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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview With Mitch Winehouse
Aired September 17, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, she changed the world of music and she left it far too soon. Amy Winehouse. Nobody knew her quite like her father Mitch.
MITCH WINEHOUSE, FATHER: My memories of her obviously will never fade. My daughter.
MORGAN: Tonight, prime-time exclusive, Mitch Winehouse. His daughter's extraordinary talent.
WINEHOUSE: Her legacy will be her music. It will be some more heartbreak.
MORGAN: Her demons.
WINEHOUSE: One addiction can follow another. And this is what happened with Amy.
MORGAN: A checkered love life.
WINEHOUSE: Blake came back into her life at that moment when she was at her most vulnerable.
MORGAN: Mitch Winehouse, prime-time exclusive, an emotional and extraordinary hour.
WINEHOUSE: We're heartbroken. Heartbroken.
MORGAN: Good evening. My prime-time exclusive with Mitch Winehouse is next. Also, an extraordinary life and death story. This is the video that everyone is talking about. The heroes that saved a motorcyclist from sudden death yesterday in Utah. I'll talk to them, tonight.
MORGAN: Mitch, thank you so much for coming to the studio for the interview. I can only imagine this has been a hideous few weeks for you. How are you and the family bearing up since Amy died?
WINEHOUSE: It's been very difficult, Piers. Very, very difficult indeed. But the good thing is we've got each other, we've got wonderful family, and extremely wonderful friends, and we've kept each other strong. And, of course, we've got the foundation that we're working on. So we're doing OK. Under the circumstances, we're doing OK.
MORGAN: Have you been -- obviously, you knew that Amy was incredibly popular. Have you been taken aback by the sheer scale of the reaction to her death?
WINEHOUSE: I have. I didn't realize how popular -- I knew she'd sold 20 million albums, but the sheer depth of feeling that people have had for her has been extraordinary. The love and the messages that we're getting and how she changed people's lives, I mean, it's just wonderful.
MORGAN: Are your feelings ones of anger, of frustration, just of sadness? How would you describe how you've been feeling since you heard the news?
WINEHOUSE: I think all of those. All of those. Very angry with Amy. And if I get hold of her, I'll spank her bottom, you know. But all of those things, Piers. You know, I'm very angry, feel very guilty. It's natural. I haven't done anything to be guilty about. All of those feelings combined.
MORGAN: Where were you when you heard the news?
WINEHOUSE: I was in New York. I was with my cousin, who -- we were on the 47th floor of a tower block in Manhattan. He and his wife had just had twin babies, and I went to see the babies. And I was just about to do a show at the Blue Note club. It was my debut in New York. And I was holding one of the babies.
My cousin's English. And he found his dad to say that I was there and spoke to my uncle. And he said to me, how's Amy? And I said, she's doing great. And as I was talking to him, my mobile rang, picks up the phone and it was Amy's security guard, and he was crying. And he told me that she'd passed away.
MORGAN: And just to go through her last night, tell me what happened. From everything that you now know.
WINEHOUSE: OK. She'd had a good day, as most of her days were good days. And she had -- her mom and her -- Janice and Richard, Janice's boyfriend, went to see her earlier in the day, and she was in good spirits. And she was getting close to bed, so I think it was about 1:00 at night, and she was singing. And she has got a drum in her room and she was playing the drum.
MORGAN: She was on her own?
WINEHOUSE: She was on her own. There wasn't anybody else in the house. I think her friend Tyler was -- he stays with her. And he was in the room underneath hers. And it was about 1:00, and the security guard said to her, you better stop playing the drum, Amy, because people next door will complain. She said, yes, no problem. And she stopped playing the drum. And he heard her walking around for another half an hour or so. And he thought she'd gone to sleep. He checked on her about 3:00 in the morning. And she seemed to be asleep. I think he checked her again. You have to excuse me if I haven't got my timings right. He checked her again at about 8:00, and he saw that there was a problem, and they called the paramedics, and that was it.
MORGAN: What was your reaction immediately?
WINEHOUSE: I -- I had incredible clarity. And I wasn't crying, I wasn't screaming. In fact, I was holding one of the babies. And I gave the baby to my cousin, and I was comforting the security guard, who -- you know, he blamed himself. There's nothing to blame himself for. Again, it was quite natural. And I was comforting him and I was comforting my cousin. I was comforting my uncle.
And I was obviously in shock, but as I was sitting there taking it all in, I just had thoughts coming into my mind. Amy Winehouse Foundation, Amy Winehouse Foundation, Amy Winehouse Foundation. Music, horses, children. These are the things that were important to her. Not necessarily in that order. I don't think children were less important than horses, but she loved horses, she loved music and she loved kids. And this is what was in my mind immediately. Amy Winehouse Foundation. Amy Winehouse Foundation. And she was basically guiding me and telling me what to do, that's my belief, anyway.
MORGAN: Did a part of you expect this call one day?
WINEHOUSE: No, not at all. Not at all. Had this happened three or four years previously, to be honest with you, I would have held my hands up and I would have said, fair enough. Her recovery, as I'm sure we'll speak about later from drug addiction, was extraordinary. I've been banging on for the last three years about the fact that she hadn't taken any -- she'd been clean of drugs for three years.
MORGAN: So you believe absolutely that Amy had been clean of any drugs for three years.
WINEHOUSE: She hadn't taken any drugs for three years.
MORGAN: What about alcohol?
WINEHOUSE: Well, alcohol was a different issue. Unfortunately, the alcohol, as you might be aware, one addiction can follow another. And this is what happened with Amy. We found that when she had conquered the drug addiction, she then went on to a very positive addiction. She was exercising every day. She was so fit, incredibly fit. She had a gym at home. And she was exercising for three or four hours a day, if not more.
MORGAN: Did you have any way of controlling any of these addictions that she had?
WINEHOUSE: How do you control somebody else's addictions? I mean, at the time people were saying to me, well, what you should do -- people who should know better. What you should do is hire a house in the country, a big house in the country so that nobody can hear her scream, take her there, lock the doors, lock the windows, and just leave her there. You know, put some food under. I mean, how can you do that to somebody? That's imprisonment. You can't treat people like that.
If somebody is an addict, they have to deal with it in their own way. And the only way that the family can help is to be there to love them and support them. Sometimes it's tough love that's needed, sometimes it's soft love. Whatever it is, the answer comes from the addict, not from the family of the addict. So in terms of doing anything about her addictions, whatever they were, it's not really an awful lot that any family can do.
MORGAN: In the last few weeks, have you had any regrets? You say you feel guilty. But that's a kind of different thing, any parent would in that situation. But do you have any sort of concrete regrets, things you wish you'd done?
WINEHOUSE: No, I really don't. Our family was or is an incredibly strong family. And, you know, great example set by -- how far do you want me to go back, to my grandparents and my mother and father, who are both gone now. And we took that forward. And as a family, we are a loving family. And Amy was an integral part of that family.
MORGAN: Every time I've seen you in public since Amy died, you've shown remarkable self-control. People had been struck by that, given that you were so close to her. Have you had moments in private where you've really lost it about this or have you been able to keep things together?
WINEHOUSE: I mean, I have moments when I just can't believe what's happened. It's just incredible. You know, even now I -- if she walked in here right now, I wouldn't be surprised. It's just incredible that a force, her force, her nature has gone. But it hasn't really gone because, you know, I'm a firm -- as all my family, we're firm believers in life after death. And she's right here with us all the time.
There's been some fantastic stuff going on as far as that's concerned -- butterflies, birds and butterflies and birds, just incredible, and wonderful messages that we're getting. And it's very, very difficult.
And in answer to your question, in answer to your question, it's not a question of losing it. I think that crying is an integral part of the grieving process. And I think that everybody -- not everybody, I can't tell everybody how they should grieve -- but the way that I grieve -- I lost my mother and my father and others close -- is to cry. I'm a crier. And I'm glad. Because I hope that means I'm not storing my grief up for something else. Because Amy wouldn't want me to have -- you know, to suffer from depression or anything like that, because I just have too much to do. There's so much work that we have to do for the foundation, I can't afford to get depressed. So if it means I'm going to cry, I'll cry. If it means I'm going to cry here, I'll cry. I'm not ashamed to cry.
MORGAN: We're going to take a short break, Mitch. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the early days with Amy, what she was like as a little girl. And then the dark days when you watched your daughter self-imploding.
MORGAN: Of course the song that made Amy Winehouse an international superstar, "Rehab." And I can tell for you, Mitch, you can almost hardly bear to look at Amy singing that.
WINEHOUSE: I was with -- this is a great story, because she just had a breaking up with her partner, Chris, who was a very, very nice guy. He was a bit of a wimp. And she wrote the song about him, you should be stronger than me. I don't know if you know that, off the first album. And he -- they broke up, and she had a few -- she went on a binge because of it. And she fell and banged her head. And she came to stay with me for three or four days. And her managers there were a couple of guys named Nick Shymanski and Nick Godwyn and they said you have got to go into rehab. And they came to my house.
And at the time, I didn't think she needed to go to rehab. She just had a breakup with her boyfriend. And, you know, and she said, what do you think? I said, what I think you're fine. And they tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no. But she did go there. So she went there for -- she went to rehab for two hours, and then she came back. I said, this is -- so she's been away from my house for three hours. I said, you've been to rehab and you come back already? She said, oh, the guy that she went to see, all he wanted to do was speak about himself. It's all in the song, it's all in the song "Rehab," but my daddy thinks I'm fine.
And out of that one situation, she managed to write "Rehab."
MORGAN: One of the great songs of the last 20 years.
WINEHOUSE: Songs of the last 20 years.
MORGAN: There's a poignancy about the title of that song, and an irony, I guess, that rehab was something that kind of bedeviled Amy for years. She flirted with it. Do you think she ever really committed to rehab properly or not?
MORGAN: When did you realize Amy had a real talent for music? What was the moment for you when you thought, OK, wow, this is interesting?
WINEHOUSE: Well, there's so many stories. The story that I tell over and over is that we -- she got a scholarship for Sylvia Young as an actress and as a dancer. And we went to--
MORGAN: That's an acting school.
WINEHOUSE: It's an acting school. But they do music too. But we went to the first show that she did, my wife and I. Not Janice, Jane. We went to see her. And whether the song that she was singing was in the wrong key, but she didn't sing it very well at all. And I remember saying to my wife, thank God she can act. Because she had some acting jobs and she was doing OK. And then the following year she said, dad, I'm singing again. I said to my wife, oh, my God, she's singing again. And this time we went to see her, and guess what, she could sing.
So really, that's probably from the age of about 14. I mean, I heard her singing before, but I wasn't in the house from the age of 10. I saw her three or four times a week, but Janice and I got divorced when she was 10. So I wasn't there all the time. And she was singing all the time and she didn't sound anything out of the ordinary to me until we saw her that show.
MORGAN: And the irony was that she actually left the Sylvia Young school because she wasn't, in their eyes, performing academically well enough, right?
WINEHOUSE: Well, Sylvia will say -- Sylvia will say that she wasn't expelled, but she was actually expelled. Because--
MORGAN: When she left Sylvia, what was the moment for you that you realized this little girl of yours was going to be an international star?
WINEHOUSE: We were -- at Sylvia Young, she met a guy called Tyler James, who was a great friend. He was in the house with her that night. And he introduced her to his management company, which was a company called 19. And they asked me to come down because she was under 18 and I had to sign the forms for her. So I went down there, and they said, you know, your daughter is absolutely fantastic. And they sent us some tracks. I've never heard her sing on a CD before. And I sent some of the tracks that she'd done. And they were just brilliant. And at that point, I remember saying to my wife, this is incredible. But really it was a question of when did this happen?
MORGAN: You hadn't seen it coming?
WINEHOUSE: Not really, no. Not really. I heard her sing, but I mean, there's lots of kids that can sing.
MORGAN: Well, the thing about Amy wasn't, it wasn't just the singing. She wrote this stuff.
MORGAN: I mean, she wrote some of the great songs of the last 25 years. Where do you think she'd got that from?
WINEHOUSE: Well, I'd like to say me, of course, but the truth is that Janice, my ex-wife's family, there were professional musicians on that side, too. We're all singers on our side, and they're the musicians on Janice's side. So pretty good gene pool there, one way or another.
MORGAN: Amy obviously propelled into the stratosphere of music superstardom. The first album did brilliantly, the second one exploded. And everything changed.
When we come back after a break, Mitch, I want to talk to you about the effect of fame and fortune on her life and, in particular, the effect of her quite troubled love life of that period as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REG TRAVISS, BOYFRIEND OF AMY WINEHOUSE: Long before Amy and I met, you know, I mean, I know she hadn't been involved in that sort of stuff for -- you know, sort of three, three-and-a-half years, something like that, you know, she had said, which I knew, you know. And now, I mean, it just wasn't a part of her life. You know, I mean, it's -- it wasn't our world, you know? So it was long in the past. It was gone. And she wasn't into it. She wasn't into that scene or that kind of thing, you know? She wasn't into drugs at all. So, no, it had nothing to do with her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was Amy Winehouse's boyfriend at the time of her death, film director Reg Traviss. Amy had finally seemed, Mitch, found proper love with a pretty decent guy. Was that--
WINEHOUSE: Wonderful guy.
MORGAN: Was that how you saw it?
MORGAN: A force for good in her life?
WINEHOUSE: An incredible force for good in her life. And I don't know where she found him from, because he's like a throwback to the '50s or old-fashioned values. Dresses in a very retro, in a modern old-fashioned way, if you know what I mean. And he's just a terrific guy. And he had a great influence on Amy.
MORGAN: Many people say that Amy's almost inevitable downfall came after she met this guy Blake Fielder-Civil, who became her husband. He's now serving a prison sentence in Britain for assaulting somebody.
When she first got together with this guy, as her father, what was your immediate reaction when you saw the kind of person that he was?
WINEHOUSE: My immediate reaction was that he was a very charming guy. I saw him at one of Amy's shows. And I knew that she had been seeing this guy called Blake and he had been in and out of her life, but I thought that she had done with him because it seemed to me that he only wanted to come back into her life when "Back to Black" started to do well.
MORGAN: When she was successful.
WINEHOUSE: When she was successful. And-- MORGAN: So you were suspicious of his motivation, really?
WINEHOUSE: I was suspicious of his motivation, yes, I was. And my suspicions proved to be well founded.
MORGAN: People close to Amy believe it was Blake who got her from soft drugs like marijuana and so on, which she admitted taking as a teenager, on to hard drugs, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin. Do you believe that?
WINEHOUSE: Well, I don't know about ecstasy, but cocaine and heroin, yes, I do.
MORGAN: And as her father, how did that make you feel when you thought this guy that she's in love with, hooked up to, is driving her to this kind of thing?
WINEHOUSE: I was sickened, and I did everything in my power to stop the relationship, but, again, what can you do? She loved -- she really loved Blake.
MORGAN: Did you ever confront him?
WINEHOUSE: Oh, frequently, and his family.
MORGAN: What would you say?
WINEHOUSE: Leave my daughter alone, leave us alone. You're killing my daughter. He would say, well, I'm not killing her. He would admit to nothing. And his family were in denial, which made it even more difficult because we had them to deal with as well, which was very, very painful and very difficult.
MORGAN: Did they not believe that he had got Amy into these hard drugs?
WINEHOUSE: No. They believed that -- they believed at one point that it was Amy that had got him on to the hard drugs.
MORGAN: When she began taking cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, all this other stuff, did you notice a change in her?
WINEHOUSE: Did I notice a change in her? That's a very, very good question. In terms of her relationship with her family, she was still the loving girl that she had always been.
I must add that my mother died -- I've nearly said "at the wrong time." It's never the right time for your mother to die. But Blake came back on the scene literally weeks after my mother passed away.
MORGAN: This is Amy's grandmother.
WINEHOUSE: This is Amy's grandmother. And her grandmother, my mother, they were just so close. They were as close as mother and daughter.
MORGAN: That had a traumatic effect on her.
WINEHOUSE: It had an incredibly traumatic effect on all of us, but on Amy and my son Alex as well. It was devastating for them. And it's just the timing of everything was just incredible. Blake came back into her life at that moment when she was at her most vulnerable. And, well, the results speak for themselves.
MORGAN: There were periods through there just from what we read in the media at the time, just it seemed to be spiraling out of control, her life. Is that how you saw it? Do you fear that, you know, you were going to wake up one day with the terrible news that you eventually did, ironically at a time when she was a lot cleaner, but did you fear through that period with Blake that this was all going to end horribly?
WINEHOUSE: Well, yes, I did. Yes, I did. I did think it was going horribly, and it was a horrible time for all of us. You know, I felt -- I spent my time, you know, not as an old man fighting, literally fist fights with people and scrapping and shouting and arguing. And it made me old, ultimately. It made me old, ultimately.
And I just needed to -- all my friends and family, we felt that we needed to protect Amy. But of course, Amy, at the time, thought, what's all the fuss about?
MORGAN: Yes, but she was a headstrong girl.
MORGAN: She had lots of self-belief in many ways, as well as lots of insecurity. But, you know, I would imagine fabulously successful, very rich, and probably a little part of her was thinking, hey, dad, back off, this is my life, right?
WINEHOUSE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And how can you back off? How can you back of when you can see this is happening to your daughter directly as a result of her -- I've got to be careful what I say, really. Because I've just got to remember how it was.
He did not force -- Blake did not force Amy to take the drugs. That would be unfair.
MORGAN: But he provided the platform for her to take those drugs?
WINEHOUSE: So I believe. So I understand.
MORGAN: He took her towards another level of drug-taking, and she became pretty quickly addicted to that kind of stuff.
MORGAN: So in that sense, he's culpable, and he is.
WINEHOUSE: Well, he's culpable for that. But he's certainly not culpable for anything that happened subsequent to that. You know, I would not blame him for Amy's death. That would be stupid. MORGAN: Although, there is an argument that if she hadn't been so addicted to the hard drugs for so long, the effects on her body which then led -- coupled with the alcohol addiction, and the fact she didn't eat very much and so on, that it just weakened her to the extent that in the end her body just packed up.
You could chart it back to when she was first taking all the heroin, the cocaine, and so on. Could you know?
WINEHOUSE: You could do, but you know, I think I love Lisa, she loved Blake and Blake loved her in his own way. And he certainly wouldn't wanted this to have happen.
MORGAN: Have you talked to him since she died?
WINEHOUSE: No, I wouldn't talk to him. I'm not interested in him.
MORGAN: Never again.
WINEHOUSE: No. And I'm not interested in his family, and I'm not interested in him. We don't want their help with the foundation. We would be a laughingstock if we recruited him on to the foundation.
MORGAN: Has he made any attempt to contact you?
WINEHOUSE: He says he has, but he hasn't.
MORGAN: He hasn't written to you or anything?
WINEHOUSE: No. His mother, in one of the many newspaper articles that she's written since Amy's death, she says that Blake has been trying to get in touch with me. She's been trying to get -- you know, but none of them have got in touch with me. I'm not interested in them.
MORGAN: One of the worst things for you, Mitch, I would imagine is you've had to live this roller coaster time not in private but in the glare of front page headlines, television and so on and so on. And in the wake of all that you've been criticized by people. You know, where was her father? Why didn't he save, all that kind of thing. What do you say to people who criticize you like that?
WINEHOUSE: That's a fair point. That's a good question. But I was -- we were there as a family. We were there all the time. Although we never -- I never, ever saw Amy take any drugs. She'd never do that in front of me.
WINEHOUSE: Never. We were there all of the time. In fact, once inadvertently I saved her life. This was maybe four years ago when her P.A. -- I said to her P.A. check her every hour. He checked her five minutes previously. Then I came into the house she was living in. And I said, Giovan -- yeah, I checked her five minutes ago. Well, I'm just going to go up and give her a kiss good night because I have to go. And I went up, going to give her a kiss goodnight, and she was having a fit on the bed. And we called the paramedics, and it was all resolved, and we took her to hospital. She woke up in hospital. And the first thing she said to me was, I'm hungry, dad, can you go out and get me some Kentucky fried chicken.
So that's the kind of girl she was. That was a fluke because Giovan was not due to check her for another 55 minutes. And he had waited 55 minutes, that would have been it then. At that point, I could have honestly held my hands up and said, fair enough. That's fair enough. She was very ill. She was taking an inordinate amount of drugs. And I don't know how she survived. It was because she was so strong that she somehow managed to survive. And to make this amazing recovery, which she did. And I use the word recovery --
MORGAN: Yes, I want to come to this. Just hold that thought. Come back after the break, we'll talk about the recovery. Then talk about the catastrophic performance in Belgrade when she tried to launch this tour and it was a shambles on stage. And that was the beginning of the sequence of events leading up to her death. We'll come back to that after this break.
MORGAN: Amy Winehouse singing "Back to Black." Again, I can see how difficult it is for you, Mitch, and I'm sorry you have to see these images, because it must be so painful for you. That's how she'll be remembered, now I guess.
WINEHOUSE: She had everything to live for. She had a wonderful family. She wanted to have children. She a wonderful boyfriend. And I'm sure that they would have gone on to get married and have a family.
MORGAN: She was happy, she was in love, she'd been clean of drugs for three years. You talked before the break about her genuinely enjoying this recovery. Did you feel secure with her recovery? Did you feel it was a genuine one, or were you still very concerned?
WINEHOUSE: Well, I was concerned, but we had, I could draw her on the experiences that we had with the recovery from the drugs. What she did as far as the drugs was concerned was incredible. She stopped taking drugs. She went on to Subutex, which is a substitute for heroin, and then she weaned herself off of Subutex. It was almost unheard of. She stopped taking Subutex about 18 months ago and she was completely clean.
MORGAN: So she had extraordinary self-discipline if she wanted to.
WINEHOUSE: Incredible self-discipline. Incredible self-discipline.
MORGAN: Was the Achilles' heel alcohol in the end?
WINEHOUSE: Well, it clearly was. It clearly was.
MORGAN: But how bad an addiction was that for her after the drugs? WINEHOUSE: Well, alcohol is far more dangerous than drugs are anyway. As you probably know. It's far worse for you, if that's the right expression. And the withdrawal was a very difficult, far more painful, far more debilitating. The withdrawals themselves are debilitating.
She would drink for two or three weeks, and then she would detox for two or three weeks. And that's the worst thing that anybody could do, because she would detox not under medical supervision. And her doctor very specifically told her, about six months ago, and he wrote to her -- and she wrote a copy to me as well and the doctor.
And she said that if this behavior continued, the binge drinking and then the detoxing, that could lead to seizures which ultimately could lead to death. This was what the doctor said. And I guess she was like any other 27-year-old who thinks that smoking is not going to kill you. They're going to live forever. She chose to ignore the advice because she had just come off the back of a two-week very successful detox period. And --
MORGAN: Had she been drinking alone the night she died?
WINEHOUSE: She had started drinking, yes.
MORGAN: Do you know how much she had that night?
WINEHOUSE: I have no idea. I wasn't there. I was here.
MORGAN: The results came back. She was certainly clean of any drugs.
WINEHOUSE: That's right.
MORGAN: But it would appear that she had been drinking alcohol?
WINEHOUSE: There was alcohol in her system, yes.
MORGAN: And do you know what actually killed her?
WINEHOUSE: We're still -- we know it's not drugs, but we don't know the official coroner's verdict.
MORGAN: Do you have any instinct?
WINEHOUSE: Well, my instinct is that it's pretty much what the doctor warned us about. The chemical imbalances in the body that are created by binging and then abstinence, it creates incredible chemical imbalances in your body.
MORGAN: But she was timing.
WINEHOUSE: She wasn't that timing.
MORGAN: And the extraordinary thing, Mitch, because if you remember the sequence of events, I'm sure you remember it all very clearly. But she did a gig in London at the 100 Club. I think you went to this. WINEHOUSE: Wonderful.
MORGAN: It was a fantastically successful gig. And on the back of it you and the management all got together and said, great, she's up for this tour. She has a European tour. She looks like she's in top form again. That's what the media reported. The buzz around Amy was great. You tweeted at the time, don't worry about Amy. She's fine.
The tour starts in Belgrade. And I would declare an interest here because my brother-in-law, my wife's brother was Amy's sax player in the band, had been for years. Loved her very dearly. And I've seen the video footage of that night, and it was a catastrophe. I mean, just a shambles. It must have been doubly so because you'd seen her performing brilliantly two weeks before. What happened in Belgrade, do you think?
WINEHOUSE: When the tour was booked, it was booked -- I mean, obviously, these things are booked nine months previously. And we sat -- Amy and I sat with Ray, her manager, and we said, do you want to do this, Amy? She said, I am desperate to go back to work, dad. I am desperate to go back to work. Please let me go back to work. And Ray says she wants to go back to work. What can we do? Let her go back to work. But I think it was the pressure of -- I think it was the pressure of having all those, which she wanted to do.
Nobody -- I can assure you, I didn't force her to do them. Ray, her manager never forced and the record company never forced her to do anything. If anybody had forced her to do anything, she'd just laugh at us all and she just run away from us. She wasn't the sort to be forced into anything. She wanted to do it.
MORGAN: Let's take another break. I want to come back and talk to you about the Amy Foundation that you have set up. What it is all about? Who is designed to help? And how all viewers can help you.
WINEHOUSE: Thank you.
MORGAN: That was Amy's last recording, a duet with Tony Bennett, "Body and Soul." And that's going to be on one of Tony Bennett's new album, "Duet 2."
I mean, quite an honor for her. He's talked very eloquently since she died about her amazing talent. I would imagine that song is going to be huge when it finally gets released.
Tell me about the foundation. You say your first thought when you heard that Amy had died was Amy Winehouse Foundation. What was the concept? What is it about this foundation? Who does it help?
WINEHOUSE: Well, it helps disadvantaged children, young adults. It's basically split into three, it will be split into three parts. The one area that I would working on with Samsung with Keith Vaz and other people.
MORGAN: He's a British member of parliament.
WINEHOUSE: British member of parliament. I've been speaking with the Commons Select Committee Advising on Drugs. There's very little help for anybody let alone young adults. The one remaining juvenile rehabilitation center in England was shut down.
MORGAN: So really it's aimed at young people maybe like Amy who get into drugs, get into alcohol or whatever, need real help. They can't at the moment get the help they need.
WINEHOUSE: Unless they can't pay. This is for people that can't pay.
MORGAN: People are watching this, and they want to help. They want to get involve with this foundation. What's the easiest way to do that?
WINEHOUSE: Well, the easiest way is to go on WWW.AmyWinehouseFoundation.Co.UK and donate. But that's only one aspect. The other aspects are we are helping hospices. We're helping children's hospitals. I'm working with small charity called Hopes and Dreams who send six terminally ill children away with their families to something like Disney World every year. And it's these small charities that we aim to help, and we aim to do the same in this country and in the U.S. as well.
MORGAN: What for you, Mitch, is the great memory of Amy? Either professionally or personally, or both?
WINEHOUSE: Well, the great memories are seeing her on stage for the first time, but my great memories, the last -- I went away on the Friday to New York, as I say, I had a show the following Monday at the Blue Note. And on the Thursday, she phoned me up. She was so excited. She phoned me three times a day, every day, even when she was at her worst with the drugs, she phoned me three times a day.
Dad, dad, dad, dad. What is it, darling? I just found a bundle of photographs, a box of photographs there's nana in it, there's your dad, there's Alex when he was a little boy. And I went around, and we were going through these photographs together.
My memories of her, obviously, will never fade. She's my daughter, but the love that she had for her family and her friends, and there's so much more that we can speak about but we don't have the time, and her generosity. That's what I'll remember most, her generosity.
MORGAN: I'm told she had a great sense of humor.
MORGAN: That it was a laugh a minute with Amy. And actually there is sort of, this impression of her that somehow she was this depressive character. That was never the case.
MORGAN: I know she had some ups and downs in her life, but she always remained a great cheery force to be around and a funny girl and everything else. I mean, you must miss her terribly, right?
WINEHOUSE: We were. We are all heartbroken. Heartbroken.
MORGAN: What do you hope her legacy will be, Mitch?
WINEHOUSE: Her legacy will be her music, hopefully there will be -- hopefully there will be some more music. I don't think there is a great deal to come. There will be some more, hopefully. And her foundation. Her foundation is going to help thousands and thousands of children, and what better legacy could you want than that?
MORGAN: She was one of the greatest talents I've ever seen. As a singer-songwriter, I mean, to me the best Britain's produced since sort of Elton John days.
And you know, I think that the legacy will be the amazing music. I also think that your interview today will stand as a great legacy to Amy Winehouse because, you know, she had the love of a great father, and I don't think there is anything more you could have done. People that criticize you should just shut up because they don't know the half of it, and you tried everything you could and you have my deepest sympathy, you really do.
WINEHOUSE: Thank you.
MORGAN: Good luck with everything, Mitch.
WINEHOUSE: Thank you, Pierce.
MORGAN: Thanks very much for coming in.
MORGAN: Coming up, the heroes who saved a trapped motorcyclist when they lifted a burning car.
MORGAN: Now a story that just might restore your faith in humanity. A motorcyclist in Utah owes his life to my next guest. Brandon Wright swerved his bike yesterday morning when a car drove into his path. He was pulled under that car and trapped and his bike caught fire. That is when a group of heroic bystanders sprang into action, lifting the car and pulling Wright free.
Joining me now are three of those heroes, James Odei, Anvar Suyundikov and Abbass Al-Sharif. And on the phone, Brandon Wright's uncle Tyler Riggs.
Gentleman, first of all, let me congratulate you on an outstanding act of bravery. The whole of America is talking about it, probably, thanks to the Internet, the whole world. A remarkable thing to witness.
James, let me start with you. You're all students at the Utah State University. When you first saw what was going on -- JAMES: Yes.
MORGAN: What went through your mind?
JAMES: For a moment, I thought it was just too -- a car and a motorcycle on fire until I got to the scene where my wife was already there. And she was the one who indicated to me that there is a body under the car, and quickly, all that came to my mind was, oh if it was my son or my kid brother or anybody that is known to me, the first thing I would have done was to help that person. So all I did was to quickly rush and give a helping hand.
MORGAN: And, Anvar, we can see the pictures here. Clearly, very dangerous. That car could have exploded at any moment. None of you seemed to be concerned for your own safety. When you look back at the video, what do you think now?
ANVAR SUYUNDIKOV, RESCUED TRAPPED MOTORCYCLIST: At first, when I saw it was a fire, an accident, I didn't think about myself. I think -- I thought about this poor guy underneath the car, and I thought the car was going to explode.
MORGAN: That's an amazing thing. Abbass, let me come to you. I mean, do you consider yourselves to be heroes?
ABBASS AL-SHARIF, RESCUED TRAPPED MOTORCYCLIST: Um, I don't -- I don't think hero, like, would be like the word to describe the people who were like trying to help lifting the car, or helping the person, I mean Brandon. I think I would like to say that we are just human being trying to help, like, another human being. It is like our human instinct that drove us, it is nothing -- nothing other than that.
ODEI: It is like where we come from, I'm originally from Ghana and where we come from is, like, we always try to be our brother's keeper and that is what we were trying to do there, just to help a fellow human being. That is all we were trying to do.
MORGAN: Well, let me bring in somebody how I think may quibble with this category of hero, and that's Tyler Riggs. He's Brandon Wright's uncle.
Tyler, can you hear me?
TYLER RIGGS, BRANDON WRIGHT'S UNCLE (via-telephone): Yes, I can, Piers.
MORGAN: You got three gentlemen there who perform an extraordinary act of bravery today who don't think they are heroes. What do you think?
RIGGS: James, Anvar, Abbass, I think you are all heroes as well as everyone who helped to that scene. I thank you on behalf of my family, and I know that my nephew, Brandon, would hope to thank you at some point, too. I know that you might be shy and want to dislodge the title, but you are heroes to our family.
AL-SHARIF: You're welcome.
MORGAN: And Tyler, can you tell me, what is Brandon's -- clarify what Brandon's condition is please, Tyler?
RIGGS: He is still in the Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Salt Lake City, which is about 90 miles south of Logan, but they are hoping to move him out of that unit later today and move him into a regular patient room, where they will upgrade him to the condition of satisfactory.
He is -- he is in good spirits. He was talking to us earlier and going through physical therapy, and felt good after that. He -- things could have been much worse. There no head injuries, no brain trauma, or anything along those lines, just broken bones, a bad burn on a foot and some road rash, and things could have been much, much worse and they weren't. So, thankfully, it is for the people that were there yesterday.
MORGAN: I mean, has Tyler been well enough to see this video? Is he aware of the video?
RIGGS: He has actually did see the video earlier today during some news coverage, and he -- that was the first time that he had seen it, and he was shocked by it. He was taken aback. And he said holy and then a word I don't think I can say on CNN. He was pretty shocked.
MORGAN: And what was -- what was his view, do you think, of the people that saved his life?
RIGGS: I think that he thinks that they were all -- they were all heroes. They will all be heroes for him and it's -- he is thankful. He knows that he was lucky, and he is lucky, and he is always going to be thankful to everyone that helped him yesterday.
MORGAN: And James, let me ask you on behalf of the group, that you have heard that from Brandon's uncle that he is going to make a good recovery, by the sound of it. He thinks that you are heroic and you saved his life. What is your reaction?
ODEI: I'm not kind of surprise. I have this faith that he was going to survive. So to hear that he is doing OK, and he is doing great, I just praise my maker for that.
MORGAN: Well, as far as I'm concerned, you are all heroes. You are the pride of America tonight, and I congratulate you and salute you on an outstanding act of courage. And you have almost certainly saved this young man's life. And as his uncle said, you know, you are just heroes, guys, so thank you very much.
ODEI: Thank you, too.
ODEI: And I look forward to seeing you on "American's Got Talent." MORGAN: Well, I'm certainly won't be as heroic as you on that. That I can promise you, but I appreciate it. Thanks very much to all of you.
AL-SHARIF: Brandon, I'm glad you make it.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. "AC360" starts right now.