- - Monday, July 25, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Another amazing talent is gone. The soulful, jazzy, amazing and unique voice of Amy Winehouse is silenced forever - dead at 27.

She joins a much-too-lengthy list of other amazing musical talents who succumbed to dope, addiction and an early death. I have seen too much of it over my five-decade musical career. Frankly, it angers and saddens me.

From Elvis to Hendrix to Janis to Michael Jackson and now Amy Winehouse, these incredible musicians and others left us much too soon, their God-given talent wasted away on dope and booze.

As a fellow musician and human being, it is for me to pass judgment on Amy Winehouse’s dumb choices, which ultimately led to her early, totally unnecessary death. In fact, I believe it is the responsibility of all caring people to pass judgment on her self-destructive choices and use them as a painful, graphic example of a ruined life in order to educate our children and loved ones on the perils of dope and booze.

It isn’t just musicians and entertainers who destroy their lives with dope and booze. The only reason Amy Winehouse’s death made the news is because she was an entertainer.

Many Americans will make the choice tonight to drink and drive. As you read this, know that chemically impaired drivers will kill, hurt and maim other innocent Americans. The dead and injured’s names will not make the national news or the Drudge Report, but they will be dead and tragically injured just the same.

As a society and culture, we don’t do well at learning from the mistakes of others. Even though human train wrecks are constantly all around for us to see and learn from, for some bizzaro reason, many people still think they can handle it and won’t fly off rails. Big mistake.

Instead of being thankful and appreciative of life, too many Americans seem intent on destroying their lives. Whatever the myriad reasons for their self-destructive choices, what we do know is that their behavior often leads to premature death for themselves or others.

Addiction must be an ugly, painful and lonely odyssey. I don’t condemn or think less of addicts like Amy Winehouse - I feel sorry for them.

Amy Winehouse will not see an amazing sunset tonight. She will never again feel the warmth of a loving hug. She will not ever have a chance to be a mom and hold a newborn baby. She gave all that up for chemicals. And now she’s gone.

Being stoned, drunk and dead does not make a party. If you want a real party, join me in the woods, where the magic of God’s creations will make you realize your life is much too precious to cheapen with chemicals. Clean and sober is the choice of those of us who respect life.

We have an opportunity to learn from the death of a talented singer.

So long, Amy Winehouse. Good luck with your big jam session in the sky. There are a lot of people who sure wish they could still see you down here.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

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