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Phil Spector arrested for murder
|Posted on:|| 3 Feb 2003|| |
Record Producer Phil Spector Arrested
By ERICA WERNER
Associated Press Writer
ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP)--Phil Spector, the legendary record producer whose ``Wall of Sound'' helped change the sound of pop music in the 1960s, was arrested Monday after a woman was shot to death at his suburban mansion.
Spector, 62, was arrested at the castle-like estate around 5 a.m. as part of a homicide investigation, sheriff's Sgt. Joe Efflandt said. He was taken to the Alhambra Police Department and bail was set at $1 million.
Defense attorney Robert Shapiro, whose clients have included O.J. Simpson, declined comment.
Authorities did not immediately identify the woman or her relationship to Spector. A black Mercedes-Benz sedan with the passenger door open was parked in the driveway of the home, cordoned off by police tape.
Records show Spector bought the home for $1.1 million in 1998. A close friend, attorney Marvin Mitchelson, said Spector lived alone and didn't have a girlfriend.
Mitchelson said he and Spector had been trying to put together a movie about Spector's life. ``His mental state has been great _ very rational, very together,'' the attorney said.
Spector is famous for creating the ``Wall of Sound'' effect that involved overdubbing scores of musicians to create a full, dramatic sound. The technique combined instruments, vocals and sound effects, and it changed the way pop records were produced while bringing fame to singing groups like the Ronettes and the Crystals.
In his storied career, Spector produced records for Elvis Presley, Ike and Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers and Darlene Love. He produced the last Beatles album, ``Let It Be,'' in 1970. He worked with John Lennon on ``Imagine'' and helped Yoko Ono produce Lennon's work after he was killed in 1980.
Among the hits to bear his signature style include ``Da Doo Ron Ron'' and ``Then He Kissed Me'' by the Crystals; ``Walking in the Rain'' by the Ronettes'' and ``You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin''' by the Righteous Brothers.
His session players, known as the ``Wrecking Crew,'' included guitarist Glen Campbell, pianist Leon Russell, drummer Hal Blaine and the late Sonny Bono, who learned the producer's trade under Spector.
But his production style, involving heavy use of echo, went out of style. Paul McCartney is known to hate Spector's work on ``Let it Be,'' done without his consent, and has said he wants to release the album stripped of Spector's contributions.
Spector, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, has been reclusive over the past couple of decades. His last major album was ``End of the Century,'' a 1980 collaboration with the Ramones.
During the session, the late bassist Dee Dee Ramone once said, Spector pulled a gun on the band.
``I don't think he would hurt a fly. Until anything happens, you're innocent until you're proven guilty. I don't think Phil had it in him to murder anybody,'' Marky Ramone, drummer for the Ramones, told the Fox News Channel.
The producer is alleged to have demonstrated near-psychotic and abusive behavior, according to a 1995 biography by Rolling Stone magazine.
``It had to stop,'' Spector said of his behavior in a 1977 Los Angeles Times interview. ``Being the rich millionaire in the mansion and then dressing up as Batman. I have to admit I did enjoy it to a certain extent. But I began to realize it was very unhealthy.''
Spector was a 17-year-old student at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles when he wrote and produced his first No. 1 hit for the Teddy Bears, a 1958 ballad called ``To Know Him Is to Love Him.'' Its title was taken from the inscription on the gravestone of his father, Benjamin, who committed suicide in 1949 when Spector was 9.
Spector's second wife was Ronnie Bennett, lead singer of the Ronettes. They divorced in 1974. He has five children from his marriages.
The Ronettes have sued Spector for allegedly cheating them out of earnings from the recordings. The lawsuit, which seeks $3 million, is pending in New York state court.
"Women are like elephants. Lovely to look at, but you wouldn't want to own one" W.C. Fields
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