Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Another legend gone. Another icon lost. Another shooting star that shined brightest, but whose sparkled for a brief moment and then sputtered and died. Died way too soon. Died tragically. Another in a long but still growing list of talents that gave up their souls for the talent they each were born with.
Be careful for what you with wish you. Because your penance for that gift, might one day find you lifeless, dead, accidentally OD'd on assorted pills or worse.
A once beautiful exception to the ordinary. A one in million, once in a lifetime, a talent that touches the masses arrives and alters the very fiber of your being,
Whitney Houston for me was one of those talents, another giant voice bring sung by a frail body. Not unusual in these sad stories. 
Remember Piaf. Remember Judy. All once angelic faces, body and voice who were ravaged by the use of alcohol, drugs, fame or simply life itself. Perhaps this is the curse with being given such an extraordinary gift. A talent that within moments of witnessing makes those who witnessed it, chemically altered. The air around you seemingly buzzing with excitement.
For me Whitney Houston will always be that shooting star. In the same I felt the buzz the first time I saw Meryl Streep on stage, in The Cherry Orchid. You just know it when you see it. The first time I ever witnessed Miss Houston's talents was singing back-up. I will never forget seeing this beautiful angelic child. Standing there as if lost. For me what was so wonderful about her voice was how it touched you. How you felt that she was singing her own words. And she was singing it to you from the heart. She wrote the words, not some song writer.
I still remember the night, seems so long ago, but like it was yesterday. Watching her first performance on the Grammy's looking like a scared child. But once she opened her throat, her magnificent voice transcended to the heavens. Mesmerizing a room filled with the best voices on Earth. All realizing at once that they were witnessing something special.
What most amazed me, the second time I witnessed her singing live, was how great she was at such a young age. All I kept telling everyone I would speak to about her was, I can't wait till she's older and learns to use that instrument, that voice. Cause when she does can you imagine how great she will become. Sadly we won't ever
hear how great she could have been. We can only enjoy how great she was.
On her last album, it was apparent that the years of abuse [whatever that might have been] had taken their toll on her supreme instrument. But still, the beauty of her gift shined through.
How ironic it is that on a night that turned out to be a celebration of what was. A voice silenced forever. A voice that touched us with its sweet velvety smoothness. On this night where tears were shed throughout the world in sadness at the silencing of one great voice.
How ironic that a new voice seemingly out of the heavens has come down to step in and fill the void left.
A voice so different in tone, maturity and weight from Whitney's. A voice closer to Patsy Cline in sound then to Whitney's, who sounded more like voice from the heavens, then a belter. Adele is her name, and the song she sang 'Rolling in the Deep' with such perfection and assurance and verve made you sit back and listen. She showcased why in this great land of ours, a new voice will arrive to continue the music. Adele has arrived to continue the song. But the knowledge that the music continues with a new lead singer, doesn't take away the sting of what we've lost.
I'll remember the night at the Grammy's years a go when my mom came into my room, Whitney was performing 'The Greatest Love of All' live and I had entered the Heavens above. My mom asked me "who 'she' was?" After a few seconds I whispered "Whitney" as I reentered reality. Because whenever Whitney Houston sang I always seemed to go to another place. A better place. A place of beauty, where everything had a shine and all was well. That's what made Whitney special. There are a lot of good singers. And a lot of really great singers like Streisand that come along once in a generation. But for some reason Whitney was different then the other once in generation of great voices. She was the voice.
I will try to remember her as she was and as I imagined she would become. Rather then what actually happened. And any and all discoveries that the press reveals for me, only add to my beliefs, that people who are given great abilities have to deal with that. How do you handle the burden of being so great, when you cease being great. Or worse, when you somehow caused your own destruction. How sad. How truly sad.
Just one man's opinion

© Neil Feigeles, Neilizms, Wednesday, February 15, 2012 

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