Comic-actor — and musician — Russell Brand, who makes his Atlantic City debut with two shows at Borgata’s Music Box Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14, on his long-time friendship with the late Amy Winehouse.
“I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women,” he said, “so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction.”
Brand, who recently starred in the title role of the remake of the comedy film Arthur, said it wasn’t until Winehouse’s career began to take off several years ago that he realized the depth of her exceptional talent.
“I wasn’t curious enough to do anything so extreme as listen to her music or go to one of her gigs,” wrote Brand, whose wife is another gifted singer, Katy Perry.
“I was becoming famous myself at the time and that was an all-consuming experience.”
By chance, he caught Winehouse performing live and was overcome by what he called “the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal."
“From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie [Holiday] and Ella [Fitzgerald], from the font of all greatness,” he said.
“A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. ... She was a fuckiing genius.”
Brand, who makes his Atlantic City debut with two shows at Borgata’s Music Box Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14, forged a friendship with Winehouse and she was a frequent guest on television and radio shows he hosted in England.
"That’s part of what I’ll talk about when I come to town. I’ll talk about my daughter. I’ll talk about getting older. I talk about how kids aren’t kids anymore and I’ll get political and I’ll talk about the dysfunctional. My daughter is 17 and she’s driving and I can’t help but worry. She goes to a private school and what’s bad about that is there a lot of entitlement. It’s hard raising my daughter but it’s good for material."
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