Response to the Tears of Clive and The Hired Help
by Diamanda Galás
February 16 2012

La respuesta de Clive Davis me hace reir. Bingo. Like of course “I really loved you,” Whitney.

Um hm. Chaka Kahn didn’t go to the party, did she? Now why is that? Because as Whitney’s dear friend, she felt it was out of order to celebrate. Let’s not forget that a party is a party, and if you put on black for five minutes and then go back to your silver lamé, that is still a party, not a funeral.

So we are not played by this stinking rhetoric. Got me?

Let’s now get clinical. Clinical Depression often leads to congestive heart failure. This means: laying in bed depressed like Amy Winehouse for days on end, tortured hours on end, and finally deciding that she could be immortal if she took a real vacation and left the world of users who thought her “illness” was a sham and “get on stage, girl…you can do it…” and leads to death by congestive heart failure which is also medically defined as “a broken heart.”

Broken by whom. Oh Daddy, it is not nice to be fundamentally incapable of being honest with yourself: that means you are a DOPEFIEND, and we don’t like that, do we?

Valium? Ativan? PLEASE.

An overdose of these drugs is a plea to be left alone. Permanently.

“Please, I cannot sing now. Please leave me alone. I can no longer disgrace myself for a dime. Yes: THAT dime. The one that says, “I owe you, Daddy.” Your dime.

Let’s discuss clinical depression. It is a disease, just like congestive heart failure, or diabetes. It is a disease that is not discussed enough, and its medical treatment is often not taken seriously by those not affected. Old friends disappear and call a clinically depressed person a LOSER and WASHED-UP. And that certainly HELPS the clinically depressed person, doesn’t it?

What friends now step up to the plate? FANS. Now we have reached the beginning of the end.

When you are lying in bed and cannot move, only a fan will get you food from the store. And other things.

And let’s discuss the vocal cords and what might have happened to Whitney Houston and so many other singers.

How about this scenario? Nervous breakdown from overwork on both recordings and live tours, TV appearances, radio appearances, interviews, and only your record company liaison to comfort you–of course she is in bed with the big man so her mercy is “okay, honey, we can drop the South Dakota interviews.” Now lots of cortisone. Too much cortisone. Can’t sleep with that, so lots of sleeping pills.

Then something real bad happens. One can be vocal cord damage, but just as bad is the following: The arytenoid cartilage (there are two) pull the vocal cords apart so the singer cannot phonate (make a sound). Healing can require vocal rest and sedatives for complete relaxation of this cartilage, which is currently out of alignment. In this way the vocal cords can come back together. Gentle vocal exercises are required, which systematically bring back the phonation. Slowly, methodically, and without stress and especially without GUILT.

The arytenoids are the glands in the aryepiglottic fold of the larynx. Singing is a science. And anyone in a gospel church or on an operatic stage will tell you that being a medium for the gods or a God, requires a supremely healthy instrument. And that if the god is only Clive Davis, you will not be able to sing. Because you will feel like a whore and the door will be closed to the Spirit.

Voice therapy is not the same as a show at Madison Square Garden or a venue like it, to “celebrate the return of the VOICE.”

That is called SADISM.

Voice therapy is called “believing in the artist, or love.”

Pimping out the artist to big shows when she is shaking with terror–“Welcome back, sucker…you owe me, bitch”–is called EXPLOITATION…Call it what it is, Daddy. This is Hollywood, so don’t suddenly play all lovey-dovey. That’s an oxymoron, moron.


I mourn the death of Whitney Houston, whom I adored. Her incomparable voice, which influenced almost every R&B and pop singer worldwide, her stage presence, which no one can touch, and her beauty, tough and sweet, moved me. Whitney … Whitney … was put back onstage before she was ready to perform – by the colossal pig Clive Davis – who continued his party in the same hotel where she died and where her body still lay. Heresy.

Whitney should have been allowed to study for a minimum of two years with a voice therapist/teacher before even rehearsing, let alone performing, onstage. It is a gigantic jump to go from not performing to performing – and a much larger one to go from not performing and living a life without discipline, the leisure life, in particular, to performing.

What was she put onstage as? A lesson that “drugs kill”? “Hey wanna see a crack ho sing?” Courtesy of Clive Davis. “Wow, man, that will be some freaky shit, right?” “You bet, man.”

Great. Now Mr. Davis will be able to package her death in frills and sell it big time – even during the nadir of record sales. (Sony and iTunes have already begun selling the back catalogue at exceedingly high prices, hours after her death, possibly minutes). And Clive and Sony will say, “Even though we do not hope to even break even with this uncompromising tribute to Whitney Houston, we feel, personally, that it is her due, as the foremost singer ever on our labels, and as lovely girl she always was to us.” Etc, etc, puke puke puke.

Mr. Davis thought nothing of keeping her up onstage while she received humiliating reviews and she represented DOPEFIEND LOSER of THE WAR ON DRUGS. He probably said, “Ignore those jealous fools, dear; the more you sing, the more you’ll begin to really sing.” Pure entertainment for the folks that know better.

And the press will make more correlations between death days and birthdays and dead dopefiend performers and pour more gasoline on her body. Another party where she was close by but unreachable.

I feel deep sorrow for Whitney. I feel no sorrow for anyone else other than her family and those who still loved her.

And a deep loathing for those who ran her into the ground. Sure, one was Bobby Brown, but he is a common idiot.

The bigger picture?

Think a minute.