My wife and I went into Manchester on Sunday to watch Amy at the cinema. It is a powerful film that depicts quite well the tremendous gifts of the young Amy Winehouse, but also documents her descent from that vibrant, ultra-talented woman to a drug taking, intoxicated, waif of a girl, besieged and lost with seemingly nobody to turn to.
It is heartbreaking to watch, knowing the outcome as we do, but it is all the more tragic and disturbing as hers was a public disintegration, captured by an ever pursuing press pack along with a camera phone waving public.
Although she, like all of us, must take responsibility for her own actions, there are others who surely share a level of culpability for her demise, including those who milked her for all they could get, the media and paparazzi that hounded her every move, and the comedians and late show hosts who saw her bulimia, mental health and drug problems as material for cheap laughs.
And so she became the latest member of that legendary club of artists who died aged twenty-seven, in the company of, among others:
Twenty-seven is the number that keeps them all forever young, but it is not a romantic or mythical age, but rather an age of regret and waste, an age that keeps all of us left behind saddled with feelings of sadness and questions of what if?, and recordings of extinguished genius to turn to.
R.I.P Amy, I hope you found respite.
Here is the trailer, try and catch the full film while it is still on at the cinema: