We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Gerard would be amused to know that I "met" Janis once, at good old Max's Kansas City in NYC just off Union Square. I was there with some college friends, late, when she came in with a couple of guys from her band. She pulls up a stool next to mine, said "Hey" to acknowledge me, and ordered a couple of shots of Wild Turkey and a beer. She looked like a mess. I think they were all stoned out of their minds.
Those were the days. I went to Woodstock too. It sucked. Trust me. The best thing about going turned out to be being able to say I went.
New Orleans - 1972 it t'were. My best bud and I got tickets to the Memorial Auditorium to see B.B. King and his band - great seats, center aisle, right down front. The band starts playing, BB comes out, does a few songs then looks right at us, kind of smiles and says "This is for the two white guys sittin' down front"....we hadn't paid any attention to our surroundings but apparently we were the only white people that he could see and he thought it was pretty funny. Hey, we also got autographs. :>)
Met Fats Domino entirely by accident. I used to sit in for a guitar player I knew on occasion - small jazz club down on Decatur Street. Fats Domino walked in one night that I was there right before we finished a set, listened for a little bit and when we took a break, came up, introduced himself (like he needed to do that), shook hands and stayed for the third set. Pretty cool.
As a "generational voice" of the Woodstock crowd, I'll buy Janice, but even she was a second-rate imitation of Lady Day, to this Woodstock "contemporary"---not member---contemporary.
( I refuse to accept membership in that drugged-out club of smelly, hippie wannabes, whose music is all over-rated! "Woodstock": loved the movie, mostly because I loved the fact I wasn't there in that filth and crappy upstate NY weather among a huge bunch of poseurs!!! Yeah, I know, you WS types are all stockbrokers and insurance agents and lawyers now, but still, I fart in your general direction.)
I'm happy to see there isn't any Winehouse bashing going on, though the "3rd day of sobriety" bit was somewhat unnecessary.
I'm a believer (in MOST cases, there is the rare "Hitlerian" event) that once someone is in God's hands, it's best to take mine off. I don't like to comment about the dead, except to wish them well on their journey.
Winehouse may have been a "wannabe" of many kinds of singers, Janis among them. It doesn't matter to me - I wasn't a fan of hers, and I felt badly for her. Not because i wasn't a fan, but because she was so terribly tormented. So many friends of mine are recovering addicts, and it's very hard to watch so many talented people fall victim to their inner demons (Janis included).
Winehouse WAS talented, even if I didn't like her work. I liked Janis, and she was also incredibly talented even if I found her tedious at times. Winehouse I simply never paid much attention to - even though I kept having her forced upon me by the media.
To some degree, I believe the media creates these personalities. Young people with talent and difficulties suddenly given great visibility and praise. In reality I think they are insecure, recognizing the fleeting nature of their position, unsure of their fine talent, and keenly frightened of losing what they have achieved. All while being completely overwhelmed by what they have achieved.
I won't miss Amy Winehouse simply because she was never a talent I paid alot of attention to. But regardless, I feel for her friends and family, and I hope other tortured souls like her (are you listening and watching Charlie Sheen?) can find a place that allows them to get some kind of balance in their lives.
Amy brought alot of people some kind of joy and happiness with her work. It seems somewhat assured that she had very little of her own joy and happiness, given the way she behaved. I hope she's got some now.
BTW, I was "at" Woodstock. Which is to say I was staying in a nearby town with my cousins and saw all the hippies wandering about. Back at that age, I found it frightening. Today, I have an odd sentimental streak wishing I could've been "part" of that event. Just like the millions who claim to have actually been there even though they were probably in New York City at the time. (hey, New York is New York - so I was "there"!!)
I dont' think Winehouse was imitating Joplin at all, at least not directly. If she is imitating anyone, she is imitating Aretha Franklin doing jazzy blues and soul. This comes out clearly in "Back To Black." Janis was imitating Aretha in her own way, imitating Aretha doing power blues and gospel soul. I am a big fan of Aretha, Joplin, KoKo Taylor, Mavis Staples, Big Time Sarah and Amy Winehouse. Had she lived and beaten her demons, I think she would have produced some incredible art - she really did have soul in her work.
Amy Winehouse was an incredibly good musician. She actually wrote all of that stuff. Lyrics, music, all of it. She didn't imitate anyone. She simply created what she liked to hear and she was damn good at it. She was nasty and broken, but as a musician she was among the best. She used that trick that rappers use of stealing riffs she liked and dropping them into her own stuff and did it in a very seductive way. It's never obvious.
There's no doubt about it, Amy Winehouse was superb. I believe she was a vastly more talented vocal performer than Joplin (for one, she didn't have to rely on screaming and shouting for musical effect).
But she did share one thing in common with Janis: she destroyed herself.