When Spotlights Are Off…

I don’t comment on popular things often, but it seems to me that something can’t go unsaid.

The latest on Amy Winehouse, who is the UK’s response to Britney Spears as far as musical trainwrecks go, is that she had to be literally pushed onto the stage to perform, after being booed off the stage in Belgrade.

What I find highly distressing are the comments on that article. They’re basically lambasting her up one side and down another. Which, considering that Winehouse is in dire need of time off and professional help, is outright cruel.

Now, just for the record: I’m not an Amy Winehouse fan by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I a Britney fan; I’m no longer 15. Those two women do have one thing in common: they no longer have a choice as to whether or not they want to be on stage.

You may not recall this, but it wasn’t that long ago since Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, won a court case that granted him permanent guardianship over Britney (video is the closest reference I can find to the case). In other words, Britney, who is – dare I point out? – thirty years old and a mother of two children, no longer has any say in what she does, or whether or not she holds onto the assets that she gained by route of her showbiz career.  And this is after she had made headlines when she sheared off her hair.

Taking that, plus the MTV Movie Awards show, which was nowhere near on par with the shows she used to put on when she was about 18-20, I realized that Britney was, effectively, sick of being a show puppet. I don’t think that she had made music that she genuinely liked for a long time, and after she was effectively reduced to being paraded like a sex-appeal show dog after the flash-marriage, the other marriage, the kids, the divorce, she wanted nothing to do with the stage. So, as most people tend to do when she reached her limit, she snapped.

We know now that the sheared hair, etc. was a scream of help on her end. Spears had been in the spotlight almost continuously since she was a kid on the Mickey Mouse Club. We’ve already borne witness to how continuous stage exposure affects someone; Michael Jackson is an ideal case in point. And after Spears’s father pretty much took ownership of her – trademark, money, music – it was inevitable that she was going to snap one way or the next. And she did. She’s a lot better after the rehab/therapy, but the battle’s not over.

So now there’s Amy Winehouse, who was strung out on stage in Belgrade.

Let’s state a known truth: the music business was never known for holiness. I know it’s no longer the eighties, and if a rock star shows up on stage now high as a kite in this day and age, the audience will have none of it. But there’s a clear and distinctive line between an occasional drink or two to calm pre-stage nerves, and what happened with Winehouse. I took a look at the videos and said, “She does NOT need to be on stage right now.”

I don’t think Amy Winehouse wanted to be on stage that night. I got proved right when I saw the article that the bodyguards had to push her physically towards the mic.

Which makes me ask, when is the last time that she even liked performing? And who’s behind the scenes, pushing her at all of this? Yes, she may have a drug problem, but that being beside the point completely. The biggest problem here is that there is a woman on stage, who clearly and distinctly does not want to be on that stage. And on top of that, she has thousands booing the resulting trainwreck, with very few people aware that she has no say in it to begin with. This does a number on a person, and not in the best ways.

Amy Winehouse does not, does not need to be on stage. She hadn’t needed to be on stage since the first time she went to rehab. And it’s not because of the sort of music she plays or how she dresses: it’s because she wants nothing to do with the stage and needs time – and professional help – to sort herself out. Most crucially, I want to know who is behind the scenes who thinks it’s perfectly appropriate to drag her physically to the mic. That person/people need to be eviscerated.

Yes, the show must go on…but I think that Winehouse’s shows should not have been scheduled to begin with.


3 thoughts on “When Spotlights Are Off…

  1. Britney was falling apart even when she was with Kevin Federline, simply because she’s just not very bright, hence why Kevin sued her for custody of the kids they had together. she couldn’t handle things very well, not because of that issue, but, she really is not mature for her age, and she showed it by being irresponsible in a lot of ways, hence control of things being taken away from her. that, and i think she knew her musical career really was not going anywhere for a long time. her album sales tanked because she failed to change with the times. she continued with the same music, knowing full well, nobody was buying it. with Amy Winehouse, she pretty much imploded on her own. she had gotten in with the wrong crowd, and…what a shock, she wound up with a drug and alcohol problem, and got booed from pretty much every stage. i would not want to be on stage for that. her album sales tanked a long time ago, and she’s not written anything new in quite some time. she keeps banging the drum, so to speak with the same material, and wonders why, in part, that the fans have turned on her. i think she is finally realizing her career was over a long time ago. i think also, the reason why she got pushed toward the mic, is because of her promoters. i don’t think it has anything to do with the ticket sales, i think there are other forces at work there. if she bails on a show, she could be sued for breach of contract. what someone needs to do, is stop her from performing altogether, and get her back into rehab again. she’s either going to wind up in jail, or dead, if she keeps going the way she’s going.

    1. Brad, you just proved my point. Many people forget that Kevin Federline is a habitual jackass who has multiple kids with multiple women, and not a whit of giving a damn for any of them. Britney falling apart was only expedited by this guy, because – again – she no longer wanted to be on stage, and everyone except her had a vested interest in her continuing. Of course he’d want the custody of the kids! Not because she’s a bad mother, but because the alimony per month to him would’ve paid out more than what I would earn per year.

      I would not go so far as to say she’s not very bright. Once she was in the spotlight, she hadn’t had a choice as to whether or not to get out of it for a LONG time. Not after people saw how profitable she became.

      This isn’t about material, it’s about who’s the driving force behind the scenes. Neither Britney nor Amy had, or have now, any control over their showbiz. I think that both of them want out, but there’s someone holding the purse strings behind the scenes who is leaving them with no choice whatsoever. Dollar signs override everything.

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