a waste.

Denise said...

Sandi!!! I am coming out of the long hot summer to say hey! Wonder how you are and wanted to say hello!

What a summer.....Mercy, I am so ready for it to be over..... I am going to be very careful not to complain about the cold winter days.. I am a summer person but this has been over the top!

Sending you beautiful fall colorful hug!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

So true

best stretch mark creams said...

I think no one should forget them, maybe we are just blinded by fame of new songs.