*This is not an exact transcript, but rather an outline of my notes.
Today I’m going to tell you about music producer Phil Spector, and the death of Lana Clarkson. Phil Spector has a lot of achievements and a really… interesting life, like he’s had a lot of relationships with interesting people. I could tell you all about it but it would be like two full episodes just on Phil’s life and achievements, which I don’t feel like doing, and also, fuck ‘em. I’d rather use this time to talk about the crime and shine a little light on who Lana Clarkson was.
But don’t worry, there’s a lot of juicy stuff about Phil that I can’t leave out and his history of relationships is seemingly pretty relevant to the case, so this episode is still pretty Phil-heavy.
If you’re interested in learning more about Phil after this episode, I’ll list some great books about him on the episode page on brokenlimelight.com (link is in this episode’s description)
I also listened to two podcasts who did a great job covering this case– Redhanded had a lot of good information about the crime itself. The other podcast is Hollywood Crime Scene, one of my favorites. They did a really in depth podcast episode on this case, and they really dove into the early life of Phil Spector and his relationship with Ronnie Bennet from the Ronettes.
Phil Spector was born 12/26/1939 in the Bronx to jewish immigrant parents.
When he was just 8 years old, he slost his father to suicide. His gravestone was inscribed “Ben Spector. Father. Husband. To Know Him Was To Love Him"
He was a small, scrawny, awkward kid and from a young age, he found comfort in music. He was given a guitar at his bar mitzvah. In high school, he formed the band the Teddy Bears, who released a song called “To Know Him is to Love Him”, which reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1958 (he was just 18).
The Teddy Bears broke up and Phil started a project called The Spectors Three. It was said that Phil had stage fright, so he never really performed again, and then he started a production company with Lester Sill in 1961, called Philles Records, making him the youngest label owner in the US at just 21 years old.
And he was very successful. Dude was pretty much a millionaire by his early 20s.
Phil was the producer behind songs by The Crystals, The Righteous Brothers, a couple Beatles songs, and most notably– the Ronettes.
Phil was well-known for his “Wall of Sound” technique. This was like a musical formula that Phil used to produce a big, big, kind of orchestral sound. There was more to it than just playing loudly– He would like use more instruments than usual, like combining acoustic with electric instruments, and he would layer them over each other and mix them perfectly to make one big sound. (hence ‘wall of sound’). He also used session musicians, like The Wrecking Crew, and they actually helped him develop the Wall of Sound and went on to become his house band.
"a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids"
In 1963, he married Annette Merar, who was the lead vocalist of The Spectors Three.
To be honest, there’s not very much information out there about Annette. Phil had a production company at one point that he named Annette Records after her. But even back then, pretty much everyone was like “nobody knows anything about her.”
In March 1963, Phil signed the Ronettes. The Ronettes were made up of Ronnie (Veronica) Bennett, her sister Estelle, and their cousin Nedra.
They released the hit “Be My Baby” in August 1963. Not long after The Ronnettes were signed with Philles Records, Phil started having an affair with Ronnie.
Ronnie didn’t know Phil was married at this time. She was a good girl and they were really just talking and flirting for a while. They weren’t even having sex. But Ronnie was wrapped up in romance with Phil.
Phil was really possessive and controlling of Ronnie. In January 1964, the Ronnettes went to the UK for their first British tour. According to one of the Ronettes, Nedra Talley, as soon as they stepped foot on British soil, Phil did a weird thing with his voice, he like changed his voice and started speaking in a higher pitch that was clearly not his natural voice.
The Rolling Stones opened for the Ronettes, and Phil forbade the Stones from fraternizing with the Ronettes.
On their first night in the UK, Ronnie met John Lennon and they instantly hit it off. At some point, they kissed and tumbled onto a bed together, and she stopped him and said “I can’t, I’ve got a guy waiting back home.”
A month later, February ‘64, The Beatles came to America for the first time. This was peak British invasion/Beatlemania, and the Beatles actually invited the Ronette’s to fly back to America with them.
Phil forbade this, he absolutely would not allow it. On Feb. 7th, 1964, The Beatles arrived at JFK airport in New York. This was a huge thing, it was all over the news and the radio. Ronnie was watching their arrival on tv, and as they’re stepping off the plane, you can see Phil Spector stepping off with them. So he flew to the UK so he could fly back with the Beatles, after telling the Ronettes they couldn’t do that.
She was really, really hurt, angry, disappointed.
June ‘64, Ronnie lost her virginity to Phil. Phil’s hair started to fall out around this time (age 24) so he started wearing toupees. Ronnie would tease him about how silly the toupees were.
Phil became more and more possessive. One day, Sonny Bono took the Ronnette’s out to lunch. When they got back to the studio, Phil had destroyed everything in a tantrum.
Phil never seemed to have any actual friends. He of course worked with a lot of people and had tons of work relationships, but he didn’t have any true friends or real confidants.
He also had a real temper problem. A lot of people think it’s because of his small stature. Like a Napoleon complex. Phil was scrawny as hell and he was only 5’5’’ and super defensive about it. Whenever anyone would tease him about his small stature, he would be like “ok, meet me outside” and he’d wait outside with a gun in hand and two gigantic body guards.
One day, he was at the studio and his mom came to bring him some soup. I think he was maybe under the weather, and his mom is this little jewish lady and she came by and brought him her homemade soup. Phil actually locked her out of the building and told everyone not to let her in, like “I’m not here”. He was bitching like “I’m a grown ass man! I’m a millionaire! I don’t need my mom bringing me soup!”
Darlene Love was in the studio with Ronnie and Ronnie was like “isn’t he just so cute? Isn’t he the sweetest?” and Darlene was like “...I guess.” and Ronnie was like “look, I’m gonna marry this man.” and Darlene was like “girl, he is married.”
Ronnie was like– Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
She started asking “who tf is this woman?” and Darlene was like “look, I don’t know. Her name is Annette and she lives in his penthouse but nobody knows anything about her.” Ronnie at this moment starts to put two and two together and remembering things, like seeing woman’s shoes at his house that he said were his cousin’s.
She was pissed, but she was afraid of losing her career. So she decided not to confront Phil and just tough it out. She pretended it wasn’t happening to the point that she eventually kind of forgot.
In 1965, the Ronettes were voted the third-top singing group in England behind the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
But before long, the Ronnette’s star was fading– thanks to Phil. It seems that he didn’t want Ronnie to get too big. He didn’t want her to move up and start working with other producers, he didn’t want her to have any more power. Like, where she was now, he was still in control. So he didn’t want her to grow.
Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars– her cousin Elaine filled in for her because Phil didn’t allow her go to.
Song “Chapel of Love” was supposed to be for the Ronnette’s. They recorded it and Phil found some imaginary problem with it, and he ended up giving it to the Dixie Cups.
Ronnette’s were asked to tour with Beatles’ in ‘66, but Phil guilted Ronnie not to go, telling her she needed to be in the studio. Replaced by Elaine again. John was so bummed out, he thought her voice was incredible and she was the shit. The whole band was bummed.
Not to mention Ronnie. Can you imagine being invited by the Beatles to tour with them, in 1966, at the peak of their career. That had to be huge for them, and Ronnie had to sit it out.
One night, Ronnie and Phil were having dinner with Ronnie’s mom and Ronnie’s mom talked about the tour and mentioned how John Lennon just went on and on about how he loved Ronnie’s voice and how he wished she was there. Phil had steam coming out of his ears. He threw his napkin down and was like “god damnit!”
Phil & Ronnie got a mansion together in Beverly Hills. Phil quietly divorced Annette.
“River Deep Mountain High”- Tina Turner ‘66 was a flop originally. Phil was devastated. Depressed. (Song picked up in the 70’s, became a huge hit.)
But in ‘66, Phil became depressed and reclusive after this song seemed not to be successful. He was also depressed about the death of his buddy, Lenny Bruce. He actually hung a giant poster of Lenny Bruce over their bed, which kind of freaked Ronnie out to sleep underneath this thing.
After this, Phil didn’t come out much or do any interviews for a while. He was a recluse. He would lock himself in his study all day long and only come out to eat or sleep.
Ronnie would become really lonely and bored (without Phil, she’s not producing music) and she ended up turning to alcohol (age 25) and developing alcoholism.
Up until now, she didn’t really drink. She was around it a lot, a lot of people in the industry would get drunk all the time.
So now at 25, she’s living with Phil who’s always drunk too, and he wouldn’t let her do anything. Like she would try to clean the house or make herself something to eat, and he would yell at her saying “we have maids for that! Why are you doing that?!”
If Ronnie wanted to go to the store or anything, she had to take this inflatable doll that was dressed up like Phill in the passenger seat.
Phil noticed that she was getting drunk all the time and he put a padlock on his bar so she couldn’t get to it. So she’d have to go to the store more and more often to pick up more and take her inflatable Phil doll with her every time.
Phil was also emotionally and psychologically abusive.
He had a glass coffin with gold on the top, like Snow White’s, and he say things like “this is the coffin you’re going to be buried in” and “if you leave me, you’ll be in that coffin where i can watch after you even after you’re dead.”
He started referring to Ronnie by her full first name– Veronica– which nobody called her. To me that’s a lot like when you’re talking to a child and you use their middle name.
Or, its like he’s trying to re-make her identity and separate her from Ronnie the star.
Ronnie always wanted to have a family but she wasn’t able to get pregnant. They would end up adopting 3 children together. (the kids would later claim that Phil was abusive towards them and would trap them in a room with locks on the door.)
‘72– became sober and started going to meetings. She got a sober and was active in the program, and was doing really well and starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
One night, Ronnie came home late from her AA meeting and Phil was pissed, so he locked her out of the house. Ronnie’s mom had actually been staying with them, so Ronnie got her mom’s attention and she let her in. Ronnie snuck inside, kicked off her shoes. Then Phil came downstairs and he was livid, and he freaked out on them. A screaming match ensued between Phil, Ronnie, and Ronnie’s mom. Phil was yelling all kinds of things from “what the fuck, fuck you” to making death threats. Ronnie’s mom yelled to him “I’ll grab that wig off your skinny little head!”
I don’t know if I said this already, but Phil liked to wear wigs. Not toupees– wigs. That’s a whole thing, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Phil was screaming, telling Ronnie that if she tried to leave him, he would kill her and he knows how to do it and get away with it. He actually grabbed Ronnie’s shoes and hid them (which was a thing he regularly did during arguments to keep her from leaving). But Ronnie was like “fuck this”.
And she left.
Fortunately, Ronnie was able to get out and divorce him in ‘74, and she did have a happy ending and remarried years later, in 1982.
Back to Phil– In the 70’s Phil got back into the studio.
Phil was notorious for always having guns on him, and getting wasted on Manischewitz during these recording sessions. He was often seen angrily and drunkenly waiving his gun in the air. There was even one occasion (1973) he was in the studio with the band and they were recording with John Lennon, and Phil became upset about something, like he didn’t like something in the way the band was playing, and he went into the recording room and started spouting off with his gun in the air, berating the band, and actually shot into the ceiling.
He once pulled a gun on Leonard Cohen. He had a bottle of Manischewitz in one hand, and the gun in the other, and he held the gun to Leonard’s throat and said “Leonard I love you.”
To which Leonard replied “I hope you do.”
He also pulled a gun out on the Ramones in 1979 during a session.
In ‘74 Phil had a horrendous car accident and got 700 stitches in his head and face. (goodbye to what’s left of phil’s natural hair).
This is where Phil’s love of wigs really began.
Phil was notorious for his wigs. And like I said these weren’t like toupees, these were full on wigs and they weren’t subtle. And he didn’t even like try to pass it off as natural because he would change his wigs constantly. Like one day you’ll see him with short brown hair, and the next day you’ll see him with his giant gray afro. And then you’d see him with like a blonde bob cut.
I mean Phil Spector changed his wigs more than most women do. He had a new ass look every day.
I’ll post a collage of his many looks on the website.
So Phil becomes reclusive again and spends all his time at his mansion in Alhambra, which he called a “castle”.
2/03/2003– the night of the murder.
Phil left his “castle” in Alhambra at about 7pm to meet his date at a high end restaurant called “The Grill on the Alley”.
Well this was apparently just his first date for the evening, because after dinner, Phil’s chauffeur drove his date home and then they drove back to “The Grill on the Alley” for a second date with one of the servers of the restaurant. (It’s unclear if he had just met the server that night while on his first date; it’s shitty either way.)
The driver took Phil and his second date to a bar called Trader Vics, and after that they went to another bar called Downtowners, one of Phil’s favorites.
By the way, Phil’s been drinking straight rum since like 7:30 PM. So by midnight, Phil’s wasted. After the date, he wasn’t ready to go home. So he headed to the House of Blues in Los Angeles a little after midnight, where Lana Clarkson was working as a server.
When Phil walked in, Lana stopped him and said “ma’am, ma’am I’m sorry, you can’t go in there.”
Poor Lana was obviously embarrassed when a coworker explained to her that this was legendary producer Phil Spector.
And Phil, Phil was like “I’m not a ma’am! Somebody tell this bitch who I am! I’m Phil fucking Spector!”
In Lana’s defense, Phil was this scrawny little old man, 5’5’’ and wearing probably the fucking Carol Burnett wig. She thought he was a little old lady.
So Lana went above and beyond to make up for it and take really good care of Phil as patron of the business. And she was truly starstruck when she found out who he was.
Let me tell you a bit about Lana. She was a B movie actress so her name might not be familiar to everyone, but she did have a really consistent career and quite a cult following. She was probably best known for starring in the movie Barbarian Queen, and she had bit parts in shows and movies;
She made her screen debut as a minor character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), director Amy Heckerling's coming-of-age comedy. She played the wife of science teacher Mr. Vargas (Vincent Schiavelli). The film was her first speaking role. She appeared in Scarface (1983) behind Michelle Pfeiffer dancing on the floor of the Babylon Club.
Anyway, even though she wasn’t exactly a household name, she wasn’t struggling to find work.
Around Christmas 2001, Lana was involved in an accident where she broke both of her wrists. She had to undergo numerous surgeries on each of her hands.
This is what really limited Lana’s ability to take on roles. Lana’s roles tended to be really physical and stunt heavy. She often played like some kind of horse-riding warrior princess, so this was a pretty big blow to her career and it kept her away from acting for over a year.
So Lana reached out to friends and relatives kind of asking for their opinion on whether she should retire from acting. This is how she landed her job at the House of Blues.
According to Lana’s PR manager, Lana’s wrists didn’t keep her out of the game altogether, and the two of them were actually working on a publicity plan together for a stand-up show she was going to do.
This is all important because when Lana died, nobody was there except her and Phil, and it would later be claimed that Lana was depressed about her career and suicidal.
So when Phil went to the House of Blues and Lana found out who he was, she was pretty starstruck and tried her best to be friendly and to be a good server.
The HOB would close at 2am, so around 1:45am, Phil asked Lana to come back to his castle for a drink. Initially, she declined, but she was seen getting into his car at about 2:30am on the parking lot’s surveillance footage.
They got to the “castle” around 3am. The chauffeur who was driving them that night was named Adriano De Souza, and Phil told him to wait at the end of the driveway while he and Lana went inside.
What happened inside of Phil’s castle during the next two hours can’t be known for sure.
Between 4 and 5am, Adriano, the driver, heard a loud noise, after which, Phil stumbled outside with a gun in one hand, and said “I think I killed somebody.”
Adriano, before calling the police, called up Phil’s manager, Michelle Blaine. She didn’t answer so he left message saying something like “Mr. Spector, I think he killed somebody. I’m calling the police right now.”
And then he called the police.
Police arrived at around 5:10am. They see Phil come out through the backdoor, drunk, and they asked him to take out his pockets, and Phil became belligerent and flat out refused.
The police at this point don’t know who the shooter is. They just know that there’s a suspected homicide and the suspect is still armed. And Phil was absolutely not cooperating, so they arrested him.
Throughout the whole time the police were there, Phil didn’t even try to tell the police that there was a woman there who had been shot. Not only that, but he had about 15 phones in this gigantic house, and he didn’t pick up any of them to try and call the police.
The police found Lana’s body slumped over in a chair. She had been shot in the mouth. The bullet severed her spine and exited through the base of her skull, killing her almost instantly. The recoil of the gun had knocked out some of her teeth.
Lana was fully dressed. She had her shoes and her jacket on, and she also had her handbag slung over her shoulder. The gun was sitting at her feet.
So this crime scene, guys, is a bloody fucking mess. I’ll upload them to the website with like a graphic content warning, but there’s literally blood and teeth like on the floor and the walls.
Phil was arrested and locked up, and the police interviewed him and he’s like totally shitfaced, just absolutely drunk and he claims that Lana shot herself. He was recorded spouting off, saying “she’s a piece of shit! i dont know what her fucking problem is but she certainly had no right to come to my fucking castle and blow her fucking head open!”
Whether or not she killed herself, what the fuck kind of attitude is that? But also, like, what? Phil claimed that he went upstairs for a minute and when he came down, she shot herself.
But the gun was like gently rested on her left foot (she was righthanded btw), it certainly doesn’t look like she just shot herself and dropped it there from the photos (that’s just my opinion).
And like, if she wanted to kill herself, why would she do it at Phil’s house? Like why would she go home with a guy she just met, after her shift at work, and then kill herself at his house? With his gun? She just met the guy, and his house had like 33-35 bedrooms. Could she have rummaged through the rooms looking for a gun without him knowing?
And furthermore– this is just weird to me– why would she put her handbag on her shoulder before killing herself?
I just picture this like scene in Phil’s brain that’s all old Hollywood style and she’s sitting in this fancy chair, and she puts on her coat and her purse and holds the gun up and says “goodbye, cruel world. I’m on to the next world, and I’m takin’ my handbag with me.”
Phil never mentioned her name throughout the arrest or the interviews. I don’t think he actually knew what it was.
Spector made his $1 million bail, and he and his assistant, Michelle, checked into the 5 star Bel Air hotel for about a week while police investigate his “castle”.
Must be nice.
Police found a drawer open in Phil’s house (there were like 35 rooms in this house and only one drawer was open), and in it, was a holster that fit the gun that was used to shoot Lana.
Lana’s blood was found on the banister, on a doorknob, and on a blood soaked cloth in one of the bathrooms.
Some sources said this cloth was a diaper. Prosecutor said this was evidence that Phil tried to clean up the murder, while the defense argued that Phil was actually trying to aid Lana.
Police found 9 other firearms in the house and a white womens jacket that Phil wore to the HOB that night, and it was found to have had up to 18 tiny droplets of Lana’s blood on it.
Again, prosecutors said that this was proof that Phil shot her, while the defense argued that there would’ve been a lot more blood if he were that close to her.
I mean, maybe he wasn’t wearing the jacket. Maybe his jacket was like on a nearby coat rack. If he did shoot Lana in the face like that and soaked his clothing in blood, maybe he was able to dispose of the clothes somehow.
Maybe, he was wearing nothing but the diaper. (jk hehe)
While Phil was at the Bel Air hotel with his assistant, Michelle, Michelle tried to get more information from him about what actually happened. A lot of people don’t trust Michelle because she stuck by his side throughout everything, and then kind of distanced herself from Phil after he was convicted. But Michelle says that when she asked Phil about what happened, he would just say “it was an accident” but never clarified how it was an accident or provided any real explanation.
Michelle said it felt like caring for a child who was in a lot of trouble.
Once Phil was allowed to go back to his home in Alhambra, he took every opportunity to bash Lana Clarkson and would tell anyone who would listen that she killed herself, and even kissed the gun before doing so.
Like, why? Why the embellishment?
7 months after Lana’s death, LA sheriff's dept officially ruled it a homicide (9/22/03).
Phil was charged with murder, trial began 3/19/07. Phil made Michelle film him explaining how he couldn’t have possibly killed Lana Clarkson, and she killed herself and he didn’t know why and he didn’t care.
Btw, in this interview he’s wearing like a hawaiian shirt and pucca shell necklace, and an enormous wig. Looking like he’s on vacation or something. He just seems clearly delusional.
According to Michelle, Phil reached out to a lot of people for support while awaiting the trial, and nobody ever answered or got back to him. Michelle also claimed that Phil asked her to marry him, because she “knew too much” and that way she couldn’t be forced to testify against him.
Phil’s trial began. Throughout the trial, he went through 4 different lawyers, and 5 different wigs. Probably.
One of his lawyers was Robert Shapiro, who was on OJ Simpson’s legal team. And that case wasn’t all that different from this one. Ooh, Ima cover that one.
The prosecution was led by Deputy District Attorney Allen Jackson, who said that famous people have a key to the backdoor of the justice system in Hollywood, and they were not going to let it happen this time.
Jackson and his team said had a very clear argument: Lana went to Phil’s apartment, and then rejected his advances. She tried to leave, he got mad, and shot her.
The evidence pointed to this. I mean there was the witness, Adriano, who saw Phil with a gun in his hand and heard him say “I think I killed somebody”, there was the gun laying by Lana’s left foot (even though she was right handed); the jacket that he was wearing that night was found upstairs in a wardrobe and had blood on it, so he had to have taken it off and put it away between the time Lana was shot and the police arriving.
Also, a doctor testified for the prosecution and said that Lana’s tongue was bruised, indicating that the gun was forced into her mouth. Also, the blood drops on his jacket were proof that he had to be standing no more than 3 feet away from Lana, and his arms had to have been stretched out towards her.
To make things worse for Phil, the prosecution brought in 5 women who all testified under oath that they had incidents with Phil Spector where he had been drinking, and when they tried to leave, he threatened them with a gun.
With all of this evidence against Phil, the defense pointed the finger at the victim. They destroyed her character, they painted her as a depressed, washed up has-been with no hopes.
They also said that regardless of what the doctor said, blood spatter could reach to over 6 feet.
Then they argued that Phil wasn’t even in the room when Lana shot herself– but he ran in to aid her when he heard the shot, and then Lana exhaled blood which splattered onto his jacket. They insisted that Phil would’ve been covered in blood if he had truly shot her.
But as you can imagine, most of the blood actually ended up behind Lana.
The defense also tried to discredit the testimony of Adriano de Souza, the chauffeur, who was the only witness. They tried to say that English wasn’t his second language, so it’s possible he misunderstood.
You guys heard that 911 call. Adriano’s English is not bad and he sounds pretty confident on that call.
But here he is again, just for kicks.
So the defense is just trying everything to get the jury to believe them. And here’s the thing: the defense doesn’t have the burden of proof. All they have to do is ensure reasonable doubt.
The case is pretty much relying on whether the jury believes that Lana put the gun in her mouth and shot herself.
On 12/26/07, the judge declared a mistrial, as the jury was hung: 10 guilty/2 not guilty.
Allen Jackson was not about to let him off the hook. So he looked into those two jurors and it turned out that one of them believed that because there was no video evidence of Phil killing Lana, Lana could have killed herself. But like… that’s not really how reasonable doubt works? But anyway, it was a mistrial.
It’s rumored that in the second trial, there were FBI agents in the courtroom because they believed the jury had been tampered with in the first trial.
Spector and clarkson had sex? Nancy grace..
Autopsy showed no notations of semen present, no signs of sexual interference. Nancy: her dna was on his genitals and vice versa. But she doesn’t say how she knows.
If this was true, i’m sure the defense wouldve led with that.
Other claims said that phil spoke to a nurse or coroner or something who swiped lana’s genitals removing all semen before her exam (not unbelievable, and that Lana killed herself after being disgusted with herself for sleeping with Phil.
10/29/08 second trial began.
Phil was represented by Doron Weinberg who openly admitted “everyone knows that Spector waves a gun around, but he never shot anyone.”
He also told Phil to pick one wig for the trial and stick with it.
This guy is just so comical to me. Like he’s in his 60’s and the whole trial, he’s got a glazed look on his face and his lawyer’s whispering in his ear, coaching him and reminding him how to behave. And to actually have to sit him down like a child and say “listen Phil, I know you like the wigs, but I really need you to pick one.”
4/13/09, the second jury found Phil Spector guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced him to 19 years to life.
(2nd degree because it wasn’t premeditated)
I’m even willing to bet that it was an accident. I mean, maybe he stuck the gun in her mouth to threaten her but didn’t mean to shoot. Because he had done similar things with other women, so I definitely believe he stuck the gun in her mouth and then tried to cover it up. He was also completely drunk, so maybe even he isn’t really clear on how it happened.
2006, Phil married Rochelle Short, who was 26 when married. (she looks like Lana Clarkson too)
Let me remind you, Lana died in 9/2003, and the trial began in 3/2007.
So they got married right in the middle of this all.
Rochelle professed Phil’s innocence in interviews, saying “how could he have so little blood on him? Thank god he was wearing white.”
Rochelle was also really stressed out about all the debt that the trials were putting on them. (I’ll bet she was)
They filed for divorce after ten years. (2016)
Michelle Blaine has distanced herself from Phil Spector, apparently fearing for her own safety and that of her children. According to Michelle, when she quit, Phil threw a tantrum and shouted “you’re fucking fired! I should’ve killed you!”
Decades after their divorce, Phil still felt as though he had some sort of control over Ronnie. He led a campaign in 2007 to bar her from being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Donté Phillip claimed in a 2003 Mail on Sunday interview that the trio was abused by Phil and described their relationship with him as a “thin line between love and hate.”
Phil Spector died in prison in January 2021 of the Coronavirus, amo.
Ronnie spoke out about his death. “It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me,” she wrote on social media at the time.
“When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days,” she continued. “Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale. The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.”
In perhaps the understatement of the century, Ronnie added that, although her ex was “a brilliant producer,” he was “a lousy husband.” She appeared to be at peace with the role he played in her career.
“Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.”
Ronnie Spector continued recording music into her 70’s. Sadly, she died yesterday, January 12th, 2022 at 78 years old.
Her family said she "was filled with love and gratitude. Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her. In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women's shelter or to the American Indian College Fund. A celebration of Ronnie's life and music will be announced in the future. The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time."
-Sofia Holguin (waitress) testified under prosecution questioning that Clarkson initially didn’t know who the diminutive Spector was and called him “Miss Spector” before Holguin explained he was a multimillionaire producer and asked Clarkson to seat him in her area because he was known as a big tipper — he eventually tipped $450 on a $13.50 bill.
“He was very, very agitated and very fast-speaking, a little slurrish,” Holguin said when Deputy District Attorney Pat Dixon asked about Spector’s demeanor.
Holguin said he finished the drink he ordered, a high-alcohol Bacardi 151 served straight up, and asked for another but was refused because it was after 2 a.m., the cutoff time for serving alcohol.
Holguin also said she last saw Clarkson walking into an elevator with Spector. Whenasked if Spector got angry, she said no. When Rosen asked if Spector yelled or screamed, Holguin said he was loud. “But he wasn’t angry?” Rosen asked. “Not angry with me, he just seemed angry in general,” she said.
Also taking the stand was Euphrathes Lalondriz, who was in charge of security that night. He described how celebrities received special treatment and some staff communicated by radios.
He said he received an inquiry from Clarkson about whether she could sit down and have a drink with Spector, and he conferred with a higher-up who said Clarkson could not drink but could sit down with Spector.-
Annette reported missing–
– Back at the House of Blues on that fateful night, Sophia Holguin, a cocktail waitress in the club’s VIP lounge, did recognize Spector and asked Clarkson to seat him and his date in the Buddha Room, where Holguin was waiting tables.
Spector was quickly smitten – but not with Clarkson. What caught his eye was Holguin’s beauty. He left her a $436.50 tip on a $13.50 bill, dispatched his chauffeur Adriano De Souza to take his date home and then propositioned the Latina waitress.She lied and said she had an early-morning call. That’s when Spector turned his attention to Clarkson.
“I don’t know how many women Phil Spector could have picked up, but whether it was for money or power, she goes with him,” says famed Hollywood author John Gilmore, whose work includes books on the Black Dahlia and Charles Manson.
For all Holguin’s apparent interest in the wealthy recording producer – she knew that Spector was a “multimillionaire” who tipped extravagantly – she testified she became “uncomfortable” with the music icon when he angrily yelled at his date, Kathy Sullivan:
“Just sit down and have a (expletive) drink!”
It was enough to turn her off. But did she warn Clarkson? If not, why? And would it have mattered? –
– Adriano De Souza, Spector’s chauffeur, who testified that he heard a gunshot while sitting in a Mercedes in the courtyard outside the Alhambra mansion.
De Souza called 911 and then testified he saw Spector holding a .38-caliber revolver in his blood-splattered hand. He said Spector told him, “I think I killed somebody.”
Defense attorneys attempted to cloud De Souza’s credibility, noting he is a Brazilian citizen in the U.S. illegally. –
There’s a movie about Phil Spector where Al Pacino plays Phil Spector.
Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector
Be My Baby by Ronnie Spector
As always, remember to check out brokenlimelight.com for updates and additional information for each episode, merch, photos, shit like that.
If you want to get me a birthday gift, I would really love it if you would leave me a positive review on Itunes/Apple Podcast or on brokenlimelight.com, or you can send me money for beer at buymeacoffee.com/didiwest.