SO, what about this life-size statue of Amy Winehouse looking down from the terraces of the Roundhouse? Not everybody likes the idea, but surely it’s one at least worth hearing out. The New Journal runs the story today that official plans are now in at the Town Hall, an advanced stage. We’ll wait to learn more but the designs don’t sound tacky or garish.
The article wasn’t up online for long before one or two started earnestly questioning whether she was a good enough role model to be honoured in this way. Some might call that a pretty purist approach and unforgiving of troubles that we all might have stumbled upon had we found worldwide fame at a classic age for mistakes and with temptation around every nightclub corner. Amy, at her snarliest, often made it hard for people to defend her. Yet maybe if we refuse to allow tributes to musicians who have acted arrogantly, stupidly, dangerously, we’ll have nobody left to thank for the good times but Little Mix.
The repelling argument might be that you don’t need statues of anybody in NW1. The area’s legend as an almost unique destination for live music fans perhaps deserves better than that, and that’s why the stars of a Walk Of Fame are due to be laid later in the year.
And you know what? There is a case, which won’t even be countenanced in many public opinion courthouses but hear it out, that Amy Winehouse was a good role model, one that an esteemed institution like the Roundhouse has recognised as ultimately inspirational for their creative students. Firstly for the unique, standout music she created, and two for actually tackling her addiction to serious drugs. As her father Mitch has repeated until he’s blue in the face: she didn’t die from heroin or crack cocaine, she had looked those devils in the eye. She succumbed to a drinking binge while trying to get herself fit.
Now you look at a video of say, the singer going on the Jonathan Ross show almost a decade ago, and the tragedy still resonates, and certainly across her former haunts in Camden Town. It’s no wonder that it’s in this neighbourhood of successes and regrets that people want to say thank you. It’ll be interesting to see if they get the chance.