Drug Policy

Mothers, Tell Your Children Not to Do as I Have Done…

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Stop the presses! Rock stars ain't role models! Roll over Chuck Berry, and take your spy-cams with you.

Chanteuse Natalie Cole has decried polyabuser Amy Winehouse's big night at the Grammys (which are some music awards program or something and happened over the weekend):

"I don't think she should have won. I think it sends a bad message to our young people who are trying to get into this business, the ones who are trying to do it right and really trying to keep themselves together. We have to stop rewarding bad behavior….It's not right for her to be able to have her cake and eat it too," the 58-year-old singer [said].

"Wino" hit it big with her wry, anti-therapeutic state anthem (I'm taking some liberties here) "Rehab"–and is currently being treated as an outpatient after, er, going to rehab.

More here. I'm guessing next up is a cover of the Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic." And when are celebrities–and teachers and government types, etc., with the noticeable exception of former deodorant pitchman and NBA great Charles Barkley–finally going to admit what the rest of us know: They are "well-paid but impotent puppets."

The Animals explain the headline here, complete with that fucking organ sound that haunts our collective soul still like the comedown from a methified long weekend:

NEXT: Science Writer's Motto: We Don't Ask Questions. That Is Not Our Role.

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  1. Oh, great. Now I have to go buy an Amy Winehouse album just to spite some fool who thinks the purpose of art and artists is to Set A Good Example For Children.

  2. I don’t get whinehouse. Is she really good and I just don’t understand jazz or whatever she sings??

  3. You could have chosen the Frijid Pink version to smite the organ.

  4. I also don’t get Winehouse. It’s not like she’s super hot or anything. As we all know, in today’s music world, that’s all that matters.

    I know why we hear about her constantly, though–the Britney effect. Young celebrity who is a drug and alcohol train wreck? Press 24/7.

  5. javier,

    The music is incidental. She’s just the current car wreck everyone is slowing down to gawk at; the British Britney if you will.

    She looks like something my cat coughed up.

  6. Oh, Natalie Cole should talk – she was stoned for YEARS before she cleaned up HER act!

  7. Damn you, Epi!

    GET OUT OF MY MIND!

  8. Ha, I caused this headling by talking about Danzig tattoos earlier. I AM A GOLDEN GOD!

  9. Warty, get down off my roof.

  10. Aren’t the Grammy winners always lame?

    Did Natalie Cole win one a few years ago with some creepy “duet” with her younger father?

  11. And what is the right message, Ms. Cole? That you should only achieve stardom through hard work, sticktuitiveness, and riding the coattails of your iconic father?

    On a side note, regardless of her personal issues, I enjoy Winehouse’s album. I’m not sure I “get” anything aside from the fact that I like her voice and enjoy the 21st-century update on the Wall of Sound.

  12. Sid Vicious had his amp turned off most of the time and he was the most popular member of the Pistols for many. I would call it the Vicious effect instead of the Britney effect. Britney was a big star before she became a trainwreck, Winehouse is a star because she is a trainwreck.

  13. “I don’t get whinehouse. Is she really good and I just don’t understand jazz or whatever she sings??”

    She is ok but not great. It is just that no one can do that kind of music very well anymore, so when anyone who is even passable at it, like Winehouse or Snora Jones, comes along the media goes crazy to show how sophisticated they are by over praising them. That combined with the train wreck effect of her apparently being a crack whore accounts for the Amy Winehouse phenomenon such as it is.

  14. Oh shit, the headline is the house of the rising sun, not mother. This is unforgivably shameful on my part. I leave now to conduct the full ritual of seppuku.

  15. “Mother
    Tell your children not to walk my way
    Tell your children not to hear my words
    What they mean
    What they say
    Mother

    Mother
    Can you keep them in the dark for life
    Can you hide them from the waiting world
    Oh mother”

    For Warty, because he meant well….

  16. Umm… Personally I love the “Back to Black” album… I’ve played it over and over. I find it retro yet mod. Oh well…

    As for the interest in her foibles: it’s a shame she can’t handle her vices quite as well as the hundreds of other stars who party but about whose antics we here so very little. It’s also a shame that the media tried to hide Heath Ledger’s heroin addiction to make his death seem more tragic to regular folk.

    It’s a kind of hypocrisy.

  17. Modern rock needs more organ.

  18. or maybe More Cowbell

  19. That’s a Vox Continental organ, by the way. Incidentally the organ player, Alan Price, gets all the royalties for the song (they simply decided to put his name on it as the arranger and leave the rest of the Animals off).

  20. John,

    I’m with you on Jones, but Winehouse can straight up sing. She also writes her own shit. She’s a wreck, but a talented wreck. I also respect her unapologetic fucked-up-ness. Her fucked-up-ness certainly contributes to her awareness level, but unlike Britney, there’s actually some work to be a fan of. Her Grammy performance was better than most of the “sober” performers.

  21. On a side note, regardless of her personal issues, I enjoy Winehouse’s album. I’m not sure I “get” anything aside from the fact that I like her voice and enjoy the 21st-century update on the Wall of Sound.

    I’ll second this.

    I’d also add that her sound is different and, to me at least, more enjoyable than a lot of what I hear from new female artists these days.

    I also like here even more for being a unashamed drug user and does things her way. Good for her, I say.

    I don’t even think she qualifies as a train wreck. I mean if it weren’t for the press all over her every move, what exactly makes her a trainwreck? The fact that she does drugs and makes no apologies? If that’s all it takes then I and many of my friends must all be trainwrecks. Her albums have had commercial success and critical success…a daily double that most modern day trainwrecks don’t achieve (I’m looking at you Britney and Lindsey)

  22. i like winehouse’s voice, and her productions are interesting. shame about the drinking/drugs.

    i do worry that ledger’s death is just going to make it that much harder for regular people to get the drugs they need for pain control. turning someone into a demigod because they went pill shopping and fucked up doesn’t strike me as a particularly good way to conduct business, but then again i don’t give a fuck about movies.

    and john, if you think people would drop winehouse to show sophistication, you’re just plain kee-razy.

  23. MattJ,

    Maybe I will have to give her another listen. I would agree that she certainly can sing and is a real performer, unlike Britney.

  24. “and john, if you think people would drop winehouse to show sophistication, you’re just plain kee-razy.”

    I don’t think they drop her to show sophistication. I think they praise her music to show it.

  25. Aren’t the Grammy winners always lame?

    Go here and decide. It seems to me they select a good one from time to time.

  26. I highly recommend a trip to YouTube and a search for “Eff Me Pumps” by Ms. Winehouse. It’s a great song.

  27. Modern rock needs more organ.

    Also more robots.

  28. I listened to Amy Winehouse last year, but got tired of her quickly. At the time, my 14-yr old hated her – couldn’t get past the hair, I think. Then, she sees her on the Grammy’s and downloads Rehab the very next day for her cell phone and ipod. Hey, I said, I’ve got that song and more on my laptop. No thanks, she said, it’s easier and quicker to use mine (plugging in an ipod is too much of an effort?).

    Bottom line, the Grammy’s were successful in promoting an artist to a new fan, but unsuccessful in securing additional royalties for the artist.

  29. I don’t think they drop her to show sophistication. I think they praise her music to show it.

    dude, i don’t even think pitchfork knows who she is, that’s how far off the cool kids radar she is.

    ps fuck pitchfork.

  30. “dude, i don’t even think pitchfork knows who she is, that’s how far off the cool kids radar she is.”

    I am not talking about cool kids. I am talking about dorky music critics.

  31. Grammy fun fact of the day (courtesy of Sound Opinions‘ Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis): Chicagoland native Bob Newhart has more Grammys (2) than fellow Chicagoland artists Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples and Smashing Pumpkins combined (0).

  32. Are those the real Animals? They look like high schoolers lip syncing.

    Amy Winehouse-Not a fan. I’ve never been a fan of methadone rock though, so that’s not too surprising.

  33. Back to Black is a good/succesful album for a few reasons:

    1. Winehouse has a distinctive voice (some find it annoying)

    2. Winehouse’s songwriting is quite good

    3. The Dap-Kings. That is all.

    Actually, reason #3 probably contributes to the success a lot more than people realize. The Dap-Kings are undoubtedly the finest performing Retro Soul act in the world right now. They are amazing. They are just as responsible for the kickass sound of Back to Black as Ms. Winehouse.

    Need proof? Googled ‘sharon jones and the dap-kings,’

    FYI, Sharon Jones is 1400 times better live than Amy Winehouse (but I love them both).

  34. Homer: Oh, why won’t anyone give me an award?
    Lisa: You won a Grammy.
    Homer: I mean an award that’s worth winning!

    Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Simpson’s views do not match those of the producers, who don’t consider the Grammy an award at all.

  35. Don’t try to lump Amy Winehouse in with the Britneys and Lindsays. That’s stoopid. She’s good. Earth-shattering? No, but she’s got talent and a great band backing her.

    Mojo had a feature on her a couple of months ago. It was good reading. She’s an interesting bird.

  36. Homer: Lisa, did you see the Grammys?
    Lisa: You beat Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
    Homer: Well, you haven’t heard the last of them.

  37. This one is for you, Mr. Tom Walls. Feel all the Alan Price chills, if you are a lucky man:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=9E07V5hphS8

  38. Her voice is all right, but I’ll take Ella Fitzgerald any day over Winehouse. Also, she was WAY good looking before going on the all drugs and no food diet.

    See heir:
    http://fritz.salzburg.com/static/sites/fritz/media/3(90).story.jpg

    Also:
    http://www.liverpool.com/assets/_files/images/jul_07/lb_liv__1183538070_amy_winehouse_new_large.jpg

  39. My $00.02:

    Artists are not supposed to be role models, they are supposed to be cautionary tales. I like mine young, brilliant, and self-destructive, if that translates to short and tragic life, so be it , as long as i they produce those golden ageless eggs. they are no good after they sober up anyone, no fuel for the fire and so on.

  40. Ella Fitzgerald?!

    That’s like saying “The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are good, but I’ll take Buddy Holly any day.”

    Why would you compare them?

  41. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER ORGANS BEFORE ME.

    NO, NOT EVEN THAT ONE.

  42. She still has years of drug use ahead of her if she wants to catch up to the jazz artist of the 40s and 50s.

    The term Jezebel of Jazz still goes to Anita O’Day. Winehouse isn’t close.

  43. I sort of agree with Shane in that I like my rock stars to act like rock stars, though I don’t need them to die young for my amusement (not that I give a shit, it’s their life). I’m much more entertained by crazy coked-out drunk maniac rockers than I am by Sting.

  44. I mean really, think about it, Bob Marley after rehab? A happy and outgoing Cobain? A Van Gogh who wants both ears? A 75 year old Elvis? seriously…

  45. A well behaved Marquis de Sade? We need crazy self-destructive people to live the carefree and hazardous lives for us. Otherwise it’s all leave it beaver.

  46. correction:

    Otherwise it’s all leave it to beaver.

  47. No one in pop music today should be mentioned with Ella Fitzgerald. While we’re at it, Natalie Cole shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Nat King Cole, unless you’re a professional genealogist or a relative of theirs.

  48. Otherwise it’s all leave it beaver.

    RC’z Law strikes again!

  49. Thanks, Nick. I will duly enjoy Alan playing his his organ when I get home, and me mine.

  50. What’s RC’s Law?

  51. Dude, she’s in lock-down detox. Her boyfriend is in the clink.

    How is that “having her cake and eating it too?”

  52. joe,

    We will forgive. And we will bestow our collective largess. Cake will be served and consumed, while still possessed in all its icingy glory.

  53. The cake is a lie.
    The cake is a lie.
    The cake is a lie.

  54. There is no cake.
    There is only pie.

  55. Cake or Death?

  56. Nick, you are the man for posting the Animules. Even though that thing has, like Stairway to Heaven, been played til everybody’s ears bleed, it’s still a good tune.

    Amy Winehouse isn’t Billie Holiday and she doesn’t have the tragic childhood history neither. She’s not bad and I’m told by Mrs TWC that she works hard at her craft. But when it’s Miller Time, she don’t kid around none.

    As for Grammy winners, I’ll take Carrie Underwood.

  57. That is some awesome lip-synching by Eric Burdon in that video.
    As for Amy Winehouse, it’s no small wonder she abuses cocaine. That ugly bitch could sniff a fucking Buick up that huge proboscis

  58. One of the nice things about modern America is that lip syncing has gone the way of the buggy whip.

  59. The thing that always surprises me about Amy Winehouse is that her music is really good. Good singer, good songwriter, awesome band behind her. I always assume that somebody who’s on the cover of US Weekly next to Britney Spears must be terrible, but not in this case.

    That Animals song is awesome, but let’s give Leadbelly some credit for writing the thing.

  60. If the Grammy Awards were anything but a chance for mediocre musicians and greedy music industry plankton to publicly congratulate themselves on their mediocrity, it might matter that Winehouse won one.

    For the record, Winehouse isn’t bad. Whiny and self-absorbed, but I guess a lot of musicians are like that.

  61. Eric Burden NOT lip syncing

    And besides, isn’t Natalie Cole sort of the pot calling the kettle black?

  62. One of the nice things about modern America is that lip syncing has gone the way of the buggy whip.

    Are you joking?

  63. lurker, I have a leadbelly CD. You can have it. Free. I’ll pay the postage. 🙂

    Not sure Leadbelly wrote the tune, I always heard it was an old American folk song. He was one of the earlier artists to record it, though, sometime in the 1940’s I think.

  64. Shem, I wasn’t joking (Milli Vanilli, notwithstanding).

    You have to take it in context. In that era (1960’s), nearly every artist lip synced for TV shows (notable exception was some Ed Sullivan shows). It was the rule rather than the exception. These days it’s the other way around.

    I could be wrong, but I’ll never admit it.

  65. I am not talking about cool kids. I am talking about dorky music critics.

    dude the cool kids ARE the dorky music critics.

    as above, so below.

    PS kids free tip from your man (me) – the new genghis tron album is FUUUUUUUUCKING AMAZING. my fingers are broken from throwing up the goddamn horns so much in 45 minutes.

  66. Ugh. Mrs. Cole needs to realize that unfortunately, talent does not always go to nice, well-adjusted people. A lot of the time it goes to assholes and fuck-ups. If we only recognized the nice, well-adjusted people, we’d be stuck in the stone age. I mean, should we not read or praise Byron because he was a bastard and slept with his sister?

  67. The last time I watched the Grammys, or maybe it was the AMA’s, the presenters came out in Dune Buggies. Coolest thing I ever saw. Alice Cooper and Elton John came out in a beautiful bit of stereotyped wardrobe with hyper opposite voices. All down hill from there.

  68. As for Winehouse, I definitely think she’s gifted. She sings with a bit of grit, her voice actually has some weight to it, and she knows to avoid the vocal melismatic theatrics of whitney and carey. Except for the occasional profanity, she wouldn’t be out of place on a 60’s-70’s soul record.

  69. I’m not impressed by Winehouse…I’m sure someone writes her songs for her, talented musicians play the tunes, and her drunk average ass sings…Not impressed…The focus should be on the MUSICIANS not the f*cking singers…That takes talent.

  70. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Do you have any proof that someone else writes songs for her? “Rehab,” for example, definitely sounds like it comes from her personal experience.

    As for musicians, sure they’re important, but “musicianship” can be enormously overrated. Being able to perform a technically complex solo for ten minutes does not mean you are “talented.” It means you spend ridiculous amounts of time practicing and engaged in musical masturbation. It’s why Keith Richards is a more “talented” guitar player than guys like steve vai or joe satriani.

    And what about producers? Production, especially on a record like Winehouses’, is extremely important.

    Oh, and for a good article on Winehouse and her musical merits: http://www.slate.com/id/2184209

  71. I have to admit to not getting Amy Winehouse either. I’ve seen some of her stuff and think “what’s the fuss all about?”. Added to the fact that she’s an annoying crack-ho in real life does nothing to enhance her in my eyes. That said, I’ve listened to my share of self-destructive genii over the years.

    The Dap-Kings, not bad at all. The album they did with Sharon Jones is pretty damn good. Love the old school soul production too.

  72. ….talent does not always go to nice, well-adjusted people…

    As was alluded to in No One Gets Out Alive, who the heck knows how crazed you might become with completely and totally unlimited assets, fame, fortune, and hotties at your disposal?

    IME, there’s plenty of Pyscho genes distributed among the, shall we say, less talented among us.

  73. Shem, I wasn’t joking (Milli Vanilli, notwithstanding).

    You have to take it in context. In that era (1960’s), nearly every artist lip synced for TV shows (notable exception was some Ed Sullivan shows). It was the rule rather than the exception. These days it’s the other way around.

    Maybe there’s some confusion as to what each of you is considering lip syncing. Almost all videos are lip-synced in that the song being played is the studio-recorded version. Obviously you aren’t hearing a recording of the artist singing while walking down a street in the rain. Even a performance video, as opposed to a theme video, is almost always simply the band pretending to play over the studio version. Now as for live TV appearances, I suppose it depends. Our expectations on shows like SNL are that the performance is live (see Ashley Simpson). The same goes for Letterman and the like, so maybe you’re both right but were thinking of it in a different light?

  74. Brian, yes, you’re probably right. Back then everything from the movie Hard Days Night to Bandstand was all really bad lip syncing. It was a rare treat to see an artist actually perform.

    I don’t think anyone mentioned that the federales also declined to let Amy come to the Grammys.

  75. You have to take it in context. In that era (1960’s), nearly every artist lip synced for TV shows (notable exception was some Ed Sullivan shows). It was the rule rather than the exception. These days it’s the other way around.

    For a while it was, but not anymore, at least not for any of the corporate-created bands. There’s a whole list of artist who had mishaps because of technology foul-ups. They can even alter the tracks so that it sounds like the real thing.

  76. I dig Winehouse and the Dap Kings. Not long ago I watched her video for “Fuck me pumps” on YouTube, it was sad to see how much healthier she looked just a few short years ago.

  77. I agree with Cole. There’s no place in the American lexicon for Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Nirvana, The Sex Pistols, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billie Holiday, Grateful Dead, Funkadelic, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Charlie Parker, Elvis Presley, and all those other druggies I can’t remember.

    They all abused drugs and therefore had no talent and shouldn’t have ever entered the halls of musical greatness, or in some cases, pretty goodness.

  78. Thank you for saying that Lamar.

    Also think about what Bill Hicks said: If you honestly believe drugs have never done any good, go home and burn your record collection.

  79. ….only jazz musicians, were smokin’ marijuana……

  80. Oh, Natalie Cole should talk – she was stoned for YEARS before she cleaned up HER act!

    More to the point, Cole won her Grammy(s) in the early nineties for that stupid “duet” with her father. Nice edit job, but Record of the Year?!? As far as I’m concerned, Cole’s Grammys were about as merited as Milli Vanilli’s. She should thank her lucky stars and keep her mouth shut.

  81. Winehouse: a hot Jewish girl with a nice rack. Haven’t heard her music yet, but not surprised some here are modestly praising it, since she comes off as pretty smart in interviews.

  82. I would say she shouldn’t have won the grammy since her music is terrible. The only thing these smarmy moral-police are doing by saying she’s “badly behaved” is elevating Ms. Winehouse to a status of coolness that is completely undeserved.

  83. What is Natalie Cole getting all preachy about. What about HER problems with drugs?

    From wikipedia:
    Cole’s career paused in the early 1980s as she dealt with the challenges of her severe drug problem. By 1985, Cole was back in good health, and began a comeback.

  84. Oh for the Simply Red and Milli Vanilli days, such a kinder, gentler time.

    Winehouse is ok for her genre. Much like celebs and musicians who tell me about their political beliefs I could also care less about their chemical romances. Why does the media continue to ask celeb types things no one cares about. Has anyone ever once switched their position because of George Clooney or Susan Sarandan? I think not.

  85. Has anyone ever once switched their position because of George Clooney or Susan Sarandan? I think not.

    They’re a good reality check. If some reality-challenged celeb is for something, you know almost to a certainty that it is wrong to also be for that something.

  86. That Animals song is awesome, but let’s give Leadbelly some credit for writing the thing.

    Give Leadbelly credit for all sorts of things, but NOT for writing that song. If we knew who wrote it, we might know for certain what it was about. We do not.

    And Mr Nice Guy,
    Urine idjit.

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