Winehouse Rules

Amy channels Ronnie Spector's high hair and Cleopatra eyes

"We came from Spanish Harlem," Spector recalls. "We had high hair anyway." So the Ronettes made their hair still higher—"We used a lot of Aqua Net"—and pressed into service one of Spector's seven aunts: the one who sewed the best.

"It was pretty simple—we took it from the streets, and sometimes we did the opposite: If girls were wearing wide dresses, we would make ours tight. We needed attention." Spector's aunt would sew fringe on the back of the dresses; when the girls turned around and started shimmying, the crowd would go wild.

Spector says the group would while away the hours backstage artfully applying makeup and teasing their hair skyward: "There was nothing else to do back there; there was just mirrors and chairs."

Amy Winehouse: Says no to rehab, yes to MTV
photo: Mishca Richter
Amy Winehouse: Says no to rehab, yes to MTV

So was it like the beginning of Dreamgirls, when the trio crowded around a dressing room table, fixing their faces and planning their future? Dead silence on the other end of the phone. Then: " Dreamgirls? Please. No. This was real."

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