Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Russell Brand Remembers Amy Winehouse

Russell Brand with Amy Winehouse

Getty Images via Huffington Post

It never occurred to me that Amy Winehouse and Russell Brand were friends. In retrospect it makes sense, though, because Russell Brand is pals with comedian Noel Fielding, who also wears his hair in an occasional bouffant. (Yes, that must’ve been their social connection—the hair.)

Today, Russell Brand took to his weblog with something titled “For Amy,” striking a careful balance between eulogy and cautionary tale. It’s flowery, maybe, but undoubtedly sincere; it’s a tribute to Winehouse’s spirit and talent, but it is also a narrative about Brand’s own sense of helplessness.

Brand writes that he’d thought of his acquaintance as “just some twit in a pink satin jacket”—until, that is, he finally saw her perform:

From her oddly dainty presence, that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. … Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse! That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a back-combed barnet, the lips that I’d only seen clenching a fishwife fag and dribbling curses now a portal for this holy sound. So now I knew. She wasn’t just some hapless wannabe … nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a f—-ing genius.

Brand, who became sober at age 27, on the “toxic aura” of addiction that “prevents connection”:

I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom: they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil.

He seems to acknowledge that, so awed was he by Winehouse’s rising star, he only belatedly recognized the signs of her interminable spiral downward. He concludes with a chilling call-to-action, because all addicts either eventually recover, or die:

Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had, but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.

These are just clippings, but it’s well worth reading in its entirety. (Then again, Brand’s website is slow-loading this afternoon; fortunately, TMZ has also published the full text of Brand’s blog.)

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  • While yes she deserves her peace and rest, she certainly does not deserve all this media attention.

    For a junkie that wouldn’t listen and kept using, it’s an insult to other musical artists (who passed unfortunately due to drugs, i.e the 27 club) to call Amy Winehouse a genius, let alone a good artist. Yes she had a good voice, but that’s it.

    Let’s be real here folks, she was nothing more than a nice voice.

    • That’s harsh. She wrote two amazing albums (key word here being “wrote”), and having a good voice doesn’t do anything if you can’t control it, if you don’t know how to use it. Proof is Mariah Carey never won a Mercury Prize, but Winehouse did.
      Also, please bear in mind that people with the degree of addiction that Winehouse had do not make a conscious choice of using or not, they are beyond it and need it to breathe. They need help. Drug addicts need help, Winehouse tried it but it was stronger than her.
      I was never into her kind of music, but saying she was not a good artist is not true.

      • Sorry: Mariah Carey could never win a Mercury prize because she isn’t British. Replace that by, say, Alesha Dixon.

    • Wow, really? I am and wasn’t a huge fan, but she definitely had great singing chops and wrote great music that millions of people enjoy. She wasn’t a cookie cutter artist, she did her own thing and was great at it.

      It’s shitty that she fell so deeply into the drug life and couldn’t get out of it. But you should understand that addiction isn’t something that you can just let go of after 1 stint in rehab. In fact, most people fail after 1 rehab attempt and relapse. It takes a lot of effort. And while I do think that she shouldn’t be worshiped, she does deserve media attention and plenty of it. She was a world famous artist who died. That is newsworthy whether you think so or not.

      • LOL @ world famous, nice one.

        At the fact that addicts can’t just “choose” to get help, or can just let go after 1 stint of rehab, no f*cking shit sherlock. Obviously they need more than rehab, counseling, and support to continue to be healthy and sober. Then again, I barely saw her trying (until the more recent stint, which clearly didn’t work).

        Again, don’t agree with you about deserving media attention “and plenty of it”. It’s unfortunate that we take so much time to delve into the death of an addict, yet during their life we shun then and judge them completely (quite hypocritical in my books).

        Waste of time, waste of coverage, surprised it took so long for her addictive disease to take control of her.

      • Oooooooooo, someone’s got a twist in her panty!

        1. Last time I checked, if you are famous in a crap ton of countries, it is safe to say you are world famous.

        2. “For a junkie that wouldn’t listen and kept using, it’s an insult to other musical artists (who passed unfortunately due to drugs, i.e the 27 club) . . . ” You sure are showing a whole lot of to these other 27 Club members who, for the most part, were also “junkies” who “wouldn’t listen and kept using”.

        3. “Then again, I barely saw her trying (until the most recent stint, which clearly didn’t work)”. Were you living with her? That’s really the only way you can truly say you saw her trying or not.

        4. “It’s unfortunate that we take so much time to delve into the death of an addict, yet during their life we shun then [sic] and judge them completely (quite hypocritical in my books)”. Hm. So what do you prescribe society to do? Continue to judge an addict in their death? So, we should only celebrate the life of a person who was a good and perfect person while they were alive?

        Nice try, peon.

  • Yep, precisely that! To continue to judge an addict lol. And yes to celebrate the lives of people that actually did something worthwile with their health lol (or even listened to recieve help and rehab).

    As a side note, when I mentioned the 27 club, I was talking about those that were far more talented than her, those that were ACTUALLY lyrical and musical geniuses, unlike Amy.

    Overall, may she rest in peace but unfortunately she got what she deserved. In was a long time comin’.

    • So we shouldn’t celebrate anyone’s life if they were an addict and did not “[do] something worthwile [sic] with their health lol”?

      THEN DON’T CELEBRATE ANY MEMBER OF CLUB 27, because last time I checked many of those “lyrical and musical geniuses” died of abusing their bodies and not doing anything worthwhile with their health, as you so eloquently put it.

  • Ok well idc about wino too much (i like valarie, thats it.) Tbh I’m just happy you mentioned Noel. Noel is a babe.

  • Well I loved Amy Winehouse and its a shame that someone with her talent had to leave so soon. Yes, everyone blames the drugs and what not but, the drugs didn’t make her voice! She is an amazing singer, and I have both of her albums and all her underground songs. To me its about the music not the star.

  • kit kat you’re a fuckhead…nuff said
    despite you spitting crap about addicts doing it for themselves and being in the ‘club’, it wasnt a club in the 70s when the first 4 members died it was a fucking tragedy and they ALL had drug dependecies – look it up!!
    it speaks for itself on your part, obviously you’ve never dealt with any hardships in your life – that extend beyond dealing with your mates being wasted! (hope you were there for them) .. i know it’s not the same but when you deny anyone the grievences they are allowed when someone they love dies – who the fuck are you to deny them that? on a forum or not have some fucking respect!

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