Back To Amy
The death of Amy Winehouse made me feel very odd – I couldn’t process my feelings about it; I’ve realised now – in many ways that’s because I said a goodbye to her around the time of her “Rehab”-fame. The second album, Back To Black, is largely superb. And I can acknowledge that now. But even with that acknowledgment it just doesn’t quite mean as much as the debut, Frank. That was Amy’s statement. We didn’t know a thing about her and that album arrived. And BAM! There it was. And here it still is. And everything else was the car-crash and the moments leading to it.
But this book – a lovely tribute – takes us back to Frank. And in fact before that. The moments leading up. This has been assembled by photographer Charles Moriarty. He would become friend and confidante – he shot two sets of photos of Amy; both were in the build-up to Frank. A pre-fame world.
Here he shares the pre-fame, and indeed previously unpublished photographs. And pulls in various people for comment. We get heartfelt tributes and insight from record company people. It shows the ‘real’ side of Amy. It tells more of the story than any of the books so far. And though there have been well-meaning films and well-meaning blogs and columns this shows you the heart and soul of an original talent. This takes you to that space. That place. Those moments.
Winehouse died at the start of an era that doesn’t believe too much in context, that has decided hype and rage and what a person feels is ultimately all that matters. That’s not true. That will only ever be the shortcut and the justification. But it can never be the truth.
Fortunately this books restores some order, makes some sense, offers some truth – and yet it doesn’t mock the hype and rage and what anyone was feeling. It helps to further establish that also.
A very fine tribute to a very fine talent.
Back To Amy