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Rehab? No! No! No!

Novembre 2007
Aggressiva, instabile, geniale e autodistruttiva al tempo stesso: a 24 anni, Amy Winehouse è stata definita la miglior vocalist al mondo. In questa intervista ci racconta il dramma personale (vero) dietro la canzone “Rehab”.
File audio:

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

The 24-year-old English singer Amy Winehouse has been much in the news of late. This has partly been for her music, but mainly for her turbulent private life, with stories of heavy drinking, drug abuse and violent fights with her boyfriend providing plenty of juicy material for Britain’s tabloids.
These stories have tended to detract from her ability as an artist. Her 2003 debut album, Frank, won the Mercury Award, while two of her singles have been given the Ivor Novello Award. Her second album, 2006’s Back to Black, topped the British charts and entered the US charts at number 7. This was the best ever result by a British female artist, even though it was bettered by Joss Stone two weeks later.
As the title Back to Black suggests, Amy Winehouse’s main musical influence is black American soul. Indeed she sings like an American. This is in marked contrast to the way she speaks, which is with the “Cockney” accent of her native London:

Amy Winehouse (London accent):

I mean, I learnt to sing from Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Minnie Riperton. My brother liked listening to all this stuff that I really learnt how... like stuff like I really learnt from. You know, you don’t necessarily learn to sing from singers, you... learn from soloists as well. I like singers like Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald, in that they... but I’m not... you know, I like them the way they sing a song, but I’m not a big fan, do you know what I mean?
Because... someone like Ella Fitzgerald, she’ll sing a song the way it was written and someone like Sarah Vaughan will get... under the song, you know, she’ll re-write it.


Amy Winehouse’s second Ivor Novello Award was for the single “Rehab,” which came from the album, Back to Black. The subject matter of the song was highly personal:

Amy Winehouse:

I was drinking a lot, I came out of a relationship and I was just doing one destructive thing after the other, I suppose – or having a good time! And I... I just drank myself to the point where I was just ill, and my... I had to go and stay with my dad, ‘cause I hadn’t been working, I had some time off, so my managers just kind of came in clumsy, came in clumsily, they kind of just went “You’ve got to go and see...” They didn’t... You know, I was in trouble, but I needed to go and stay with my dad for two weeks, I didn’t need to go to rehab, do you know what I mean? Cop-out! So, yeah, I was in trouble, I went to stay with my dad, like I was, you know, being quite self-destructive, I went to stay with my dad and my managers came round and said “You should go to rehab.” I was like: “What do you know, like? You... I haven’t even seen you in two months, what do you know?” And I had the feeling that I was going to have to just kind of go along with it a little bit, otherwise they wouldn’t leave me alone, I just wanted like... I’ll do anything to save a headache, I actually will do anything to save a headache. So I just looked at my... I looked at my dad, and I said: “Dad, what do you reckon?” And he was like: “You don’t need to go to anywhere like that” and I was like... “Oh.”

why are you here?

Amy Winehouse:

And I knew that anyway, but, you know, my dad... my dad and I are quite... are very close, do you know what I mean? He said to me: “I don’t think you need to go” and I was like “Thank you.” And that kind of gave me the courage to say to them (my managers): “Right, I’ll go,” as in “I’ll go, so you shut up!” And I just literally walked in, I mean, I had nice jeans on, like heels, face done, hair done, I just walked in and he (the rehab officer) was like... he looked at me funny like, he goes: “Why, why are you here?” And I was like:  “Dunno.” He goes: “Why do you think you’re here?” And I said: “Well,” I said, “I’m in love, but you know, I drink a lot, but I’m in love, do you know what I mean? And I’m whatever. I said: “I’ve just come out of a relationship and I’ve messed it up, but he (my boyfriend) doesn’t know how bad it is yet and when he finds out what I’ve done...” He (the Rehab officer) said to me: “Well, you’re not an... you’re not... obviously not an alcoholic, you’re a depressive,” I was like one eye on the door, I was like: “Are we done? Are we done?” He’s like: “OK, well, you should fill out this form that... like you should get people to fill out a form.” And I was like: “How long’s that going to take?” And he said to me: “Well, it will probably be about half an hour,” I was like, “No! No! I’m going! I’m going!” And I was like: “Thank you, nice to meet you, thank you for your time.” I left. I was in there for 10 minutes. It was funny, though, it didn’t bother me. I got a good song out of it, so it was cool. I believe that everything happens for a reason.

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has been much in the news of late - se ne è parlato parecchio di recente.

fights - risse, litigi.

providing plenty of juicy material - fornendo parecchio materiale ‘succoso’.

topped the British charts - ha raggiunto il numero uno nelle classifiche inglesi.

stuff - roba.

the subject matter - l’argomento.

I just drank myself... just ill - bevevo fino a star male.

came in clumsily - arrivarono da me ‘pesanti’, senza tatto.

I was in trouble - ero nei guai, stavo male.

rehab - abbrev. di rehabilitation, disintossicazione, in questo caso dall’alcol.

cop-out! - troppo comodo!

came round - vennero da me.

I was going to have to... a little bit - avrei dovuto stare al gioco almeno un po’.

they wouldn’t leave me alone - non mi avrebbero lasciata in pace.

I’ll do anything to save a headache - sono pronta a fare qualsiasi cosa per evitare una seccatura.

what do you reckon? - cosa ne pensi?

as in “I’ll go, so you shut up!” - come per dire “ok vado, piantatela!”

heels, face done, hair done - con i tacchi alti, truccata, capelli a posto.

he looked at me funny - mi ha guardata in modo strano.

dunno - I don’t know.

and I’m whatever - sono così, che ne so...

I’ve messed it up - ho rovinato tutto.

I was like one eye to the door - tenevo d’occhio la porta.

are we done? - abbiamo finito?

fill out this form - compilare questo modulo.

it didn’t bother me - non mi ha dato fastidio.

I got a good song out of it - ne ho ricavato una bella canzone.