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Re: Phil Spector is Dead

Phil Spector is Dead
January 17, 2021 09:22PM
I was shocked to see no chatter on the always "hot topic" of Phil Spector following his death. Love me some of those records, but man, he was a twisted piece of work. It seemed like all he did was threaten people [usually artists he was producing] with guns. Fortunately, it was proven possible that one could make records almost as fantastic without his penchant for behind the board skulduggery. It hurts to see people that messed up and not get the help they needed. It's a wonder than only Lana Clarkson died over the years.
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Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 17, 2021 10:17PM
It's always strange and distressing when someone's tremendous artistic accomplishments get overshadowed by their own twisted, sick behavior -- or when it becomes impossible to speak of their achievements without the conversation immediately turning toward their depredations on others.

It seems to me that I should include some tribute to Phil Spector in a future installment of my show. At the very least, it feels as if it'd be somehow fraudulent to ignore his passing altogether. Yet somehow, I just don't have the heart for it.
Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 18, 2021 05:22PM
"Tribute" doesn't seem quite right. More like, here's some great records he made with some really talented folks. There's no getting around the spectre of Phil. I mean, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" was the single most played record of the CENTURY. He had a major impact on the r'n'b scene, originally working mostly with black artists. Then you've got Brian Wilson saying that "Be My Baby" is his favourite record and Spector inspired the "pocket symphonies" of his legendary "Good Vibrations"/"Pet Sounds"/"Smile" era. John Cale said, re his Velvet Underground arrangements, “We were trying to do a Phil Spector thing with as few instruments as possible.” And of course there's all them fellas from Liverpool, first the band then a string of colossal solo hits. Even Da Bruddas are in the picture. Soul, pop, rock, punk/alt...He's the elephant in the room, it really doesn't get any bigger than him. Something we gotta deal with.
Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 19, 2021 07:15PM
Right, absolutely—-if you’re a fan of music, denying Spector’s legend is futile. Too many impressive touchstones. Nice reminders, mr fabulous!

I don’t necessarily think Delvin would be remiss if he chose not to acknowledge his passing. BUT,there’s so many good songs on ‘end of the century’ (my ramones gateway) that maybe you shouldn’t hold back?!?

I’ve never really turned on an artist for bad behavior, although maybe I should’ve. But I can’t ignore how good ‘wanna be starting something’ sounds. I don’t want to.

Bill Cosby may have been my soul-crusher; as a kid I loved that guy. How could he have done that to those women... and to me??
Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 22, 2021 10:19AM
With Spector, we can't forget that it was his artistic and financial success that enabled him to terrorize anyone he wanted to. The sense of entitlement that comes with the drug of success allowed him to finally shoot a woman to death in the mouth. After making many such gestures years earlier. And it happened because everyone looked the other way when he terrorized many others years earlier. There was a blend of artistic privilege and white male privilege that made the monster of Spector possible. The more I think about it the greater the taint on the music. Which I loved as a kid, but the more I learn about Spector, the less I can gulp it down any more.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 22, 2021 03:59PM
The stories about his abusive behavior towards women and pulling a gun on Cohen and the Ramones circulated well before he shot Clarkson, with no legal consequences. A NYC public access host said that he raped her in his limo, with several other celebrities watching. Unfortunately, if you're an "eccentric male genius," you can get a way with a hell of a lot. (Think of Michael Jackson admitting he literally slept with children in a TV interview.)
Re: Phil Spector is Dead
January 22, 2021 01:45PM
End of the Century was my Ramones gateway as well -- not to mention my Spector gateway. So yeah, there's that.

I reached out to Carol Kaye, who played bass on many of Spector's sessions. I hoped she might provide some insight, both as a professional who worked with him and as a woman who had to deal with him (however she might have had to deal with him).

Looking at it in that light, perhaps I should be glad that I haven't heard back from Carol. I might have been stirring up memories of embarrassing, even painful incidents. In any event, I got a reject message from my email; her inbox is full. At age 85, Carol might well be withdrawing more & more from the public life she'd been maintaining.
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