Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Open Letter to Amy Winehouse

Dear Amy Winehouse,

First of all, I'd like to say that I've been a loyal fan for about 4 years. I bought "Frank", "Back to Black", and "Back to Black - The B Sides". I've supported you and your music. Although I've never seen you perform live, I did purchase your concert DVD (I Told You I Was Trouble - Live from London). I always told people you were astonishingly talented, with a personality to match. I liked your style and loved your swagger. What I loved most was your voice and your songs.

But I constantly had to defend you. People said you were an addict, a junkie. I always referenced other performers who had battled drugs and alcohol, saying that some of the greats came out of it more brilliant than ever. I concluded that you, too, would have to hit rock bottom, get into treatment, make some changes, and voila! Amy's back! But each season came and went. The years passed. And no new Amy emerged.

Sometimes you would give us glimpses of a healthy, happy Amy. But they were all short-lived. They wouldn't even last long enough for us to congratulate you. I started to wonder if the haters were right. Were you a lost cause? Who leaves rehab after one week? One week!

I just want to put into words the disappointment I feel. That all of your fans feel. Other artists take time off to recuperate from illness or fatigue, we understand that. But we haven't heard any new material from you in years. And that's just not right. I'm not counting the cover you did of "It's My Party" for Quincy Jones, because, frankly, that wasn't your best work. It wasn't even your mediocre-est work on a bad day.

I did regain some hope when you went out on tour again in Europe recently. I heard there was no alcohol allowed on the tour, and that was definitely good to hear. But then the footage came out, and unfortunately, you weren't well. Think of how disappointed your fans felt to see you like that, Amy. They spent their hard-earned money to see you perform. They wanted to see you and hear you. Not only that, but think of the band. I'm sure they were disappointed as well. My point is, you're not just hurting yourself anymore. Other people are now involved.

Will you ever tour again? Will you ever make music again? You're the only one who can answer that question. More importantly, will you ever be healthy and sober again?

You need help, Amy. We want you to come out of this and be healthy again. If you decide never to make music again, but just get sober, I'll take it. And that's saying a lot because I REALLY want new music from you. But I'd gladly make that deal with you. Believe it or not, your fans really do care about you as a person. As Amy. Not some product we bought. Not some puppet to entertain us. No. We care about you.

I don't know if you'll ever read this - but if you do, you should really think about what the last few years have been like for you. Now think about what the next few years will be if you don't get help. We don't want to lose you the way we've lost so many other beloved performers.

Just think about it.

(What are your feelings about Amy Winehouse's recent relapse? Comment or tweet me @humorandspice.)