The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Before and After #178: Phil Spector




Tommy O'C said...

The way Spector is pointing that finger--I hope whoever took that photo is still with us.

Marshall P. Smith said...

His mug shot would've been a nice after picture.

Robert Fiore said...

Thereby suggesting a new feature, After and After After.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Yes!! What happened? Phil Spector is one of the most amazing mystery stories in all of rock and roll -- and that’s saying something. Check out this vid of him in the Don’t Change the Reel Segment of the Lennon/Harrison session of Oh My Love. Did he have the eyes of a killer even then? Thanks to Dark Spector’s dark specs, we’ll never know.

GPSpector said...

Wow, that's him in the 70's wearing his Chrome weive, "S" Ring and one of the 1st Digital watches. I can tell this picture was taken on front of his Pool Table in the Library, sitting in his Directors Chair.

Joanne said...

His finger pointing could be substituted for the gun he allegedly used (and probably did) in killing of the woman.

Marshall P. Smith said...

"..the woman." was Lana Clarkson of Los Angeles.

The case went to the jury on March 27, 2009 so I guess we'll know for sure soon.

Joanne said...

Thank you for refreshing all our minds of who the woman was. I couldn't remember. I vote him guilty as charged.

Timmy said...

People deserve to be killed, sometimes. It's just a natural course of life. Why can't Phil decide some of those? What's wrong with this world? Besides, he lifted a lot of folks spirits during his carreer.

Tom Sutpen said...

I'm guessing that was meant ironically

I'll tell you something, though. If Spector was a respected filmmaker and not a record Producer . . . particularly a filmmaker who makes himself available for interviews . . . you would be amazed how many of my fellow cinephiles would say something very much like that, and without the smallest trace evidence of self-awareness.

Rhys said...

To know him is to love him, right? And I have to confess I am listening to "Uptown" by the Crystals as I write this. In my view, Phil just knew which buttons to push...1) keep it simple (though Uptown has a couple of glorious key changes)...2)See the writing on the wall but play it cool (Ronnie was perfect, black girl but not too black, etc.). But the thing is, Ellie Greenwich never shot anybody. All praise is due to the Brill Building.

GPSpector said...

Wow Timmy, after reading your post and your bio, all I can say is that you are truely more twisted than people think my father is. And I'm being serious.

Also, there are meds for what ever you mental issue is. Again, that's meant to to be as serious as your last comment.

skinnyGLASSESgirl said...

HA you forgot the after, after with the big ol' hair when he was in court.

Chris said...

another true genius, although he should be the poster
boy for gun control.

Bwca Brownie said...

Gary above, I spotted your name straight up, but I think these Bigtime commentors don't read the comments before their own.
Please know I sympathise with your burden, and also know that a huge number of music loving people will always be in awe of his genius productions. Not just River Deep, but 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' - they wrench our hearts in a good way, just as his problems wrench our hearts.
I hope you will be OK, youd on't deserve any more bad stuff.
God we love his music.

Tom Sutpen said...


Thanks for chiming in on this, because I've been meaning to add a response to Gary Spector's comment and it had completely slipped my mind.

Essentially I wanted to say what you've just said. I have my own thoughts on Phil Spector and what may or may not have happened that morning between him and Lana Clarkson, but none of that dims my admiration for the man's work these last fifty-plus years (I have always loved his productions; even most of the so-called 'failed' projects); nor does it render me unsympathetic to what his family and friends (even the man himself, should he in fact be innocent of these charges; which I actually think is more likely now after both trials than I did back in 2003, when my reaction was somewhat . . . reflexive) have been going through the last five years.


Take the foregoing comments in stride, please. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that when the famous, or the infamous, are accused of . . . anything . . . in the public square, we're almost conditioned from birth to narrow our thinking on the event down to its most simple 'Thumb Up/Thumb Down' construction; neglecting every other dimension (such as how it affects those who are more than just spectators of the matter). I'm no less guilty of falling into that mindset (even in this case) than others are, so I can't condemn the other comments too rigidly; not without seeming a hypocrite. Just know that I'm not in complete agreement with them.

Any rate, I hope you and yours get through the rest of this nightmare with the barest minimum of turmoil. And for whatever my good vibes are worth, I send them directly to you.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

BWCA said:

Gary above, I spotted your name straight up, but I think these Bigtime commentors don't read the comments before their own.
Please know I sympathise with your burden ...

Two thoughts about this.

One, many of us, far from thinking of ourselves as Bigtime commentators, are actually accustomed to blogging -- and commenting on blogs – that reach a quite small circle of people. Thus it’s very easy to forget that the Charlie Parker blog has turned into a major phenomenon with a large readership. The result can be akin to having a conversation & then belatedly realizing that the person you’re talking about has been sitting right behind you the whole time. My point: I doubt one person on this blog ever considered the possibility that a member of the Spector family might see our comments. Words count, but so do intentions.

Second, it’s also the case that while our comments do eventually appear in the order in which they are submitted, they do not always go live in that order. This due no doubt to our hosts’ thankless (but obviously necessary) need to review comments before publishing. But it is quite possible for one to submit a comment before a previously submitted comment is published above it.

All in all, an instructive object lesson for moi, anyway. I send my best wishes to Gary Spector and his family.

Tom Sutpen said...

Well stated, Whoamusanyway . . . with one point of confoosion at this end:

Thus it’s very easy to forget that the Charlie Parker blog has turned into a major phenomenon with a large readership.

It . . . it has???

GPSpector said...

Thank you all, for the kind words. I, like the rest of you am just waiting until a verdict is read, which ever way it goes, I will respect it.

Bwca Brownie said...

1. WhoAmUsAnyway (above) my 'bigtime commentors' was not meant as a slur. From my perspective, far far away, many people here seem like industry insiders, shielded by blogless pseudonyms.

2. Today is such a sad day for anybody who loves and responds to the magic of music. I'm crying.

Tom Sutpen said...


I'm not sure there's any industry insiders who visit here . . . that's just a guess, however. I have know way of knowing.

On the second point, I'm amazed how much I agree; and here's what I mean:

When word came down about the verdict, I first saw it in a link someone posted on Facebook. I left a short comment, saying that it's almost surreal to think that Phil Spector is about to go to prison for at least a substantial amount of time. But following my comment was a torrent of gleefully snarky one-liners from others, all of them essentially saying 'Good for him; justice has been served', etc. (usually with some half-witted joke tacked on about his wigs).

I'll confess I lean more toward believing that he's guilty than not. That's just my personal opinion. But I can't work up any glee over his conviction today. It's extremely sad. Way I see it, if he really is guilty, it's horribly tragic; if he isn't, it's even more so. There's nothing funny about any part of it.

I don't understand people sometimes.

Timmy said...

I don't understand what was so sick in what I stated. I LIKED, perhaps LOVED Phil's work. I mean what I say about people. Death is a way of life. Some are brought to their end quicker than others. Some deserve it, some are victims. Did Kreuschev & Reagan end the same way theyt lived during their prime? I think not. Have a nice remaining life.