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I knew the real Amy Winehouse (By Henry Meller)

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#1 Uno


    It's bricked up in my head

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:45 AM

Henry Meller, who Amy worked under at WENN, posted the following remembrance on the Woman's Day website back in August 2011 ...

Woman's Day's US reporter HENRY MELLER remembers his 10-year friendship with the singing sensation whose extraordinary talent captivated the music world.

The first time I met Amy Winehouse, she was a 17-year-old who had just been kicked out of theatre school. I was a junior reporter working on my first day at a London news agency and my boss told me, "This is Amy - she will be your assistant."

Over the coming months, she would entertain, frighten, delight and utterly baffle me, but never once would she assist me. She couldn't type or take messages, but she did provide the most wonderful renditions of Billie Holiday. Ella Fitzgerald and just about any other jazz or blues legend you could care to mention.

Even then her talent was extraordinary - but so, unfortunately, were the demons that would haunt her so tragically in the decade to come. She would often arrive at work hung over, on some occasions still drunk, and she regularly smoked marijuana.

As she tearfully shared her insecurities and frustrations concerning her relationship with one of our co-workers, I also saw the emotional fragility that I believe led Amy to seek solace in cocaine and heroin later in life.

When this colleague, a likeable bloke named Chris Taylor, eventually broke things off, she was at first devastated, then angry - he inspired the poisonous opening track Stronger Than Me on her debut album Frank.

When I first heard that bitter song, I winced. But it was the perfect way for Amy's first record to start because, from that moment on, she would captivate the world by pouring her heart and soul into her music.

Over the next decade, as her fiercely rebellious and self-destructive nature overshadowed her amazing voice. I prayed Amy would find sobriety. But sadly her moment of clarity never came -- and I desperately hope the heartfelt eulogy her friend Russell Brand posted on his blog last week will serve as a wake-up call to anyone who romanticises the tragedy of drug addiction.

When I got the phone call that Amy had died, I turned on the TV to find a string of pundits playing a blame game, suggesting that her family, her exes and the music industry be held responsible.

But I knew Amy for 10 years and I saw these people help her fight to get sober time and time again. In fact, just a few weeks before she died, at 2 7. she told a mutual friend she was desperately trying to stay sober.

In the end, her battle with drink and drugs was a fight she just couldn't win. Perhaps she said it best in her hit song You Know I'm No Good. In that unforgettable voice, she mourns, "I cheated myself… like I knew I would."

I just wish you hadn't, Amy.

Amy's unique voice catapulted her onto the music scene in 2003, but her image and priorities soon changed.

  • v_melnik, HelloSailor, Fierce and 2 others like this
Amy, if you are up there listening, thank you for sharing the incredible soundtracks of your life ...

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