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In an interview with STV's The Hour programme, he said: ''I'm happy she's got a new boyfriend.
Former cab driver Mr Winehouse releases his album of jazz and swing classics, Rush Of Love, next Monday.
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” while laughing through a segment that dovetails with George Lopez announcing that Winehouse had won a Grammy by saying, "someone call and wake her up at 6 PM and let her know" before calling her “a drunk” with a derisive scoff.
A slurry of ugly tabloid images fly across the screen and we see paparazzi preying upon her existential nadir-- meanwhile, posits a cache of neat magazine covers that offer obsequious, reverential coverage of a man whose drug addiction was portrayed as incidental to his supreme talent.
In many cases these kind of comparisons are sticky because Joplin was not Hendrix in the same way that Billie Holiday was not Keith Moon, and there are so many other factors affecting the way we remember these icons that it seems silly to compare them on the basis of their self-destruction alone-- but how we interpret an artist’s demise says a lot about how we view them in life.
The pattern is always the same: one Billie Holiday obituary dedicated an entire column to discussing her 1947 arrest and narcotics conviction; years later a Keith Moon obituary mentioned only that “his death comes at a time when he seemed to have recovered from the excesses of earlier years”, without so much as mentioning that those “excesses” included a well-documented struggle with alcoholism and the 32 clomethiazole pills that ultimately killed him.
Even though both deaths were motivated by depression underscored by narcotics and celebrity, proves anything about the life and times of Winehouse, it’s that newscasters, tabloids, and even respected media outlets reported on her shortcomings with enough thinly-veiled aggression to weaken what little resolve the drugs hadn’t already sapped.
Cobain’s struggle with drugs, meanwhile, was all but an open secret while he was alive, whispered about or written around in order to maintain good graces and access to the superstar and his band. The way media dotes over its tortured male artists while undermining the personal struggles of women who suffer the same is nuanced, but a look into the archive suggests the phenomenon is well documented across race, genre, and generation.
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When Janis Joplin died on October 4, 1970 the called her a “misfit” whose “behavior was explosive” and remembers her as “drinking from a bottle at her concerts” and “screaming obscenities at a policeman in the audience”.