Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dead at 27

Okay, so lots of famous musicians seem to burn out at the critical age of 27.  I'll be honest, I wasn't a huge Winehouse fan, but like a lot of people, I couldn't turn away from the trainwreck that was her life.  If anything, she was interesting. And she was a public figure.  You might have danced to one of her songs.  Or made out with the cute guy at the end of the bar while "You Know, I'm No Good" played on the jukebox.  Or maybe you ran on the treadmill to "Rehab."  Music has a way of seeping into our subconscious, creating memories that we associate with certain melodies or guitar riffs or lyrics.  It's inescapable.  That's why her death mattered. In some small way, we could relate to something inside of her, not the real her, but the her that she put into song.
Sure, we all could see that the Grim Reaper loomed above her like a cloud of smoke at a Grateful Dead concert.  The girl liked to party.  Like a lot.  There were plenty of pics that documented her demise.  There she is past the point of inebriation with a drink clutched in her skeletal hands. Here's another with her nostrils flaked with cocaine.  There is also her many cancelled shows or the times she would show up, but was so pissed, she couldn't remember the lyrics to her own songs. She punched people.  She went to rehab, despite the catchy "no, no, no" of her infamous and ironic song.  And tragically she died at the young age of 27.

I posted on facebook about her death, as did many people.  One of my friends, who I actually know in person, posted that he wondered why no one mentioned the soldiers who had died in battle in the past few weeks or the people who died in Norway.  He felt that their deaths were more signifcant or noble than Ms. Winehouse's death.  After all, she had it coming with the way she lived her life. 

But don't we all have it coming?  No one here gets out alive. And honestly, it's only really going to matter to those who had a personal connection to us.

Unless you've written a hit song.


  1. I was on my way home from NYC and rolling through some stuff I haven't listened to in a long time. I went through several of her songs about 9am Thursday morning. Not sure what time that would be in London but it's odd. I'm glad I made it past 27 and I'm gratefull I'm married to the Deathwriter - she rocks! Love you Pam! Erik

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head Pam - I love her songs, and because of them, I feel like I "know" her - obviously I DON'T - but she was so open in song and expressed such honesty about her own behaviour, vulnerablity and sadness she has touched me and I ended up caring about a complete stranger. I find death harder to deal with when you know the person was unhappy in life although I do naively hope she's happier now.

  3. Mostly, I'm just mad that I pulled her off of my Dead Pool list this year. I must have thought she was pulling it together.

  4. Well, she wasn't in the limelight as much. I think the media only wants to document people messing up their lives if they're at the top of their game.


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