Category: Phil Spector

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When Phil Spector and his wife Ronnie Spector adopted their son Donté

in 1969,

Phil tried to pass him off as their biological child. He wrote an actual theatrical script breakdown for Ronnie to manage the unveiling of their new child. Two years later, Phil gave Ronnie a set of adopted twins for Christmas. Just a few months after that, she escaped. Ronnie

had been tormented by Phil and kept prisoner in his mansion throughout their marriage. The day after their wedding in 1968 he surrounded the estate with a barbed-wire fence. Bars went on the windows next, and monitoring intercoms were installed in all the rooms. Then a set of 10-foot electrified gates went up. He would hide her shoes so she couldn’t leave on her own. On the rare occasions she was permitted to leave Phil made her drive with a life-size blow-up doll of himself. He frequently pulled a gun on her and installed a gold coffin with a glass top in the basement, promising that he would kill her if she tried to leave him. She escaped barefoot with the help of her mother in 1972. 

In 2009, Phil was sentenced to 19 years to life for shooting actress Lana Clarkson to death at his home in 2003.

On this day in music history: May 28, 1966 – “River Deep – Mountain High” by Ike & Tina Turner is released. Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, is the first collaboration between Turner and legendary producer Spector. In the Spring of 1966, Phil Spector approaches Tina Turner about working together. Well aware of Ike Turner’s reputation, and the tight control he has over his wife’s career, Spector pays Ike $20,000 to work with Tina and keep him out of the studio. Recorded at Gold Star Studios with members of The Wrecking Crew, Spector intends it to be his “ultimate production”. The single is credited to Ike & Tina, though Ike does not actually perform on it. However, it flops in the US peaking at #88 on the Hot 100 on June 18, 1966. Though it is a big success across Europe, hitting #3 on the UK singles chart. Crushed by the records failure in the US, Spector goes into a deep depression, causing him to withdraw from the music business for nearly two years, and signals the beginning of his decline both professionally and psychologically. In time, “River Deep – Mountain High” is regarded as one of Phil Spector’s greatest achievements, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999. The song is covered numerous times over the years, including versions by Nilsson, The Supremes & The Four Tops, Deep Purple, and Celine Dion.

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Ike and Tina Turner with Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, March 1966

Phil Spector produced the Ike and Tina Turner song “River Deep, Mountain High.” However,

Phil offered Ike $20,000 upfront in exchange for total control over the production so Ike was not a part of the making of that song. The single was successful in Europe but didn’t do as well in America. This disappointment caused Phil to go into semi-retirement. Phil later inducted Ike and Tina into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

In 2007, Phil gave a eulogy at Ike’s funeral. He said, “Ike made Tina the jewel she was.” Phil then criticized Tina’s autobiography I, Tina, he said: “I have an ambivalence towards Oprah Winfrey. She made Tina Turner’s book into a bestseller which demonized and vilified Ike. The book wouldn’t have sold 10 books. It was badly written. It was a piece of trash and because Oprah idolized Tina she didn’t feel it wrong to vilify a brother.” He also said the biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It was a “piece of trash movie.”

Phil is currently a serving a prison sentence for the second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

twixnmix:

When Phil Spector and his wife Ronnie Spector adopted their son Donté

in 1969,

Phil tried to pass him off as their biological child. He wrote an actual theatrical script breakdown for Ronnie to manage the unveiling of their new child. Two years later, Phil gave Ronnie a set of adopted twins for Christmas. Just a few months after that, she escaped. Ronnie

had been tormented by Phil and kept prisoner in his mansion throughout their marriage. The day after their wedding in 1968 he surrounded the estate with a barbed-wire fence. Bars went on the windows next, and monitoring intercoms were installed in all the rooms. Then a set of 10-foot electrified gates went up. He would hide her shoes so she couldn’t leave on her own. On the rare occasions she was permitted to leave Phil made her drive with a life-size blow-up doll of himself. He frequently pulled a gun on her and installed a gold coffin with a glass top in the basement, promising that he would kill her if she tried to leave him. She escaped barefoot with the help of her mother in 1972. 

In 2009, Phil was sentenced to 19 years to life for shooting actress Lana Clarkson to death at his home in 2003.

On this day in music history: November 22, 1963 – “A Christmas Gift To You From Philles Records” by Phil Spector/Various Artists is released. Produced by Phil Spector, it is recorded at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, CA in the Summer 1963. The thirteen track album features traditional holiday favorites given Spector’s famed “Wall Of Sound” treatment sung by Philles artists such as The Ronettes, Darlene Love, The Crystals and Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans, with musical backing by members of The Wrecking Crew. The album sells poorly at first due to it being released on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, though its popularity grows as time passes. The album is reissued in 1972 by Apple Records, and subsequently by Warner/Spector Records in 1974 (featuring first release of the album in true stereo). Original Philles Records pressings are rare, and now sell for $400-500 in excellent to near mint condition. Over the years, it comes to be regarded as one of the greatest holiday albums of all time, being reissued yearly from the mid 70’s to the present day. In November of 2014, Sony Music (current distributor of the Philles Records catalog) issues a limited edition vinyl pressing of the album pressed on red vinyl for Black Friday Record Store Day. “A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records” is inducted into The Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

When Phil Spector and his wife Ronnie Spector adopted their son Donté

in 1969,

Phil tried to pass him off as their biological child. He wrote an actual theatrical script breakdown for Ronnie to manage the unveiling of their new child. Two years later, Phil gave Ronnie a set of adopted twins for Christmas. Just a few months after that, she escaped. Ronnie

had been tormented by Phil and kept prisoner in his mansion throughout their marriage. The day after their wedding in 1968 he surrounded the estate with a barbed-wire fence. Bars went on the windows next, and monitoring intercoms were installed in all the rooms. Then a set of 10-foot electrified gates went up. He would hide her shoes so she couldn’t leave on her own. On the rare occasions she was permitted to leave Phil made her drive with a life-size blow-up doll of himself. He frequently pulled a gun on her and installed a gold coffin with a glass top in the basement, promising that he would kill her if she tried to leave him. She escaped barefoot with the help of her mother in 1972. 

In 2009, Phil was sentenced to 19 years to life for shooting actress Lana Clarkson to death at his home in 2003.

The Ronettes (1962)  

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Record producer Phil Spector with his then-future wife Veronica Bennett (Ronnie

Spector), lead singer of the Ronettes at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, California, 1966.

After they married in 1968, Phil Spector pulled her from the limelight and imprisoned her in his California mansion. The only time Spector allowed her to leave was once a month, “to go get my feminine stuff, if you catch my drift” she told The Telegraph. If she was gone longer than 20 minutes he’d send a bodyguard. According to her, she would be summoned to Phil’s side while he was recording with other artists – just to sit on the stool next to him, not moving. “He would say, ‘You’re my inspiration,‘” she recalls. She would be punished like a little girl, often sent to bed hungry.

He’d scream at her so violently, she says, that she eventually became mute: “The last year of my marriage I didn’t talk at all. Because if I said anything he’d yell at me, so why say anything. I was a scared little girl from Spanish Harlem living in this mansion with five servants, not knowing what to do with any of it. I cried every night I was married.”

Finally in 1972 she escaped after a visit from her worried mother.

Spector had a glass coffin

installed in the basement of his home. He showed Ronnie’s mother, telling her it’s where Ronnie will lie if she ever tries to leave him. Ronnie and her mother plotted her escape.

Spector

had two dogs at the front gates and a dog by the car. They asked his permission to go on a walk and left. He often hid her shoes so she left barefoot.

The Ronettes photographed by Tony Gale, 1965.

The Ronettes photographed in Los Angeles for Ebony (1966)