If you follow me on twitter or instagram you’ve probably seen me banging on a lot in the last week about Amy. I love Amy Winehouse. I don’t really want to say “loved” just because she’s died because I do still love her. I still play her music and have postcards and pictures of her around my flat. I have all manner of memories: the times I listened to her on my own, with my friends, the times I saw her live, the twice I met her, the times I cried and laughed listening to her music. So when it was announced there was going to be a film made of her life I did start to worry. I didn’t want to come away with the memory of her tainted in someway but also I was worried that in the four years since she died I’d somehow let her down by moving on. I was also nervous about how to cover it, I don’t want to bang on about what a big fan I am but also I really felt the need to honour her at a time when everyone is talking about her.
Obviously there’s no need at all to worry because the film is incredible. It’s passionate and funny and tragic, just like Amy is. Before it’s release at the end of last week, I interviewed the film’s director Asif Kapadia on my show with Nick Shymansky (Amy’s former manager.) They both spoke so beautifully about what a therapy making the film was and how initially no one really wanted to be involved but by the end of it there had been over 100 interviews with friends, family, other musicians and journalists who were all there at the time. You can listen to the whole thing here if you fancy it.
I wanted to see it as early as I could so I booked tickets to go last Wednesday at a preview night at the Prince Charles cinema. We moved seats three times before I was convinced we had the best view to watch it (ridiculous.) You can read my full story of meeting and loving Amy and also what I made of the film on my Huffington Post blog post, but here’s a little bit…
The first time I saw Amy live was at the Brecon Jazz Festival in 2004. We ran into the tent to find a lot of middle aged John Lewis shoppers neatly sat on plastic chairs in rows. We charged down to the front and spent the whole night singing along too loudly and dancing. She pointed to us from the stage, “I like these girls.” As soon as she went off I tore the set list from the stage and ran to get a photo. She signed the set list “I <3 U, Amy.” My obsession was in overdrive. After that I collected posters, postcards, stickers, t shirts and bought the album again so I could stick the artwork on the wall.
In the interview Asif said people hadn’t really come to terms with Amy dying and had a lot of pain to release from making the film. I do feel like seeing Amy and doing the interview and writing about it has allowed my to honour Amy in a way I really needed too, so thank you so bearing with all the posts about it. Absolutely go and see the film if you loved her or just know her songs or don’t know anything about her and please don’t be put off by knowing how it ends, it really is a beautiful film.