I am a Camden girl and life’s rich journey and love has brought me from that urban hot pot of culture to Lucca, this refined and genteel Tuscan City.
My husband is from the maverick city of Naples and our daughter was born in Camden.
It is therefore not surprising that our daughter was attracted to the extraordinary voice of the young jazz singer from her home patch, which she heard over the sound system on shopping trip to our local supermarket. I am a classical musician but her interest made me listen and admire this exceptional talent, however the dark and sad lyrics hit my soul. Bella has grown into a teenager and has a wise head, telling me that Amy’s decline has been the most poignant lesson in how drugs and drink destroy a person and always saying we shouldn’t criticise anyone with such a genius while being disturbed and shocked by her strong lyrics.
This year Amy Winehouse was the entire buzz in Lucca expecting to be the biggest draw at the Lucca Summer Festival, but there was no great surprise when she withdrew and there was a lot of tut-tutting in the bars. This morning the stage for the summer festival was being dismantled and the billboards with Amy’s face could still be seen around the city. I felt a great sadness for a wasted genius that like so many was unable to create without self-destruction. I hope we will remember her for what she gave us as a remarkable and vulnerable artist and not as an addict. After all Mozart is venerated for his music and not his lifestyle and Lucca’s own son Puccini has long ago been forgiven for his womanising. However I want the younger generation to remember that drink and drugs are never cool but just destroy. I have never heard of a happy addict.
Amy, from a Camden in girl in Lucca, I say rest in peace and I will remember you for your phenomenal talent.