Phil Spector’s tragic trajectory finally reached its nadir today as he was sentenced to 19 years to life for the 2003 killing of Lana Clarkson.
Did anyone ever actually believe Clarkson committed suicide in front of him, like his defense team claimed? No.
During the first trial (declared a mistrial, due to his attorneys’ skillful hi-jinks before the jury, closely followed in LA Weekly by Steven Mikulan) I read He’s A Rebel, an exhaustive biography of Spector by Mark Ribowsky. It deconstructed Spector down to the lowly, cruel, powerful weasel that he apparently is.
That being said, it’s an action-packed history of early rock and pop music and his undeniable contributions to how the music is written, recorded, marketed and consumed to this day.
According to the multitudes that Ribowsky interviewed for the book, among them Spector himself, the legendary producer seems to have never passed up an opportunity to extract humiliation from those he dealt with, from collaborators to wives. My thoughts when I finished reading it? Lock him up and throw away the key.