July 28, 2011
While Amy Winehouse’s family are in deep mourning over her untimely death strangers continue to arrive outside where she used to live in Camden to put down flowers, light a candle, pin up a poem or simply write a short message on one of the nearby street signs.
They are sitting Shiva for her in their own unique way.
As if Camden hasn’t got enough tourist attractions, a new one has just been created. The BBC were still there today, but they were hard-pressed to find anyone to interview who spoke English.
Amy seemed to have passed away last Saturday pretty much from natural causes. The post-mortem itself found no cause of death and further findings are not due to be released for another month.
Part of the tragedy of all this is that Amy was on the up when she died. She had reached rock bottom in Serbia recently when, performing drunk, she was booed off stage and the rest of the tour was cancelled.
But in her last public appearance at The Roundhouse in Camden three days before her death she seemed relaxed and healthy when dancing on stage in the background while her god-daughter Dionne Bromfield performed.
Her father felt confident enough to leave her and was en route to New York to perform himself when he heard the news.
Even her security guard thought she was sleeping when he checked in on her in the morning. At the time she was probably already dead. Only when he checked on her a second time did he realise that all was not good.
So it was not the scene that we had all at first suspected; one of Amy sprawled out on the floor surrounded by half empty bottles of alcohol and pills all over the carpet.
Last Saturday, she did not seem to be someone reckless about her life or someone trying to take it, but someone fighting for it. But it was a time when all that had gone on before had, finally, taken its toll on her fragile body and it just gave up.
She seemed to love life and people, whether making music or just serving tea and chocolate biscuits to the photographers camped outside her front door.
As for her troubles she simply embraced them and turned them into fine songs that were made supreme by her mesmerising voice.
Without her dreadful experiences we wouldn’t have got the songs.