Jump to content

Will Amy Winehouse live long enough to make another album?


Recommended Posts

Will Amy Winehouse live long enough to make another album? Her last-ditch Caribbean detox has gone nightmarishly wrong


By Alison Boshoff

Last updated at 3:28 PM on 01st June 2009



Wednesday, about 9am, at the Cotton Bay Village resort in St Lucia and Amy Winehouse is at the bar drinking her second shot of tequila of the day.

'I think I'm doing very well,' she chirrups. 'I'd normally have had six shots by now. Today I've only had two.' And she smiles - that big, heartbreaking smile which is eight parts of sorrow and two of joy.

In this quiet resort, popular with families and honeymooners, you really cannot miss Amy. With her curly hair and huge gold-hooped earrings, she could not look more out of place. She is unwashed, barefoot and looks in need of a good meal.



article-1189906-0524FD46000005DC-573_468x508.jpg Caribbean castaway: Amy Winehouse in St Lucia this weekend


Yesterday's make-up has run across her face and she is wearing a bright-pink bra under a cropped Nike top.


You can see scars which indicate that she has been self-harming - cutting herself - again and there are two cigarette burns on her stomach, which are healing.


Amy, who is 25 and was hailed as the most exciting vocal talent of her generation, is living in two villas which cost her record company about £2,000 a night each and come with their own butler and maid.

It's a curious, dissolute life and Amy, lonely and drunk, seems quite lost in her Caribbean idyll.



article-1189906-05292A03000005DC-347_468x350.jpg Making a spectacle of herself: Amy earlier this year on an alcohol-fuelled binge


She has company: half-a-dozen minders who have been engaged by her record company at a cost of £250 a day each. This week, she also has her cousin, Lauren, and her boyfriend, who have flown out to try to stop her from 'being bored'.


In truth, they are trying to keep Amy sober enough to work - and trying to steer her into the recording studio which has been installed in the second villa at eye-watering cost.

Some £500,000 has been spent so far by Universal Records on accommodation, staff and equipment for Amy's Caribbean jolly.

The hope is that Amy can again create an album like Back To Black, the multi-award winning phenomenon which sold 11 million copies after the songs seemed to tumble out of her during an extraordinary two-week period in 2006.

article-1189906-05250AB9000005DC-69_233x550.jpg As she walked on the beach in St Lucia this week Amy showed bruises all over her frail body



What are the chances of success, though? In recent months, Amy has been hospitalised three times after alcoholic benders lasting up to three days. One time, she ended up on a drip for dehydration.

This week, Amy was so keen to get her shots of tequila that she sneaked great gulps straight from the bottle when the barmaid's back was turned.

It's no surprise to find her this way: a performance at the St Lucia Jazz Festival earlier this month was an utter disaster. She was late, drunk and 'too emotional' to sing.

'Singing in St Lucia brought back too many painful memories,' said her spokesman - presumably of her broken marriage.


She honeymooned in St Lucia with her now estranged husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

Amy also cancelled plans to fly to Britain to sing at a concert to celebrate the 50th birthday of her record label. She also failed to take up an invitation from legendary producer Quincy Jones to sing on his album.

And she's been working on new material for her third album for two years, seemingly without making any progress because of her battles with addictions - to heroin, to crack, to cocaine, to Blake. And now to alcohol.

In March, Universal told her the demo tracks she had composed and recorded so far were not up to scratch, and she should start again.

So will she ever return to form? And can anyone save Amy from her new fight, against an addiction to alcohol which seems to be raging just as dangerously out of control as her previous dependencies on narcotics?

Her father Mitch has flown back to the UK, saying his daughter needs to save herself.


On the evidence of the scenes at the Cotton Bay Village, she is neither willing nor able to do that. When we caught up with her, she was too out of it even to light her cigarettes.



article-1189906-05295213000005DC-27_468x286.jpg As she was: Fresh-faced Amy, then 20, promoting her first album Frank


Amy says her best friend is a local six-year-old girl, Aaliyah, and nothing seems to bring her as much pleasure as hanging out with her.

'It feels like home here,' Amy says, with a sweet smile.



She has been at this resort since April and before that had spent a couple of months at another resort on the island. At first, her record label suggested that she was engaged in some kind of a detox.

Her initial time on the island, at the Le Sport spa resort, does seem to have helped her come off her addictions to cocaine and crack.


She put some weight on and spent £6,000 on spa treatments. She also had a couple of holiday romances, which prompted Fielder-Civil to finally file for divorce.

article-1189906-0054BA05000004B0-719_233x634.jpg In happier times: Amy with husband Blake Fielder-Civil, who is now expecting a child with another woman


But is was clear within weeks that, as Amy's drug addiction faded, it was being replaced by an appetite for alcohol that was, frankly, terrifying.

There were accounts of her going on long benders with 'friends' and tourists saw her crawling on her hands and knees, begging for drinks because the hotel was declining to serve her.

Her father flew out to St Lucia, saying he and Amy needed to have 'a chat'. The commercial director of Universal, Brian Rose, also went out to try to discover if there were solid plans for her to make music.

After being hospitalised following a binge in February, Amy flew home to the UK at the start of March.

But while she hoped that she would be reconciled with Blake, and he might move into the suburban villa which her father had found for her in North London, they did not see each other.

Amy soon felt unable to cope with the press attention in London, and flew back to St Lucia, saying she was going to start again on her album. But within a day she was spotted on the island, talking gibberish to herself, clearly blind drunk.

A meeting with her producer Salaam Remi, who had flown out to see her, was missed and Amy went drinking instead. She later suffered terrible burns when she upset a pot of boiling pasta on herself.

Two more hospitalisations occurred after booze binges. At the end of his tether, her father told a documentary crew two weeks ago that he was stepping back from attempting to save Amy.

'After she almost died twice, to see her walking, smiling . . . she has progressed so much,' Mitch said. 'But now, if it's alcohol instead of hard drugs - I don't think I can go through the same thing again.

'I've decided to distance myself, and whatever happens, happens. It's her life and it's her decision.'

Five days later, she was hospitalised again, with chest pains.

This week, Mitch said he did not mean that he was no longer trying to help his daughter, adding: 'I'll always be there for Amy, always have been and always will be.'

But Amy's mother Janis said they can only stand back and hope she would decide to stop drinking. 'It's another demon she has to beat,' Janis said.


'She came off drugs on her own, so I know she'll stop drinking so much, too. It has to be her decision, though. No one else can stop her.'



Certainly the staff who run the Cotton Bay Village resort aren't able to help her. By 10am on Wednesday, Amy and her friend had been encouraged by the bartender to have a cup of tea, and had picked out some camomile teabags.


Close: Amy with Joshua Bowman in St Luci, one of the photos said to have persuaded her husband Blake to end their marriage

Amy sipped the tea, saying she would soon have breakfast. But as soon as the barmaid left, she ran behind the bar and swigged a huge gulp of tequila from the bottle.

She said: 'I know I'm not supposed to - don't tell anyone.' When the barmaid returned, Amy asked for another shot, but the barmaid said: 'Not until you've finished your tea.'

Minutes later, the barmaid left and Amy jumped behind the bar for another swig. As the alcohol spilled down her chin, she turned to the other guests and said: 'Well, what can I do if she's not going to give it to me?'

A retired British woman who lives nearby says she sees Amy a lot. 'She is a free spirit, a troubled soul. She seems to be enjoying herself at least, but I wouldn't like to have to be the one to control her.'

It's clear that Amy still pines for Blake.


She told a guest this week: 'Me and my husband came here for our honeymoon. But we only lasted two years and now we're getting divorced. They took him away from me when he went to prison.'

article-1189906-0529523B000005DC-511_233x475.jpg Success: Amy receives the Pop Award for her album Back To Black in January 2007


She added: 'We're still in love, though. I do love him. But guess what? He's having a baby now and I'm so, so happy. My baby is having a baby!'

Fielder-Civil is indeed expecting a child later this year with Gileen Morris, a 31-year-old blonde he met in rehab last year.


Amy is said to have written a song called Ultimate Betrayal about it.

But this week, any betrayal seemed to be forgotten.

She says breezily: 'I couldn't have given him kids - and anyway I want black kids, not white kids.'

Asked about her music, Amy said she would definitely be getting her album finished.


This week, she gave a guest at the hotel a tour of her villa, which looked as if a party had been in full swing for a week.

There were shoes, clothes, cigarette packets and CDs strewn across the floor. What looked like lager was splashed up one wall and various other marks dirtied the white walls.

Amy's 6in platform brown Fendi shoes were near the door and she proudly showed them off. 'I'm such a heel girl, I could run and do the Olympics in heels,' she giggled.

Her pale pink, dirty and stained ballet pumps were also on the floor, next to her designer shoes.

While the guest was in the villa, Amy disappeared inside one bedroom for a couple of minutes, saying she had to take her medication.

She said she was working on her temper, too, adding: 'I don't hit people any more. I used to get into confrontations. . . now I just like to face things and deal with them, but my cousin doesn't like that. She says it's confrontational, that's why she's not speaking to me right now.'



Worse for wear: Amy rages outside her Camden home last November

Amy re-emerged from her villa in the late afternoon, having redone her make-up and, bizarrely, painted dozens of brown freckles on her nose, saying she was going to the bar.

Later that night, she was clearly too drunk even to light a cigarette, and kept dropping them on the floor.

The barmaids at Cotton Bay Village say they often have to replace the tequila 'because of Madam', who drinks the bar dry.

And a local taxi driver told me people in St Lucia had become used to seeing the woman known fondly as 'Crazy Amy'.

Amy's security guards find it exhausting trying to keep pace with her. One of them complained: 'Being with Amy is a 24-hour-a-day thing. I'm looking forward to a break.'



Her new best friend? Amy plays with local children on a beach in St Lucia


There's always a crisis.


One beach worker said she had scandalised the place by running about topless.


He added: 'Amy is usually dressed casually, but now and again she gets dressed up, puts her hairpiece in and does her make-up and you can tell it puts her in a happy mood.

'When her father is there she makes more of an effort, maybe to please him, but also usually covers up a bit more, too.'

He added: 'I know she writes music in her room a lot. I've heard people say she often runs out of paper and calls the hotel reception to ask them to bring more.

'She definitely hasn't been spending much time in the studio lately, though.

'Over the past couple of weeks she's been drinking more and more. She used to have colour in her drinks - you know, juice - but now all I can see is clear liquid.

'She used to disappear into the studio for days at a time, but I don't see that happening at the moment.'

Everyone who cares about Amy is worried sick. But perhaps that's the way she likes it.

Mitch once said that, as a child, Amy used to pretend to be choking, or deliberately go missing in London's Brent Cross shopping centre 'just to get a laugh out of it'.

'What she really likes,' said Mitch, 'is for people to worry about her.'



article-1120443-02F9021A000005DC-582_468x258.jpg Amy with guests at the exclusive Le Sport hotel in St Lucia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just looked at the pictures of her and I think the answer for this thread is:


Rather not


I mean, look at her, I'll give her at most 4 or 5 years until her brain, her liver or something else important shuts down due the drug abuse.

*sigh* It's really horrible to look at her, she get's thinner and looks more and more unhealthier :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just looked at the pictures of her and I think the answer for this thread is:


Rather not


I mean, look at her, I'll give her at most 4 or 5 years until her brain, her liver or something else important shuts down due the drug abuse.

*sigh* It's really horrible to look at her, she get's thinner and looks more and more unhealthier :confused:


Musicians and drug abuse is hardly a new thing though, look at the Stones,Keith Moon(ok so he didn't do too well) most rock bands in the 80s had terrible drug problems.


This video is a short film about one of my musical heroes:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eQs-ZhXPok]YouTube - john frusciante film by johhny depp[/ame] and he was an absolute mess when he took drugs but he overcame it and makes great music and is generally regarded as one of the best guitarists of our generation, I really wish Amy the best in overcoming her problems, even though I'm not particularly a fan of her music I hope she gets through the phase and recovers and enjoys a good career.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...