Thursday, June 21, 2012

Phil Spector; The man and his music

After his mother moved the family from New York to Los Angeles in the 1950’s to get a fresh start on life after Phil’s father committed suicide Phil found his love for music, and while in high school he found two friends with whom to make his dreams come true, The group called themselves The Teddy Bears. They recorded a song called "Don't You Worry My Little Pet" that landed a four song contract with a small label and the B-side "To Know Him Is To Love Him," hit #1 on the charts. After the break up of The Teddy Bears and some solo failures Phil made a name for himself as a successful producer after a string of hit records.

He built his reputation on his Wall of Sound at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles by recording guitars, bass, strings and brass and feeding them through an echo chamber and then recording that entire echo back to tape. From 1961 through 1965 he was the producer of choice in the Rock scene. He produced Tina Turner’s "River Deep - Mountain High," but it was another failure that sent him into seclusion until his work with John Lennon and George Harrison on several hits he got his mojo back.

Phil had a love for guns from an early age after being accosted in a men’s room by some street thugs who urinated on him he started carrying a gun to defend himself against further attacks. He was known to be violent towards women and had a nasty temper and found himself on the wrong side of the law in 2003 with the murder of Lana Clarkson. Phil Spector created some amazing hits, which go down in the annals of Rock music. His achievements in the studio made him a pioneer of the girl group sound of the 1960’s that garnered him with over 25 top 40 hits with girl groups The Ronetts and The Crystals.

As a music professional his studio techniques are to be marveled and emulated, his music brought joy to many and sadness to some. I will always remember the songs by The Crystals and The Ronettes that I grew up listening to as a young boy and to this day still find the melodies in my memory banks.

1 comment:

  1. Good evening Laman. I enjoyed reading your blog about Phil Spector. I think one of the most extraordinary things about Mr. Spector was how harsh he treated those that worked for him. I’ve come to learn that some situations can only be dealt with by harsh. Some people work better under pressure/stress and I think that was Phil’s way of getting the most out musicians. He isn’t the only one that has used this strange technique. As we have learn in this short month there were 3 others who used different but yet harsh methods to achieve the sound they were seeking.

    I have to say that I was thrown for a loop when he was first charged. Whenever a celebrity is charged with a high profile crime it makes us all wonder. Let’s not forget that Robert Blake was also charged with a crime.
    This raised many questions on my behalf. I didn’t know how to take it. Here we have two Film and music legends both being charged with murder and it left me wondering why do certain famous people always get themselves in trouble.

    Phil will always be remembered for his classic sound to the older generation but I think many young people will view him as a “coo-coo.”

    Thanks for sharing.