Weekly Wilson - Blog of Author Connie C. Wilson

Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books—-her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Category: Music (Page 1 of 13)

“Sammy Davis,Jr.: I’ve Gotta’ Be Me” with Director Sam Pollard at the 53rd International Chicago Film Festival

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Director Sam Pollard brought his hugely entertaining documentary “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta’ Be Me” to the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival and spoke about the fascinating subject of this film.

A host of celebrities, ranging from Whoopie Goldberg to Billy Crystal to Sidney Poitier testify to the man who was “showbusiness from the top of his head to the tips of his toes.”
Sammy Davis, Jr., won his first talent show at the age of three (He sang, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal you.”) and performed with the Will Mastin Trio comprised of his father and uncle.

Until he was 45 years old, long past the life span of the trio, his earnings were split three ways amongst the members of the trio. Sammy was born to a Catholic mother and a Baptist father at 2632 140th St. and 8th Ave in Harlem, but converted to Judaism. He never went to school and, much like Michael Jackson, never had a real childhood.

Sammy’s big break-through as a singer was the song “Hey There” and stars like Eddie Cantor and Jerry Lewis (who is interviewed shortly before Lewis’ recent death) helped advise him. He lost his left eye in a 1954 car accident that was rumored to have been Mafia-inspired. It took him two years just to re-learn how to pour a glass of water, but he came back to performing as good as before. And when he was good, he was very, very good, singing, dancing, acting and doing impressions of white actors (a breakthrough for the times).

THE GOOD

The film clips in this bio-pic (written by Laurence Maslon) are truly enjoyable and take you back to the days of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Those days began to fade in 1964 and the personal snub that Sammy felt when JFK excluded him from his Inaugural Ball (primarily because of Davis’ marriage to May Britt, a white Swedish beauty) hurt Sammy to the core. He is quoted as saying, “”Nobody’s gonna’ get inside any more. I can’t afford that luxury.”

When Harry Belafonte wanted Sammy to come to Selma for the civil rights march, he was appearing in “Golden Boy” on Broadway and told Belafonte his absence would close the play. Harry bought the house to get Sammy to come to Selma. Despite Davis’ efforts, he was often not accepted by the black community, who often considered him a sell-out and an Uncle Tom.

Sammy was the epitome of extravagance. He was ostentatious and larger than life, saying, “I have no desire to be the boy next door.” He is quoted as saying, “If I’m not going first class, the boat ain’t leaving the dock.” He was also the first black man to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House.

THE BAD

The stories told of Sammy’s abuse when serving in the Army are truly heartbreaking. Even when he appeared in “Golden Boy” with Paula Wayne ( Arthur Penn directed), rednecks said, of Paula, “She’s the one who kissed the N—-.”

His only Number One Hit was “The Candyman” from the “Willy Wonka” movie and Sammy thought it was a terrible song. He also supported causes when they were not fashionable, supporting Richard Nixon for President and making trips to Vietnam when the tide of public sentiment had turned against the war. (“It’s not cool to be in support of the war.”) He became an anachronism in his own time

Stories like the one about a patron at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas complaining that Sammy was swimming in the swimming pool, which caused them to drain the pool were horrifying. The only place he felt safe was onstage, as he fought the odds his whole life (and usually won).

When he contracted throat cancer, he did not have surgery for fear he would never be able to sing again, but had radiation. He died on May 16, 1990, in his Beverly Hills home with third wife Altovise by his side.

None of the children from his marriage with May Britt, nor May Britt herself appeared in the documentary. Pollard shared that he hired a crew and a studio and flew to Nashville to interview Sammy’s daughter Tracey, but she did not show up on the appointed day. His children seem to have been lost to him, as “everything was about Sammy.” (His marriage to May Britt ended in 1964).

VERDICT

Documentary about the life of Sammy Davis, Jr., played at the 53rd International Chicago Film Festival with Director Sam Pollard in attendance.


This is a great documentary about a fantastically talented legend. Director Sam Pollard said, “We’re all complicated. He was larger than life and a public figure. I’m always drawn to the complexity
. If you’re going to do a documentary about someone as phenomenally talented as Sammy, you look for the dark edges.” Pollard said he had read the autobiography “Yes, I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.” (by Sammy and Jane and Burt Boyar) when he was 15. He noted that Sammy “had trouble being alone” and that they were “very fortunate that we had access to all the audio tapes from his autobiography.”

As Whoopie Goldberg and Billy Crystal say in the documentary, “I don’t know if we’ll ever see that much talent in one person again.”
Crystal likened him to a comet passing by the Earth.

Many black performers who appeared at his 60th anniversary in show business testimonial on February 4, 1990 (just 3 months before his death), such as Michael Jackson and Geoffrey Hines, saluted him, saying, “Thanks to you, there’s a door we all walked through.”

The scenes of Davis tap-dancing with Hines literally days before his death from throat cancer demonstrate that he was one of a kind; he actually made Hines (tap dancing co-star of “White Nights” with Mikhail Baryshnikov) look clumsy by comparison.

Bob Seger: Still Rocking (in Moline, IL) at 72

Reading Time: 1 minute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIocthkeiBM&feature=youtu.be

Rock musician Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band took the stage at the Civic Center in Moline, Illinois on Saturday night, August 26th, 2017, for the second show on his just-launched tour (Tulsa was first).

The clip above shows off more of the band, in general, but the entire show was jam-packed with hits, from “Against the Wind,” “Rock & Roll Music,” “Like A Rock,” “Why Don’t You Stay?” to “Hollywood Nights.”

It was a predominantly middle-aged crowd that turned out to see and hear the rocker from Detroit and the place was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. The downtown parking ramps were all full and we had to walk about a mile to even find a place to park.

It was a great show and very poignant when Seger sang the lyrics, “I’m older now, but still running against the wind.”

Cold Play on July 23, 2016, at Soldier Field

Reading Time: 2 minutes

My birthday fell on a Saturday this year (July 23rd). I checked out the acts in town and Chris Martin’s Cold Play would be appearing across the street at Soldier Field.

Weather at concert-time.

Weather at concert-time.

Originally scheduled for 8 p.m., an e-mail moved the concert’s time up to 7 p.m. but, at 7 p.m., it was pouring down rain.

I went out on my balcony at 8:30 p.m. and I could see people in the stands at Soldier Field. “We’ve got to walk over there and see if the concert is starting!” My husband was less than thrilled, as he barely knows Cold Play. (I had seen them two times during “I Heart Radio” shows in Las Vegas).

I convinced him that going to a Cold Play concert was a bit like giving your 5-year-old a microphone, because Chris Martin falls down a lot while performing, which, in itself, is entertaining. Then, too, there was that half-time performance at the Super Bowl, but that was hardly a selling point for my Big Bright Idea after Beyonce and Bruno Mars upstaged the band.

However, there was still “If I Ruled the World,” “Paradise” and the 60 Minutes interview. I bought the cheapest seats the highest up ($50) and we were set. Until it rained.

DSCN1638But, now, at 8:30 p.m., the heavens parted as if on cue and we were back on! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

As we entered, we were issued something that looked like a white plastic FitBit. It would turn out to be a bracelet-like device that was timed to light up in certain colors throughout the stadium at certain times during the show, which was a great effect! My generation only had cigarette lighters. Not the same.

DSCN1638As the oldest people the highest up in the stadium (35 flights of stairs, said my FitBit later), we stood throughout the concert, for 90 minutes. Until it rained. Again.

Lasers. Fireworks both inside and outside (at Navy Pier) of the stadium. Chris Martin falling down a lot.

DSCN1666When 90 minutes had elapsed, with Martin on his back inside the circle seen in my picture (which rotated and was a stage in the middle of Soldier Field), he was told that the stadium had to be evacuated. Martin seemed genuinely disappointed, saying, “I’ve never been in this position before (this after telling us they had just played their 40th show on the tour)! We’d like to play more for you, but they are telling me you have to leave the stadium, so this might be our last song.”

And it was.

DSCN1626Chris Martin did tell us we were the most enthusiastic and hardiest group they had played to, but I’ll bet he says that to ALL the girls! Nevermind. Despite the 35 floors and the standing and getting soaked (“I’m as wet as I’ve ever been in my life!”) which was worse for the spouse than for me, as I had saved an old Blue Man Group poncho and was wearing it, it was a great concert and a great way to celebrate my birthday.

“Soundbreaking” @ SXSW: Painting with Music in 8-part PBS Documentary Special

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Over 10 years ago, famed record producer George Martin, who is often referred to as “the 5th Beatle,” used his considerable influence to start the ball rolling on a series of interviews with famous record producers and musicians.

 
Martin’s influence led to an 8-series PBS piece that will air in mid-November, entitled: “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music.” It premiered at South by Southwest and documentary producer Julia Marchesi was with the film to explain its genesis. Marchesi told the audience at the Alamo Drafthouse (Slaughter Lane) on St. Patrick’s Day that some of the interviews were done as long ago as 2006. This is clear when we see the legendary Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and Martin, himself, all now gone.

 
Among the record producers who discuss their role in making music are Brian Eno, Jimmy Iovine (U2), Quincy Jones, Don Was, Jimmy Jam (Janet Jackson), Paul Epworth (Tom Petty), Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash), Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Tricky Steward (Rihanna, Beyonce), Martin himself, and a host of others, plus some of the artists associated with these world class producers.

 
“When it comes to making a hit record, one of the biggest mysteries is the role of the producer,” the movie tells us, and 150 famous folk dive into that mystery, giving us a peek at producers of yesteryear like Mitch Miller (Tony Bennett) and Sam Phillips, the legendary owner/producer of Sun Records in Memphis.

 
Phillips is heard to say of his work with Elvis Presley, “The next thing I knew, Elvis cut loose on ‘That’s All Right, Mama.’ If I couldn’t make it with this, I could never make it on anything!” The legendary B. B. King is seen commenting on the raw black sound that Phillips was intent on recording for the world. “The essence of Sun Records was to get these artists to display their God-given talent…For Sam (Phillips), it was about pulling whatever they had inside out.”

 
Tom Petty relates how producer Paul Epworth helped shape “Free Falling,” even contributing the title of the song and says, “That’s the whole point of having someone sitting in the booth.”

 
George Martin relates how, when he first met the Beatles, they had been turned down by every other recording studio. He was older than the Fab Four and thought they had charisma. Says Martin, “When I first met them, they knew nothing about the studio. George had not even played rock and roll.” All agree that Martin added himself into the picture, inserting instrumentation suggestions and other improvements because he was “older and wiser.” Martin relates how Paul McCartney brought him the melody for “Yesterday,” which he said he had heard in his head. McCartney’s question was whether he had unconsciously picked it up from another artist, but Martin assured him it was a new song. Martin also suggested they needed to put strings on “Yesterday.” This initially frightened McCartney, who associated strings with classical music, which he was frightened of, feeling he was out of his depth. When Paul brought Martin “Eleanor Rigby” and Martin suggested the lush instrumentation that was the first time the band had not played on their records. Early in their recording career, it took them only 12 hours to cut their first albums, which were comprised, essentially, of the songs they played onstage. Says Questlove: “It was just so smart. George Martin obviously knew his stuff. He knew how to put it on a Beatles record. It’s a very different art than performing live. His influence was so mighty.”

 

 

The film moved on to the influence of Phil Spector and his “wall of sound.” We hear “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers and see him working with Tina Turner on “River Deep, Mountain High.” In order to get the lush sound, Phil would hire 2 or 3 times the musicians. Says Roger Waters of “Pink Floyd,” “One violin sounds like shit. Even 8 is crappy. Double the musicians.” Although Spector would frequently require 29 or 30 takes on a song, he often would return to the third or fourth take to use on the record. “He abused the technology, the musicians, to get the sound.”

 

 

DIY musicians like Joni Mitchell (she had it put in her contract that she would not have to use a producer), Sly of “Sly and the Family Stone”, and Tom Scholz of “Boston” were discussed. Said Questlove, “You couldn’t think of anyone telling Sly what to do in the studio. On his 5th album, ‘It’s A Family Affair,’ he played all the instruments and sang all the parts. He was a huge musical innovator back in 1971, setting the gold standard for funky music.” Scholz actually made the record and then formed the band, getting Brad Delp to sing the lead vocals.

 
The influence of “Pet Sounds” and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is discussed, and the rappers like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are included.

 
The big conclusion in the second installment of the 8-part series is that, although Les Paul invented it, the multi-tracking possible with computers has forged music that can be made in one’s basement with a computer. Gradually, with multi-tracking, songs came to be made that were no longer just a simplistic recording of the group singing. “Magnetic tape just changed music completely.”

 

 

Martin reappeared later in the narrative to say that when the Beatles quit touring, they were better able to focus on recording in the studio. The music they made early on was pretty basic, but it evolved when they had more time in the studio and they were “over that basic phase by 1966 making music that could not exist outside a record. The Beatles revolutionized the way records were made. The rule book was out the window.” He reveals that the Beatles always looked for other sounds on their records, sounds discovered by making loops and speeding them up or slowing them down. For the recording of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” John Lennon wanted to sound like the Dalai Lama, chanting from a mountain top. The revolving speaker was created for this purpose and it kicks in on the record about one and one-half minutes in. Martin called it, “A prophecy of pop music in one song—sampling, scratching. We were creating a new kind of music, fantasy stuff.” When the Beatles recorded “A Day in the Life” they created an album that was like a theatrical construction. It opened a Pandora’s Box for everyone. You have to throw your musical imagination into it.”

 
Among the other artist we hear from are Annie Lennox (“the Eurythmics”), Elton John, who says there was “an explosion of creativity in the 60s to mid 70s that I don’t think will ever be matched again,” Patrick Carney of “The Black Keys,” Beck, Bon Iver (who created his music on a Mac 0S9 with ProTools, and St. Vincent. My daughter’s favorite band, “Radiohead” are also featured.
Said Producer Julia Marchesi, “Because of George Martin’s influence we were able to get 116 interviews that cover voice and recording vocals; electrification; sampling; evolution of musical formats and, as George Martin termed it, “Painting with sound.”

 
Marchesi described the 8-part series as “a huge undertaking” and said the initial meetings were very contentious, with each producer fighting for the inclusion of a different artist.

It promises to be a musical feast for viewers in mid-November on PBS.

SXSW: Tony Robbins, Self-Help Guru, Profiled for Netflix

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Tony Robbins

 

Surprise!

Imagine my surprise when a documentary at SXSW that I thought was entitled “The Incomparable Rose Hartman,” about a famous female photographer who catalogued Studio 54 in its heyfrday (70 minutes) turned out to be “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru,”documentary from Director Joe Beringer for Netflix.

 

About the Film

The film follows self-help guru and author Robbins (name at birth: Anthony J. Mahavoric) through 6 days of his intensive and expensive self-help sessions entitled “Date with Destiny.” With 2500 people from 71 countries in the large ballroom, all having paid roughly $5000 a head for the 6 days, doing the math led me to a figure of $1,250,000 for the take on this event. Indeed, Wikipedia estimates Tony Robbins made $30 million in 2007. Pretty good for someone who never went to college and once worked as a janitor.
Having come to see a film that was only supposed to be 10 minutes longer than an hour, I found the nearly 2 hour film very long. The last (6th) day could have been omitted entirely, as far as I’m concerned, as it left me thinking of Don Draper at the end of “Mad Men,” while the preceding 5 sessions were more like Tom Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia” (for which Cruise won the Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.) That film role was written specifically for Cruise by Anderson and modeled on a different self-help guru who advised people how to get dates.

 

Robbins would be the first to acknowledge that he “planned” himself into his overpaid career as a motivational guru, speaker and author. It’s a little bit like the old saying, “You don’t plan to fail; you fail to plan.”

 

Robbins did not fail to plan and he claims that taking care of an abusive, pill-dependent mother turned him into what he termed “a practical psychologist.” (Wikipedia says that his mom chased him out of the house with a knife when he was 17 and he never went back.) Today, Robbins the motivational speaker says, in the film, “If she had been the mother that I wanted, I would not be the man I am.” He also says, “Most of us are so busy living life that we don’t have time to design a life, and you’re going to wake up in 10 years and say, ‘Where did it go?’”
Tony is asked, at one point, by the director, what his own “breakthrough” moment in his life was, and he dodges the question as skillfully as any politician, while giving props to a high school forensic speech teacher in his sophomore year at Glendora High School, Mr. Cobb. Apparently, Mr. Cobb launched young Tony into a speech competition, telling him, “You’re not a speaker; you’re a communicator” and Tony’s stellar performance in the category of Persuasive Oratory led him, ultimately, to some work with neuro-linguistic programming, as well as skydiving, board breaking and firewalking to help those attending his seminars break through barriers (and, no doubt, be entertaining while doing that.) He also studied Ericksonian hypnosis.

Some notable quotes from the six-day seminar:

  • “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and under-estimate what they can do in decades.”
    “I constructed this Tony Robbins guy.” (*Fact: Tony’s mother’s 3rd husband’s last name was Robbins and he adopted young Tony to give him that surname.)
  • “Everyone needs something to move forward to, to move towards.
  • “Date with Destiny is a place that you go to discover who you are and what you are about at this time in your life.”
  • “Words have the power to pierce the pattern” (used to explain why he seems overly fond of the “F” word.)
  • “Life is happening FOR us, not TO us.”
  • “The whole thing is a dance.”
  • “What’s prevented you from having the life you deserve?” (This after some scenes of meetings with staff, where they discussed the mix of variety/entertainment/energy/engagement and “people with red flags.”

 

Dramatic Interactions

In any group this size, says Tony to staff, there are going to be about 12 who are suicidal. He assigns various staffers to support those identified through their writing(s) on questionnaires as potentially suicidal. One young person had attempted suicide only 2 days prior. It is also these writings, handed in during the sessions, that guide much of the next day’s “interactions,” as dramatic situations take precedence over the ordinary.
For instance, one 26-year-old young attractive woman named Dawn, who was abused sexually as a member of a cult called Children of God. We hear Dawn’s sad story of sexual abuse of her entire family unit. She broke free, but now feels that she is not strong enough to provide emotional support to every other family member, all of whom she describes as depressed. We later learn that she has pawned all her belongings to get the $4,995 fee for the seminar, but it pays off when $100,000 is donated to Dawn to help others like herself. (She is now writing a book). Dawn also scores private sessions with Chloe Madonna, whom Tony touts as a great therapist, and 3 friends (male) whom she selects from among the mesmerized audience who agree to contact her monthly for 6 months.

 

One woman is made to call her boyfriend up on the phone and break up with him while everyone listens. (We are told later that this attractive forty-ish brunette had reconciled with her boyfriend after the class’ conclusion). I got the distinct impression that, if asked questions off camera, this woman might have been resentful of what Tony Robbins demanded of her. She did not seem to like the fact that he was “warm and fuzzy” to others he counseled, but not towards her.
The director asks “Are you ever concerned about giving the wrong advice?” This better-looking version of Dr. Phil says, “Depth is what people are missing. And when you take people deep, it’s riveting because it’s so rare.”
There was another encounter with a suicidal young man who seemed to be foreign-born. By the end of the tearful encounter, he is crowd surfing with a goofy look of happiness on his face as all his new friends support him. And a lot of the “therapy” of the moment seems to come from making those participating feel that they are surrounded by loving fellow humans, (whether or not they ever see these people again.)

The Music

Music is skillfully used to work the crowd into a certain mood prior to Tony’s arrival onstage, and music is used during his interactions (“Tiny Dancer” was playing in the background at one point). Translators are working with headsets to interpret Tony’s gems of wisdom into 6 different languages. Here’s one such truth: “You’re a miracle to everyone in this room. (Big hug here) With you, it stops. Pure love. You’re incredible. There’s no way I would feel like this unless I had felt emotions of my own that are similar. You take all the power back today.” (This to the Christian Soldier girl, Dawn).

Young People

I was struck by the fact that, for this documentary, which will be shown on Netflix, all the highlighted people were relatively young, well-dressed and attractive. There were no dowdy middle-aged women or overweight balding men being counseled about their difficulty adjusting to retirement (or some such). Everyone was beautiful, just like the sit coms on TV. And Tony, himself, is a handsome physical specimen. He grew 10 inches in high school (due to a tumor on his pituitary gland) and is an imposing physical presence, with perfect white teeth and a huge smile. He has been married 2 times and has paid judgments of $650,900 to Wade Cook for copyright infringement and plagiarism, [according to Wikipedia], and also was forced to pay $221,260 to the FTC, but he has also won at least one libel suit for a much smaller amount.

 

At one point, all the adult participants are shown making posters for Day 6 (the final day) and they are required to sit in a yoga Lotus position, palms upturned, chanting OM and thinking about 3 things they are grateful for at that last meeting while Tony says things like, “Take the greatest gift home—who you’ve become. You’ve been on a journey, not a trip. You were the concert…Heal the boy and the man will appear.” He talks about the “birth of new values, of a new life” and says the primary question is, “what you focus on in your mission statement.” (These were the posters all the participants were busily drawing prior to Day 6.)

Here At The End

Meanwhile, we learn that Tony’s staff of approximately 50 people are telling him how late he is running (2 hours, at one point) and he is selecting different strategies to employ in his final delivery of material (second wife Pearl “Sage,” married in 2001, is an acupuncturist, among other things.)
Tony Robbins’ TED talk in 2007 is the sixth most-watched TED talk, according to Wikipedia. He played himself in the 2000 movie “Shallow Hal,” as the guru hypnotizing Jack Black so that Jack Black could see the inner beauty of Gwyneth Paltrow’s obese female lead. Interesting, inasmuch as nobody in THIS documentary Is allowed that flaw. On Season 3, episode 22 of “Family Guy,” Tony Robbins was lampooned and a non-human character shown on TV screens in “Men In Black” is Robbins.
Tony Robbins.jpg He currently assists Oprah with a Lifeclass on her OWN network and is going to be the co-owner of a Los Angeles soccer league with Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm and Peter Guber in 2017.
Film editor for this Netflix documentary was Cy Christiansen. To Mr. Christiansen, I’d say, “Day 6 dragged.”

John Daly: Golfer Still Grips It, Rips It & Sips It

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Getting Started

Golfer John Daly took the golf world by storm when he won the 1991 PGA,  entering play as the 9th alternate. As Daly tells you in the documentary “Hit It Hard,” which showed on Tuesday, March 14th at SXSW in Austin and was helmed by filmmakers (and non-golfers) Gabe Spitzer and David Terry Fine, “I got to town about 2 a.m. and got a phone call the next day telling me, ‘You’re in.'” This film will ultimately be shown on ESPN, which bit when the two filmmakers asked about doing a 50 minute documentary about the colorful golfer.

When asked after the screening how long it took to get Daly to agree to become the subject of this film, the duo said they followed him around for “8 to 10 months” and finally “found him selling his gear outside a Hooters at Augusta.” He soon agreed to appear in the movie. Films of this sort for ESPN can be 50, 77, or 100 minutes long, but the cost of getting the rights to Daly’s greatest filmed golfing moments were prohibitive and kept the pair from making a longer film.

 

It’s like watching a new species.

We see Daly, wearing a colorful patchwork quilt of a jacket (red, white and blue) saying, “Take the chances.  Be aggressive. That’s the way I was raised. You can’t change for others; you gotta’ do it for yourself.  Some people just never grow up and I could say I’m one of ’em.”

The film opens with Daly’s triumph at the PGA in Carmel, Indiana at Crooked Stick Golf Course in 1991, coming in as the 9th alternate and blasting his way to victory.  David Feherly of NBC, commenting on Daly’s massive 300+ golf drives, said, “It’s like watching a new species.”

 

Growing Up In Arkansas

Born in Carmichael, California, Daly grew up in Dardanelles, Arkansas, where he taught himself to play golf from Jack Nicklaus videos and practicing on a baseball field near his house and at the Bay Ridge Boat Club, beginning at the age of 4. He attended high school in Helias, Missouri. Golf was not really the sport his contemporaries were interested in, so Daly also played football in Missouri and still holds some high school records for kicking field goals. (He demonstrated his barefoot kicking style for the camera.)

Daly’s father was an alcoholic who was often abusive. Said Daly, “My brothers and I would come home from school and he’d just start beating on us. My mom, too.” Daly spoke of his father once putting a gun to his eye and beating his children with garden hoses, switches and other objects. He said, “It’s tough to forget.”

He went on to say, “I got a scholarship to Arkansas, but they told me I had to lose some weight. I lost 67 and 1/2 pounds in 2 months on a diet of Jack Daniels and popcorn.” If that sounds like a crazy diet, at one point not shown in the film, Daly told the filmmakers that he sometimes put beer on his Wheaties “to save money on milk,” which, the filmmakers noted, wouldn’t really be an effective cost-saving measure.

 

Daly has always had a drive that fans crave seeing.

 

According to official performance statistics kept since 1980, Daly in 1997 became the first PGA Tour player to average more than 300 yards per drive over a full season. He did so again every year from 1999 to 2008; he was the only player to do so until 2003.

Daly confessed to the camera, “My life changed in 4 days, but I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t taught how to be successful.  Look–I did it my way.  You only have yourself to blame.” Daly’s swing coach, Butch Harmon, quit in March of 2008, saying that “the most important thing in (Daly’s) life is getting drunk.” Daly responded by saying “I think his lies kind of destroyed my life for a little bit.” It is undeniable that Daly seems to have an addictive personality. Among his addictions: golf, women, alcohol, Coca Cola, cigarettes and chocolate. When he won one tournament while on the wagon, he filled the winner’s cup with chocolate ice cream and ate all of it.

This feasting to excess led to lap band surgery, which allowed Daly to lose as much as 80 lbs., but may have contributed to loss of muscle and an accompanying decline in his golf game (although Daly, himself, blames poor eyesight, which affected his putting.)

 

As for women, the three-times married Daly (his fiance now is Anna Cladakis, following Betty, Sherrie,  and Paulette) says, “I love pleasin’ a woman a lot every day.” He also hopes to play on the Senior Tour, as his 50th birthday arrives on April 28th.

One sportscaster described him as “the first charismatic golfer since Jack Nicklaus” and worried, openly, that he might burn out like a comet. Said another, “Sometimes, he can’t get out of his own way.” Arnold Palmer once told him, “We all respect your game, but we want to respect you.”

Daly claims, in the film, to have won $45 million, while losing $98 million gambling. The stories of his gambling are as legendary as the stories of his antics on various golf courses, which earned him the nickname “The Wild Thing” at St. Andrew’s, where he won a four-hole play-off against Constantino Rocca in 1995.

Although there have been many low, low moments in Daly’s colorful life, he has three children and says, “I feel like my life is surrounded by good things.  I kind of love the way it turned out.  I care and I’m still gonna’ be John Daley. I’m gonna’ hit it hard and I’m gonna grip it and rip it.” And, as he says during this short, entertaining documentary, “I don’t give a shit what people say.”

He sings too.

The film ends with Daly singing over the credits. He has released 2 albums of music and sings well. The following is John’s perspective on his music:

“The album itself is really my life. All of the songs have a meaning. Most of the record is happening or has happened in my life. I hope people can relate to some of the troubles I have had along the way. Everyone around the world has problems, and I want to connect with those people.”

(John’s first album, ‘My Life,’ included guest vocals by Darius, Willie Nelson and Johnny Lee.)

A very enjoyable short film. Watch for it on ESPN–but not on ABC.

Christmas in Chicago: Happenings in and Around the City at the Holidays

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I came in to Chicago to pick up the daughter (from Denver) to drive her back to the Quad Cities, but good friend Mary Gerace had some other festive ideas for things to do in and around the city, including the free Chicago Youth Symphony concert at Chicago’s Symphony Hall, the Tuba Christmas concert at the Palmer House, and a performance of The Assassination Theater, which purports to prove who really murdered JFK (ending soon at the Museum of Television and other such things.

TubaXmas 013The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra performance, which was free, was just as good as when I saw them perform with Ben Folds a month or so ago. No Ben, this time, but just as great a performance, with a tour de force performance from a young trumpeter who was voted the 2nd best in the U.S. in a competition.

TubaXmas 057Then came 266 tubas of all ages and sizes. Performers come from all over the state (the youngest was 10 years old) and outnumber those at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Tubas don’t often get to carry the melody, so it was fun to hear that many of them playing well-known Christmas carols. The audience was encouraged to sing along to the second verse. The house was packed. We had to arrive by 9 a.m. to get colored wrist bands or risk being in the “spill-over” room watching it on a TV feed. This was the 30th year for the event.

Then there were the lovely Christmas trees, including the one in Millennium Park barely a mile down Michigan from me, and the one in the Palmer House Lobby.

And, of course, Water Tower Place beckoned with shopping galore. Last night, when I was there, they planned to be open until midnight! Christmas Eve, demonstrators plan to demonstrate on the Miracle Mile, which the shops along there have claimed has cost them at least 30% of their normal business.

Last, but not least, I received word a while ago that I was one of the Finalists for the title of Best Indie Thriller of 2015 and had been named one of the Top 100 from among 12,000+ entries. I was sworn to secrecy until the newest issue of “Shelf Unbound” online magazine was published, however, and the Dec./Jan. issue is up now. I think “KHAKI=KILLER” is on page 58 (or 60?). Here is the link:

You can see the issue here: http://issuu.com/shelfunbound/docs/shelf_unbound_december-january_2015

Khaki = Killer is shown on page 58 or 60.

Lastly, MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all, and if you are of a different religious persuasion, as our Christmas card said, “Merry Everything.”

Howard Shore Is Honored at 51st Chicago International Film Festival on October 18th

Reading Time: 6 minutes

On October 18, 2015, Howard Shore celebrated his 69th birthday inside the AMC Theater in Chicago, Illinois, listening to a studio audience of fans sing an off-key version of Happy Birthday To You. Shore was being given an award at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, and the Canadian composer (Shore was born in Toronto, Canada)—winner of 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globe awards and 4 Grammies—shared many stories of his collaborations with such great directors as Martin Scorsese (5 films) and David Cronenberg (all but one of Cronenberg’s films). [*See the Filmography at the end of the article.]

As Shore told it, he had admired David Cronenberg’s dark films from the age of 14, but didn’t get up the courage to ask if he could do the music for one of Cronenberg’s horror films until the age of 28 in 1978, after completing his training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, (where he is now on the board.)

Howard Shore waves to the audience singing "Happy Birthday" to him on October 18th.

Howard Shore waves to the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to him on October 18th.

Shore described how he selected a clarinet housed in a shoebox as his first musical instrument at the age of 8, saying, “The clarinet seemed pretty hip for a 10-year-old.” He began writing musical harmony with a pencil (which he said he still does today) and training in harmony and counterpoint from an early age, thanks to an early teacher Morris Weinstein, and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), a government institution, welcomed him and gave him an early start. Shore says the government tested the hearing of all young children. When his hearing was found to be excellent, they encouraged him to become a musician. He reminisced, “I was a kid in a room with a tape recorder listening to a lot of good music.” Shore acknowledged that his life has been one of capitalizing on opportunities that came his way as they came his way.

Howard Shore in Chicago.

Howard Shore in Chicago.

A chance meeting at summer camp with another future prominent Canadian, Lorne Michaels, creator of “Saturday Night Live,” would lead Shore to do summer camp productions of plays like “West Side Story” as well as a show called The Fast Show with Michaels, and, ultimately, to perform onstage with the original “Saturday Night Live” greats gathered from such diverse cities as Detroit (Gilda Radner), Los Angeles’ Groundlings troupe, and Chicago’s own Second City. Shore would do 103 live episodes of “Saturday Night Live” between 1975 and 1980, even appearing as a beekeeper in a Belushi skit. He gave John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd their nickname “The Blues Brothers.”

In the Q&A following the showing of clips from his many film triumphs, Shore spoke about his illustrious career.

Q1: Was collaboration stimulating for you, or was it just a means to an end?
A1: I was used to writing and acting with other people. Working in film is really working in the theater, but you’re till the lonely kid in the room. It sort of combined everything I liked.

Q2: How did you end up on “Saturday Night Live”?
A2: I met Lorne Michaels in summer camp in Canada. We used to do summer camp productions and we did some collaborating at the CBC. Then, a few of us ended up in New York City putting on this show. I didn’t give up my home in Canada, at first. I don’t think I really thought I could make a living at this or at putting music in film, or that “Saturday Night Live” would last, but I was always interested in working with strings and orchestras. I think I worked for 10 years before it occurred to me that I might be able to make a living at this. In 1986, after I had done “After Hours,” “Big” and “The Fly,” Scorsese knew Cronenberg and, from word-of-mouth, I got the job of doing the music for “The Aviator,” which was set when silent films were giving way to sound. There was a certain sound then. I was doing concerts of “Lord of the Rings” with a symphony in Belgium and that West German sound was good for “The Aviator,” which used percussion and castanets—the castanets because of the Hispanic influence in Los Angeles. Marty was using Bach, also.

FilmFestival2015 049Q3: Working with Scorsese was another big collaboration of your life. How was that?
A3: Marty doesn’t like to watch his films with temporary music inserted, as some directors do, or any music inserted that doesn’t belong. David Cronenberg is very similar. What Marty does that I love is that he collects sounds, from a jukebox playing in a scene, etc. I’ll collect them and slowly build from that material. For “Hugo,” a couple of sounds per month were collected. I’ve never seen a director do that as well as Scorsese. But Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”) works completely differently. Marty doesn’t want to give anything away with the music, but Peter wants to reveal and have it out front in his films.

Q4: Tell us about your music for “The Silence of the Lambs”?
A4: In “Silence of the Lambs” the music moves in very claustrophobically. Spooky sounds near the end. Heavy breathing when Clarice is in the basement in the dark. Muted somber tones. Jonathan Demme directed that film and he said to me, “Suppose we take the point-of-view of Clarice?” You could have written the music for Hannibal Lecter, but the score wasn’t created that way. Early nineties opera was really influencing me at the time—Verdi, Puccini. Now you see a lot of films being done this way. I did it in 1986 for “The Fly,” but I had difficulty with the producers—never with Cronenberg—but when the movie was a hit, the producers were going, “Oh, right.” Up until “The Fly” I hadn’t really had full London Philharmonic type sound access. All of that later developed into “The Fellowship of the Ring” music. I used to set up all of my recordings the way the New York Metropolitan did, splitting the violinists, the cellos over here, bass over there. Most movies at that time weren’t being done that way. This score was interesting, because depending on how the orchestra was playing that day, I’d adjust. It even led to things like the film “Crash” and the techniques in that 1995 film sort of led to surround sound.
Film music is a perspective. You could take any scene and do it 7 or 8 different ways. David Cronenberg wants his music to be more ambiguous. He doesn’t want to tell the audience anything up front, but Peter Jackson wants it the opposite with everything in the center. He wants clarity.

Q5: Tell us about your work for the movie “Seven.”
A5: With the movie “Seven,” directed by David Fincher—who is a great director— I was going with electronics, ocean sounds, underwater things, whereas the music in “Silence of the Lambs” always sounds a little unsettling and disturbing.

Q6: What about your score for the Johnny Depp movie “Ed Wood,” directed by Tim Burton?
A6: That was set in a great period for music—the late fifties . Jazz. Cuban music. Mancini scores. They were all coming in. It was a very rich period for music and the theramin instrument was being used. It’s the only instrument that you don’t touch. It was created as a classical instrument. Working with Tim Burton was a great project, a lot of fun. You couldn’t really do anything wrong in his world.

Q7: What about Cronenberg’s “Crash”?
A7: I did “M Butterfly” right before “Crash” with 2 harps…actually 3 harps: left, center and right. I added 6 electric guitars, so it became sort of a live ensemble. Then, I added 3 woodwinds and then metal percussionists, playing into the idea of machines and their fetishistic relationships to people. (“Crash” was David Cronenberg’s 1995 film.) It produces a sound that’s hypnotic and dangerously inviting.

Q8: How was collaborating with Scorsese on “Hugo,” for which you received your 4th Oscar nomination?
A8: Collaborating with Marty again felt the same. This was Scorsese’s first 3D picture and the films of Michael Powell influenced his approach. Powell is widely regarded as a British filmmaker who should perhaps be considered up there with Hitchcock, but his controversial 1960 film “Peeping Tom” made it nearly impossible for him to work again. His career went off the rails, but he was married to Thelma Schoonover, Scorsese’s long-time film editor, from May 15 of 1984 until his death in February of 1990, so there was that influence in “Hugo.” The entire movie is really a love affair: a movie about making movies.

Q9: What about “Lord of the Rings?” How much music did those films require? How long did those scores take?
A9: “The Fellowship of the Rings” project was like scoring 4 films. The extended version would be 5. It is eleven and one-half hours of original scoring for film and it took me 4 years writing the music. It was a great project and came to me with great timing. It had a lot of good strokes for me. It all came together for me, as a composer. I was trying to put Peter Jackson’s images into music. [*Note: Since 2004, Shore has toured the world conducting local orchestras in performances of his new symphonic arrangement of his highly acclaimed “Lord of the Rings” scores, a new work entitled “The Lord of the Rings: Symphony in Six Movements.”]

Filmography:

“I Miss You. Hugs and Kisses” (1978)
“The Brood” (1979)
“Scanners” (1981)
“Videodrome” (1983)
“Nothing Lasts Forever” (1984)
“After Hours” (1985)
“Fire with Fire” (1986)
“The Fly” (1986)
“Nadine” (1987)
“Moving” (1988)
“Big” (1988)
“Dead Ringers” (1988)
“She-Devil” (1989)
“An Innocent Man” (1989)
“Signs of Life” (1989)
“The Local Stigmatic” (1990)
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
“A Kiss Before Dying” (1991)
“Naked Lunch” (1991)
“Prelude to a Kiss” (1992)
“Single White Female” (1992)
“Sliver” (1993)
“Guilty as Sin” (1993)
“M. Butterfly” (1993)
“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
“Philadelphia” (1993)
“The Client” (1994)
“Nobody’s Fool” (1994)
“Moonlight and Valentino” (1994)
“Seven” (1995)
“Before and After” (1996)
“Crash” (1996)
“The Truth About Cats and Dogs” (1996)
“That Thing You Do!” (1996)
“Striptease” (1996)
“The Game” (1997)
“Cop Land” (1997)
“Gloria” (1999)
“eXistenZ” (1999)
“Analyze This” (1999)
“Dogma” (1999)
“High Fidelity” (2000)
“The Cell” (2000)
“The Yards” (2000)
“The Score” (2001)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
“Gangs of New York” (2002)
“Panic Room” (2002)
“Spider” (2002)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
“The Aviator” (2004)
“A History of Violence” (2005)
“The Departed” (2006)
“Soul of the Ultimate Nation” (2007)
“The Last Mimzy” (2007)
“Eastern Promises” (2007)
“Doubt” (2008)
“The Betrayal” (2008)
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010)
“Edge of Darkness” (2010)
“A Dangerous Method” (2011)
“Hugo” (2011)
“Cosmopolis” (2012)
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)
“Jimmy P” (2013)
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013)
“Gynasiearbetet: En Introduktion” (2015)

New Documentary “Amy” is Heart-Wrenching and Oscar-Worthy

Reading Time: 25 minutes

Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

HowevAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.
Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.
Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

HowAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

However, when she was “offAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.Amyhe entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the docu

mentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close fht

tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbI–2ATHc4riend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.


After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”


“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”
ever, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”
er, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

Lollapalooza in Chicago, 2015

Reading Time: 1 minute

While in Chicago to take delivery of 2 new couches,  I attempted to enjoy Paul McCartney “live” from Grant Park, about a block away. It should have worked (it has, in the past), but, instead of live streaming Sir Paul, Gary Clark, Jr.’s set was shown and the Twitter-verse burst out with protests that a talent like Paul McCartney was allowed to be upstaged by someone nobody knew and very few cared about. (The big performer on Friday, July 31, 2015, was McCartney)

On Saturday (today), there was a face-off between Sam Smith on the stage farthest from me and Metallica on the Samsung Galaxy Stage closest to me. At least both were streamed “live” as promised by www.RedBulltv.com.

If you like Florence and the Machine, she plays on Sunday night at 9 p.m. (until 10 p.m.) to close out the festival. At 3 p.m. “Moon Taxi” from Nashville will play, friends of the daughter.

Absolutely perfect evening weather, so far, although a bit hot during the day.

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