Amy Winehouse, no stranger to odd behavior or, um, drinking, was profiled earlier this month for the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar where she was photographed by musician-turned-photographer Bryan Adams and discussed bits and pieces of her personal life, all while under the influence of wine. How seemingly appropriate.
The interviewer’s eyewitness of Amy imbibing:
Just before Winehouse goes to change for the next shot, I see her gulping down a big glass of wine. “Not,” she says aloud, “that I’m a rock-star alkie.”
Almost an hour later:
She is physically unstable, wobbly in high block heels. Soon, she begins a chorus-girl routine for the camera—complete with cha-chas and pirouettes. “Hurry up, Bryan!” she shouts. “This is like a three-hour-long blood extraction!” She hikes her black-and-white-checked miniskirt up and shakes her hips.
I find her sitting on the edge of a white-quilted bed in her dressing room, slurping noisily from a pot of soup. One of her representatives tells me that she will sit in on our interview.
How are you? I ask. She slurps more soup.
“I’m all right. How are you?” Her voice is breathier, girlier now; her syntax is childish. She either pronounces words with great care or slurs them into one barely intelligible syllable.
Someone hands her a crayfish salad and removes the empty soup pot from her hands. “Thank you, baby!” she says to the provider of the salad. She turns back to me.
And then: “I’m aware I’m being recorded,” Winehouse says. “Just so you know. I am aware of that.”
Okay. Do you consider yourself a style icon?
“A style, like, what?”
A style icon, I repeat.
“Style, like … ?”
“No, of course not!”
But you are! People have altered the way they look as a consequence of your look. Tattoos have gained new currency; heavy eyeliner is widely imitated.
“Uh-huh. I don’t think that’s true. I just dress like … I’m an old black man. Sorry!” she says. “Like I’m an old Jewish black man. I just dress like it’s still the ’50s. What are my inspirations … ? Elizabeth Taylor.”
You want to look like Taylor?
“Not really. She had purple eyes. That’s weird. Um …”
She pauses, then warms to a line of thought: “Thelonious Monk. Charlie Mingus. Miles Davis … Thelonious Monk again, and then rappers that are around right now, like Nas, um, um, Busta Rhymes, and Mos Def.”
Any style inspirations?
“I don’t know.” She seems exasperated. “I like …” She reaches around for a fashion reference. She finds one. “Chanel.”
To sum up the entire interview and life in Amy-speak:
Amy, are you happy?
She squints suspiciously at me.
“I’m happy about this salad.”
Folks, there we have it.