Mark Ronson, the gifted dj and producer, and son of my great friend Ann Dexter Jones and stepson of Mick Jones, is on tour right now in Europe. He produced Amy Winehouse and turned her madness and art into something focused enough to become a hit. He tweeted today: “she was my musical soulmate & like a sister to me. this is one of the saddest days of my life.” Ronson’s actual sisters are dj Samantha and designer Charlotte Ronson. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail in London reports that Winehouse was seen buying drugs in her Camden neighborhood on Friday. She may have had cocaine and ecstasy in her system, as well alcohol and other drugs.
Meantime, actor Russell Brand has posted his own thoughts at www.russellbrand.tv. Here’s an excerpt:
“I’ve known Amy Winehouse for years. When I first met her around Camden she was just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars with mutual friends, most of whom were in cool Indie bands or peripheral Camden figures Withnail-ing their way through life on impotent charisma. Carl Barrat told me that “Winehouse” (which I usually called her and got a kick out of cos it’s kind of funny to call a girl by her surname) was a jazz singer, which struck me as a bizarrely anomalous in that crowd. To me with my limited musical knowledge this information placed Amy beyond an invisible boundary of relevance; “Jazz singer? She must be some kind of eccentric” I thought. I chatted to her anyway though, she was after all, a girl, and she was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable.”
“Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.”