I had just parked the car one Saturday afternoon when the announcement of the death of Any Winehouse came on the radio. A sad moment. My first thought was – what a waste and the second – the end point of a self fulfilling prophecy. Such a wonderful talent but such an accompanying chaotic life.
On Sunday night I was lucky enough to see Brian Wilson play live. Now I say live but what I really mean is almost catatonic. All that stunning, original talent lost to drugs, legal and illegal.
Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Lynott, Paul Kossof, John Entwhistle, Michael Jackson and on and on…drugs, alcohol or other excesses. James Dean fast cars, Mike Hawthorn fast cars, Colin Macrae helicopter. Lost. Gone.
All these people were phenomally creative and highly skilled. Almost all of them had long lives in front of them. They were all financially secure and critcally accliamed. Which ultimately meant that they could afford the means which killed them. Perhaps they all shared the thrill of their talent but also the thrill of their chosen vice to a greater extent.
Is there a duty of care which the record labels, movie studios, sports teams etc. should be required to provide? I ask the question because the loss of the more creative and talented people in our society is perhaps a shame? In Amys case how could anyone prevent her death? She was an adult. She was ultimately responsible for herself and there is only so much that can be done to protect heer from .. herself? You would think that the record labels, movie studios and sports teams would be wise to this. You would think that they would seek to protect their”star”. You would think that over the years they would have learned or developed a means to stop these deaths.
It may be the case that they have and the list could well have been much longer?
Amy had produced one of those albums that people buy in huge numbers over many years. She had been working in the studio on new material and whilst I’m sure we’ll get the chance to enjoy it maybe it would have been better to have Amy alive and making the wrong sort of news but not make anymore albums?
It’s true that their untimely deaths prevented them slipping down the slippery slope of no longer being successful or popular. The pressure to produce further work or a performance of an even higher standard must be enormous. The fear of failure. Writers block. Making a bad decision and not being in the right team or movie or record label. All pitfalls. All needing to be overcome.
A few years ago I watched an band being interviewed on TV. The Band was Wet, Wet, Wet who had just had their number one hit single which was in the charts for 17 week or more. The interviewer asked them how they were coping with the pressures of releasing new material and having to live up to the current success. They talked a bit about it and then the drummer gave his responce. He said that this wasn’t pressure. Pressure was desperately trying to find the money to keep a roof over your familes head and putting food on the table.
Sport, music, movies etc. are icing. Distracting and enjoyable. The real art is living a full life. You can’t do that if you are dead.