When Amy Winehouse went out I was massively disappointed, that girl was crazy and crazy talented. It was December 2007 and it was my first Christmas in London, nearly a year after Back to Black was released I finally took the plunge and gave it a listen.
First things first, I only became aware of Ms. Winehouse when I moved to Londres. As I recall having a ridiculously long journey from North London to Wimbledon every day, which could have been cut in half had I known better then – thus, on such long journeys in the capital many a person finds themselves passing the time reading the Metro. The Metro being the free tabloid paper that comes on various modes of transport in the city.
During these autum months I would see Amy in the paper causing some havoc or getting photographed doing nonsense. I found it all rather amusing at the time, not really knowing anything about the troubled singer – as the paper’s would usually put it. I asked vaious people what they thought of her, some would say she’saightothers would say she’s a nutter, a wine-o, a reporabate and others wouldn’t really have an opinion.
I had really begun to wonder what it was she sung and if her songs were a reflection of her life or behavior at the very least. I’m guessing it must have been the end of the month going in to December that I heard the song Back to Black, it wasn’t however sung the way it was intended or known to be. She was apparently high off her nut and rather drunk, so to say it sounded fucked up is a rather large understatement, she was absolutely c#nted.
It’s funny though because in spite of this rather poor (which again, I’m severely understating it) performance I was enthralled. Maybe some of the appeal was in how . Also it’s not as if the music itself didn’t sound good. I appreciated what I was hearing and wanted to hear more. Not long after that did I get my hands on that album, then had that tune cranking for a few months on from there.
Today I suppose for me today it reminds me of a distinct moment in time. I would say this is a highly nostalgic series of songs we’re dealing with here. When I first heard the tune Me and Mr. Jones I wanted to jump out the window in excitement. Just the first few lines alone killed it! My girl comes through with, “What kind of fuckery is this.” A phrase that I thought was almost strictly West Indian. I know the Caribbean had/has some strong influences on language in various parts of London. However I was still surprised when I head that line, again considering I knew very little of this girl. At this point I was full hype.
On my wall at school I used to have up a picture of Amy as one of my inspirational artists. My wall wasn’t nearly as inspiring as it should have been to be honest. As you can see I have a picture of fat frank (Frank Lampard; English Professional Footballer at Chelsea Football Club) with twat written all in red pon top his forehead. And a few Page 3. and Nuts cut outs.I listened to a few more tracks and nodded in approval. I rate this album very highly. As a result of course I had to check her previous album, Frank. And pardon the pun, to be quite frank I wasn’t thrilled on one hand but a few tunes were definitely cutting it. The one I really, really rate is In My Bed, where she used a similar sample as the one in Nas’ – Made You Look.
She wasted too much time with that third album and went through several circles of hell before she finally gave up and kicked the bucket. It was a massive shame in my eyes and I was sorry it happened already. If I understand correctly (with huge margin of error in my understanding) the third is complete but her folks don’t want to release it. I could be wide off the mark, I might have heard it as speculation or it may be fact. If it’s true, perhaps they’ll sit on it like a nest egg of sorts in the event of a rainy day in the future. Like a safety net of sorts. <- Speculative.
During my days living in North London I used to frequent Camden, more specifically Camden Market. On occasion I passed the Hawley Arms in hopes that I might glance Ms. Winehouse in the flesh, maybe get assaulted in the process. I’m almost surprised I’ve never seen her up close but that is that. Gone is that and the ship hath sailed.
I don’t think I need much outside of this tribute I made in honour of the man of the cosmos. A tribute to the late Carl Sagan astrophysicist and cannabis enthusiast from his thirties until his death.
I’ll leave you lot with two paragraphs from the essay which you can also find in Dr. Leicester Grinspoon’s, “Marihuana To Be Reconsidered.”
The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights – I don’t know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. For example, I have spent some time high looking at the work of the Belgian surrealist Yves Tanguey. Some years later, I emerged from a long swim in the Caribbean and sank exhausted onto a beach formed from the erosion of a nearby coral reef. In idly examining the arcuate pastel-colored coral fragments which made up the beach, I saw before me a vast Tanguey painting. Perhaps Tanguey visited such a beach in his childhood.
A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down. The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so. Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex – on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.
– Carl Sagan on his Cannabis Experience and appreciation for the Arts.
What I find to be a somewhat accurate depiction of my experience with both music and mary jane.
I have mentioned that in the cannabis experience there is a part of your mind that remains a dispassionate observer, who is able to take you down in a hurry if need be. I have on a few occasions been forced to drive in heavy traffic when high. I’ve negotiated it with no difficult at all, though I did have some thoughts about the marvelous cherry-red color of traffic lights. I find that after the drive I’m not high at all. There are no flashes on the insides of my eyelids. If you’re high and your child is calling, you can respond about as capably as you usually do. I don’t advocate driving when high on cannabis, but I can tell you from personal experience that it certainly can be done. My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover.
– Carl Sagan
You can find the full essay here – http://marijuana-uses.com/mr-x/
I needn’t discuss the man’s credentials, I think it best that you search Carl Sagan wherever you can, Google is a good place to start though. He’s a hero and inspiration to many the scientist and stoner alike. As an accademic influence he had a role to play in the writing of my dissertation.
He was a thinker.
If you’re not sold on the Sagan Saturn yet, watch this video courtesy of Cult of Dusty.
In fact I’ll have to watch it again to remind myself of other reasons why this man is of the cosmos. Also Dusty is always good for facts with an amusing and all too entertaining delivery.
Dusty tells it like it is.
That’s me, I’m out.
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