Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Phil Spector’s career was in shackles long before he was

May 29, 2009

Music producer Phil Spector was sentenced on Friday to 19 years to life in prison for shooting to death Hollywood actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. But the day of judgment for the “Wall of Sound” creator came long after his high-wattage career had dimmed to a glow.phil-spector

Spector was most famous in the 1960s, when he worked with The Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner and The Beatles. The radio-friendly tilt of his sound earned him the nickname The Tycoon of Teen in the ’60s, and he called his “Wall of Sound” technique “little symphonies for the kids,” because it involved overdubbing many musicians playing a wide range of instruments. But it’s a rare teen today who would be all that familiar with Spector’s recordings.  

By the 1980s, Spector had withdrawn from the music industry, with his last major recording coming in 1980 as the Ramones album “End of the Century.” His reputation was harmed by that last album, amid stories that he threatened the punk band with a gun to get them to do his musical bidding. He still collected heavy royalties, but the 1980s era of MTV and compact discs passed him by, as did the 1990s popularity of rap and alternative rock.

Spector, 69, may end up dying in prison. He won’t even be eligible for parole until he’s 88 years-old. When he was convicted in April of murdering Clarkson, it was widely covered in the news media, but it failed to attract the public interest generated by pop star Michael Jackson’s 2005 acquittal of child molestation. Since the sentencing was largely a formality – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler required by law to give a hefty sentence to Spector – there was little suspense involved in Friday’s hearing. And for a public only accustomed to hearing Spector’s musical work on “oldies radio,” is his sentencing just another criminal case?


It is thrilling to know that Phil Spector is finally behind bars, hopefully for the end of his rotten life. He had every blessing bestowed on him for him to lead a privileged and happy life, but, his malevolent black heart was unable to love, and he became more evil with each year of his life. He had a history of intimidating and threatening women with guns, and this finally culminated in a beautiful woman’s violent death at his hands. He tried to murder her twice by first destroying her body, and then destroying her memory, but, justice has been served. Halleluyah, and may all of Phil’s many victims finally begin to heal.

Posted by Sam Q. | Report as abusive

Perhaps Phil will find love in prison…or love will find him in the shower room!

Posted by bby_70 | Report as abusive

he had so much talent, though i feel his work on the Beatles penultimate masterpiece was a bit overdone.
If only since he has such issues with women, why did he not just banish them from his mansion forever rather than murder and threatent them mercilelessly? poor man would so benefitted from therapy intensity…. pacem en terris

Posted by robynsalmon | Report as abusive

Note to little men who feel they need to use a weapon to force other to comply to their wishes: Think again. Spector now is faced with the quandry of very large adversaries and no available defense. oops

Posted by Pearl | Report as abusive

People find their own way to retire. For Phil Spector, he left the Wall of sound to retire in the Walls of prison. But I think he’s a restless talented man. He’ll continue to work in his retirement. Maybe, we’ll hear about the Philly Bubbas and their hits. Yes, be my baby, yes.

Posted by larry | Report as abusive

I read his biography well before all this happened. He one weird mamba-jamba. After all, he be the man who wrote the lyrics to the song “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss.” Now he going to have new thing to replace the “Wall of Sound” with Up Against the Wall (if he play new role as someone’s little chicken in prison.


He put the business end of a .45 against the temple of Leonard Cohen’s head. That alone qualifies him for whatever awaits him in his wall of bound for gory stories. All messed up with nowhere to go but downhell, thank Him.

Posted by True B'Loser | Report as abusive

wow,and just think it only took them six years to get him into prison for murder, if he was a common man, he would have been there alot sooner………..


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see