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Phil Spector dies after getting COVID-19: Record producer and convicted murderer was 81

De Souza was sitting in the black Mercedes-Benz in the estate’s driveway when he heard a popping sound about 5 a.m.

According to the driver’s trial testimony, Spector emerged from the house holding a handgun. “I think I killed somebody,” he said.

When L.A. County sheriff’s deputies arrived, Spector had to be subdued with a Taser. “Nobody’s taking my gun,” he reportedly said.

Masterpiece at the beginning of the career.

Masterpiece midway through his career.

Clarkson’s body was sprawled in a chair. Her broken teeth lay scattered around the foyer and a nearby stairway, and blood was smeared on the wood railing of the stairway and the back door handle. Detectives also discovered blood on a man’s coat in an upstairs dressing room and found a blood-soaked cloth in a bathroom near the foyer, court papers said.

Spector told Esquire in July 2003 that Clarkson’s death was an “accidental suicide” and that she “kissed the gun”. 

The retrial of Spector for murder in the second degree began on October 20, 2008,  with Judge Fidler again presiding; the retrial was not televised. Spector was once again represented by attorney Jennifer Lee Barringer. The case went to the jury on March 26, 2009, and 18 days later, on April 13, the jury returned a guilty verdict.  Additionally, Spector was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a crime, which added four years to the sentence.  He was immediately taken into custody and, on May 29, 2009, was sentenced to 19 years to life in the California state prison system.At the time of his death, he was an inmate at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, California. He would have been eligible for parole in 2024

Masterpiece in the twilight of his career.

Among his many  crimes for which he was never tried, one stands apart:

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  • Gordon Scott January 19, 2021, 10:54 AM

    Singer Cher did backup session work for Specter, among others. Sonny was a protege of Specter, for a while. I cannot imagine a more challenging boss.

    Cher, speaking of the “wall of sound” style Specter created, said, “We all thought Phil was crazy. Of course, that turned out to be true.”

  • Skorpion January 19, 2021, 11:24 AM

    For an interesting parallel across the pond, check out the life of UK pop-producer Joe Meek, whose short and brilliant career also ended with a gun murder:


  • Anonymous January 19, 2021, 1:26 PM

    Too bad. I heard he was on the short list for Biden’s Ambassador to Loonistan.

  • Anonymous January 19, 2021, 9:22 PM

    This man produced some breathtaking musicians and their music.
    River Deep Mountain High was’nt a big hit,but if it does’nt tap into something in yourself,take another listen.
    Ronnie & the Ronettes? “Be my little baby…”. Eddie Money/Mahoney got it.
    “To Know Him Is To Love Him.” Words on his father’s gravestone.

    Enigmatic,strange man,perhaps exacerbated by his going headfirst through a car windshield in 1974.

    Lana Clarkson did not deserve her horrific,brutal death at this man’s hands.

    Strange Days a’comin,Strange Days are Here…

  • Nori January 19, 2021, 9:42 PM

    How did my above post say “Anonymous” ? *sigh*

    @Skorpion:interesting story of Joe Meek. Loved “Telstar”.
    Sad world for many blazingly talented yet vulnerable people.

  • Anonymous January 20, 2021, 1:54 AM

    Now how on earth does this post say “Anonymous” again? Must have been that head to the windshield. *drool*

    “No one is taking my f*^king gun!”

    Now THAT’S pure genius.

  • EX-Californain Pete January 20, 2021, 8:24 AM

    You can actually see the “psycho” in Spector’s eyes.
    That same look that’s in the eyes of Charles Manson, Nancy Pelosi, and a majority of Liberals.

  • Jack January 20, 2021, 9:28 AM

    EX-Cal Pete, you nailed it. Photos abound of this ‘genius’ and he looks 3/4 of a bubble off of plumb in every one of them. The talent was in the artists and Spectre’ just happened to get it out of them and onto a tape; hardly the stuff of ‘genius’ in a world where any new kind of musical sound would be applauded and, in one way or another, developed to reveal its very best.