Away from the crowds, rare backstage footage shows Amy Winehouse covering a classic Beatles song at Glastonbury 2004

While most of the great 'Glastonbury moments' happen on the festival's stages, just occasionally, something magical is captured behind the scenes. And, when a young Amy Winehouse was invited to perform backstage by the BBC in 2004, she did indeed do something a bit special.

Steeped, as she was, in the jazz tradition, Winehouse often reinterpreted other artists’ music. Her cover of The Zutons’ Valerie - a collaboration with Mark Ronson - has arguably become the definitive version of the song, while Tears Dry On Their Own, from 2006 album Back to Black, lifts the musical backing from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s recording of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough pretty much wholesale.

Backstage at Glastonbury in 2004, though, Winehouse followed in the footsteps of many other great soul/jazz singers and chose to cover the Beatles.

Aged just 20, Winehouse performed on the Jazz World Stage at that year’s festival, sandwiched on the Sunday evening bill between Mikey Dread and Bonnie Raitt. Also playing at Worthy Farm in 2004 was one Paul McCartney, who’d headlined the Pyramid Stage the previous night.

Which is perhaps why, tucked away from the crowds in the BBC studio, Winehouse took the opportunity to perform a heavily adapted version of The Beatles’ All My Loving, with different chords and an almost unrecognisable melody. It’s just her and a guitar, leaving the singer plenty of space to fill with that extraordinary voice.

It’s not known what McCartney thought of the cover, but he did meet Winehouse several years later at the 2008 MTV European Music Awards in Liverpool. This was the same evening that the former Beatle would first encounter Kanye West, who he would later collaborate with.

McCartney told GQ in 2018: “The other person I met at the same time was Amy Winehouse, walking down the corridor. And I knew she had a problem, and I ended up just saying hi, she said hi, but afterwards I thought I really should have just run after her - 'Hey, Amy, listen, you're really good, I really hope you…' - and say something that broke through the despair. And she'd remember and think, 'Oh yeah, I'm good, I've got a life to lead.' But you always have those little regrets.” 

Although Winehouse never got the chance to headline the Pyramid Stage, she did make it there in 2007. In fact, she performed twice that year, also going on to appear on the Jazz World Stage. She returned for what turned out to be her final appearance in 2008. 

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (Glastonbury 2007) - YouTube Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (Glastonbury 2007) - YouTube
Watch On
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.