27.

Amy Winehouse was 27 years old when she died.  I'm 54.  That means that (as far as I'm concerned) Amy Winehouse left the building at halftime.  Whenever someone dies young, it's against the laws of physics and it's just not right.

What is it that lets one talent (Mick Jagger) live the rock and roll lifestyle and be going strong in his seventies, and others (Janis, Jimi, Jim Morrison....fill in the blank here) check out early?  Drugs?   Yeah...um, drugs are bad.  But anyone who doesn't understand that drugs are deeply embedded in the entertainment culture is too young to be reading this.

Amy Winehouse had an addiction to opiates.  Translation:  She liked that heroin.  She liked it so much that she let that dragon take away everything she had including her life.  She also liked to drink.  Her last performance in Serbia was so messed up, so drug induced that they booed her off the stage.  Did that make her stop?  Did she stumble off the stage and say to herself, "Man, I gotta quit this *&%#."?

Nope.  She died in her home.  And while there's no conclusive determination of her death yet, anyone wanna take bets?

See, I liked Amy Winehouse.  I thought that smokey voice of hers only comes around once a generation.  The girl could sing and the girl could entertain.  The one thing the girl COULDN'T do was quit the smack and walk away from the drugs and the alcohol.

So, there isn't an answer.  Young, talented people will always be vulnerable to the lure of the drugs and the lifestyle that sets them apart from the world at large.  Rock and Roll, Country, Hip-Hop...all have talents that fell into that trap and NEVER came out.  Hell, Keith Urban had to go to rehab.  Keith Whitley drank himself to death. Hank Williams died from the pills.  Johnny Cash was saved only by the grace of God and June Carter.   I'm resigned to the fact.  It's just that this particular one was just sooo stupid.  Slow motion train wreck.

I believe in letting people do what they're gonna do.  It's just that sometimes they do stupid stuff that hurts no one but themselves.

Okay, I'm done.  It was just a cathartic little ramble on my part.  As a parting thought, I'd like to quote from Amy's "Rehab".  And it's not the line you would think:

"I don't ever wanna drink again
I just ooh I just need a friend
I'm not gonna spend ten weeks
have everyone think I'm on the mend"  * Rehab ~ Amy Winehouse

 

Amy wasn't on the mend.  And now, it just doesn't matter.