A few thoughts on Phil Spector, currently incarcerated awaiting sentencing for second degree murder charges:
* You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ is one of the worst rock’n’roll records ever made.
* Spector’s best record is this one– Oh Baby issued on the Annette label under the name of Harvey & Doc with the Dwellers (Doc being Doc Pomus).
* His best group, the Sleepwalkers never recorded. I can’t remember where I read it, but I do remember an interview with Kim Fowley where he recalls their only gig, a band, dressed in 40’s Noir/gangster garb (Phil on lead guitar), takes the stage in trench coats and blows the audience away with a Link Wray/Peter Gunn type spooky rock’n’roll sound. The other members include Steve Douglas and Sandy Nelson, then members of Kip Tyler & the Flips who where occasionally managed by Phil’s soon to be institutionalized sister Shirley.
* Having seen Phil pull a gun on somebody once (at Doc’s funeral), I’m fairly sure he pulled the trigger, although my guess is it was an accident and manslaughter would have been a more fitting charge. No doubt Phil rejected a plea bargain to such charges. I also think Bruce Cutler bought off a juror in the first trial (my opinion, based on no facts, only that Cutler was caught doing it in one of John Gotti’s trials). That said, prison life will not be easy for Phil, I hope he’s under suicide watch 24/7.
* A working girl friend of mine used to trick with Phil, after each meeting she’d come in the bar and quickly down 3-4 shots of tequila and then excuse herself and go to the ladies room and throw up. Her scatological stories were so vile even I don’t feel like repeating them.
* When it’s all said and done, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Phil. I feel even worse for Lana Clarkson (seen here doing her Little Richard impersonation from the Home Shopping Channel) and her family.
Spector’s lawyers attacking her obviously backfired with the jury (who could have found Phil guilty of involuntary manslaughter). They’ll probably get stiffed on their fees, as Phil is broke.
* Nick Tosches began working on a book about Spector several years back (even interviewing Spector’s first wife Annette, who had never given an interview before), but he soon gave the project up. When I asked him about it he just shrugged. The subject just couldn’t hold his interest long enough to write a book about it. Nik Cohn had a similar experience in the early seventies. Come to think of it, I’ve run out of things to say myself….