On July 23, London police were called to Amy Winehouse’s Camden apartment where they found the bluesy singer-songwriter dead. In addition to the sadness of losing such a talented musician early in her career, there’s a more prosaic tragedy as well. Talking to a Perth newspaper in 2007, the troubled Winehouse said that she dreamed of being a Jewish mother. “In 10 years’ time I’m gonna be looking after my husband and our seven kids. I’d really like to get everyone in one place and sit down and eat a meal together. I would like to uphold certain things, but not the religious side of things, just the nice family things to do. At the end of the day, I’m a Jewish girl.”
For her fans, of which there were many following the release of her sophomore, Grammy-winning album, “Back to Black,” there was a contradiction buried in Winehouse’s persona. She was an attractive icon in part because of her addictions. On tracks like “Rehab” she sang that “they tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no.” In her sultry voice she delivered desultory lyrics punctuated by the couplet, “I don’t ever want to drink again / I just — oooh — I just need a friend.”
The other piece was the hope that Winehouse would clean up before it was too late.