I admit to never really knowing her music well other than her famous "Rehab" song, but I appreciated the true talent that belonged to Amy Winehouse. She sadly couldn't get her demons in check and joins the "Forever 27" club alongside other music legends who left us all too soon. Hollywood has often tried to pay tribute to.....or cash in..... on the stars who burned brightly but shortly in the entertainment world with varying degrees of success. Here are three notable attempts to give us a glimpse of life and death in the "Forever 27" club.
"The Rose" 1979 Midler plays a Janis-like singer
The family of Janis Joplin would not give up the rights to her story to the producers of "The Rose," but that didn't stop them from telling their own tale of a self destructive female rocker on a collision course with death. "The Rose" is notable for the big screen debut of Bette Midler and it netted her an academy award nomination for her efforts. The character may have a different name, but this is clearly the story of Janis. The screenplay was originally titled "Pearl" which was known to be Joplin's nickname.
"The Doors" 1991 Kilmer IS Morrison
It has been said that the surviving members of legendary rock act The Doors were not too happy with the way the band was portrayed in the 91 biopic. Regardless of which side you stand on in that argument, there's no denying the brilliance of Val Kilmer as frontman Jim Morrison. I always appreciate it when an actor portraying a singer can actually carry a tune. If you played Val's vocals alongside Jim's, you just might have some trouble figuring out which one is the real mccoy. Watch it not for historical accuracy, but for the trippy visuals and amazing music that will give you a brief look at what it might have been like to be one of the greatest rock bands ever.
Last Days "2005" Michael Pitt is Cobain-esque
I never knew Kurt Cobain, but on one drunken evening in 1991, I met the lead singer of Nirvana while they were playing a rat hole club in Athens Georgia just before their album "Nevermind" completely blew up the charts. Of course in a completely star struck moment of awkwardness, I had nothing intelligent to say to the man other than "I......um.......loved your record dude." Little did I know that after only three years and a meteoric rise to fame he would be dead by his own hand. I've heard he never wanted to be famous and was dragged kicking and screaming all the way into the limelight. Gus Van Sant's "Last Days" shows us what his state of mind may have been like during those final moments of his life. Loved by many, yet completely alone.
It's extremely sad to hear about a person with so much going for them squander their chances. Not just for fame and fortune, but for living a healthy, happy, and productive life. The "Forever 27" club just enshrined a new member in Winehouse. Let's all hope that we won't be seeing anymore new recruits to this hall of fame any time soon.