Amy Winehouse was a gifted car crash happening in slow motion. In the aftermath of her death Saturday, I keep thinking about her many talents and how we all watched her blow up and deflate over the past few years. She was a true star in the manner that you can't stop paying attention. Stars like Winehouse command our interest.
More than three years ago, when I was a features columnist writing on pop culture, I'd forgotten that I'd written about her talent for self-destruction, until someone kindly posted it on philly.com.
In December 2007, I observed "You root for Amy Winehouse and her considerable talent all the while wondering if, in some way, you aren't contributing to her destruction.
Jimi, Jim, Janis, Brian and Kurt all flamed out in high style and at 27, an absurdly young age, only to be lionized to this day.
She's only 24 with six Grammy nods, crashing headfrist into success and despair, with a codependent husband in jail, exhibitionist parents with questionable judgment, and the paparazzi documenting her emotional and physical distress. Meanwhile, a haute designer appropriates her disheveled style and eating issues to market ot the elite while problaiming her the new Bardot.
There is no need for fiction."
And now, sadly, almost prophetically, Winehouse has joined that club while her record sales go through the roof.