Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phil Spector: Murderer of actress Lana Clarkson

[the above image of (on left) Phil Spector and (on right) Lana Clarkson, is from here]

You'll be hearing this again and again:
He was violent to a woman because of the drugs he was on or the alcohol he consumed. He was violent to a woman because he was crazy. He was violent to a woman because he was trying to be funny. He was violent to a woman because he was a depressive, or a misanthrope. What is left out of these "don't-blame-me(n)" analyses is that he was violent to a woman precisely because he was a man and she was a woman.

As has been once noted, men's violence against women becomes "a human being's violence against another human being" when it is committed by a man against a woman and the media wishes to de-politicise it by calling it something other than part of men's war against women, part of the on-going gynocide.

Jim Fusilli closes the article below, from the Wall Street Journal, with this:
"Phil Spector, producer, is now Phil Spector, murderer. It may take a good long while until we can listen to his work without remembering that."

And I suppose that's the point: we're supposed to not worry our little heads about the gynocide or any particular woman-killers for too, too long. Eventually, folks, it'll all fade away, and we can once again listen to music made by a gynocidalist, and think, "Wow, what an artist!" I hope that we remember one thing primarily about Phil Spector: he is a woman-killer.

To any Beatles fans:
I strongly recommend purchasing and listening to the 2003 release of Let It Be... Naked, by the Beatles, rather than the original (1970 vinyl/1990 CD) release of Let It Be, way over-produced by the gynocidalist Phil Spector.

The following article on Phil Spector is from here.

* APRIL 16, 2009

From a Wall of Sound to a Prison Cell
By Jim Fusilli

Los Angeles
Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. (Reproduced here for non-commercial purposes only.)

Phil Spector's contribution to rock is undeniable. His productions elevated the pop record to art through outsize arrangements and orchestrations that heightened the poignancy in songs of adolescent love. Now-classic early '60s "Wall of Sound" productions for the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers -- "little symphonies for kids," he called them -- are among rock's greatest recordings, as is his later work first for the Beatles and then for John Lennon and George Harrison as solo artists. Had he only been a composer, co-writing such songs as "Chapel of Love," "Spanish Harlem" and "Baby, I Love You" with the likes of Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, his role would be memorable. He played the guitar solo on the Drifters'"On Broadway" and piano on Lennon's "Love," two pretty nice credits. You can run down the litany of popular music's great producers -- Berry Gordy, George Martin, Brian Wilson, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Daniel Lanois, Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, Rick Rubin, Dr. Dre and Timbaland, among them -- and not find someone who had his sense of scale and breadth of vision.

But that's just part of his legacy, which will soon include a sentence of at least 18 years in prison. On Monday, a jury here convicted Mr. Spector of the second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson, and the 69-year-old now awaits sentencing on May 29 for his crime.

People in the music business have long known that Mr. Spector could be a crude, desperate little man. In the studio, he demanded absolute control and demonstrated utter disdain for many of the singers and musicians he employed. He hadn't done any meaningful work in decades. Surrendering to the sway of alcohol and drugs, and taken to comparing himself to Shakespeare and Mozart, Mr. Spector ended up in a succession of Los Angeles-area mansions surrounded by go-fers, bodyguards and seemingly interchangeable girlfriends prior to his 2006 marriage to Rachelle Short. In his Spector biography "Tearing Down the Wall of Sound," writer Mick Brown reveals a troubled man who might have been dismissed as another delusional show-biz misanthrope -- if he hadn't had a propensity for violence through gunplay.

In some circles, Mr. Spector's disregard for gun safety was as legendary as his productions. He greeted guests at his home wearing a .38 in a shoulder holster. In 1972, he was arrested in Beverly Hills for pointing a gun at a woman; charged with carrying a concealed weapon and a loaded firearm in a public place, he paid a $200 fine and was placed on one year's probation. Three years later, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge after he aimed a gun in the face of a valet at the Beverly Hills Hotel. During his two trials for Ms. Clarkson's murder, the first of which ended in a deadlocked jury in 2007, five women testified that Mr. Spector threatened them at gunpoint.
[f] Associated Press

Phil Spector, center, stands with his attorney Doron Weinberg, left, as the verdict is read his trial in Los Angeles on Monday.

Celebrities were treated to similar shenanigans. According to Mr. Brown's biography, Mr. Spector, weapon in hand, locked the door to his Beverly Hills mansion behind Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, refusing to let her leave. Mr. Brown also reports that Mr. Spector was wearing a handgun in 1973 when he attended the Ali-Norton fight at the L.A. Forum in a group that included Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond and James Taylor; later that night, when he was introduced to Frank Sinatra at Trader Vic's, he was still wearing the gun. Once he pulled a gun in a studio at the Record Plant and accidentally fired it; the bullet somehow missed Lennon. On another occasion, a drunken Mr. Spector pressed the muzzle of a gun against Leonard Cohen's neck. "Leonard, I love you," he said. Nudging the barrel aside, Mr. Cohen replied: "I hope you do, Phil."

On Feb. 3, 2003, after a night of drinking at four Hollywood-area nightspots, Mr. Spector brought Ms. Clarkson, 40, to his Alhambra mansion, arriving at about 3 a.m. Some two hours later, he emerged through a back entry, gun in his hand. "I think I killed somebody," he told his driver, who when he entered the house saw Ms. Clarkson's body. A single .38 caliber bullet had been discharged in her mouth. The driver called 911.

At the police station, Mr. Spector, who had tried to alter the crime scene prior to the arrival of the authorities, claimed the victim had killed herself while singing "Da Doo Run Run" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," two of his best-known productions. The jury agreed with the prosecution, finding that Mr. Spector had killed her.

Phil Spector, producer, is now Phil Spector, murderer. It may take a good long while until we can listen to his work without remembering that.

Mr. Fusilli is the Journal's rock and pop music critic. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @wsjrock.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page D9

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