Phil Spector dead at 81

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/17/phil-spector-dead-at-81.html

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Good.

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Recycling bits —

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News greeted with a wall of sound silence.

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Doesn’t look too healthy in the mug shot I saw.

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Charles Stross pointed out on Twitter that people like him were the reason me too was needed. I didn’t know about Spacey, or Weinstein, but everyone knew Spector was a violent misogynist. He was tolerated in his drug addled violence for years. It didn’t have to end with him murdering a woman, which was always his trajectory, if his violent crimes against women were taken appropriately seriously earlier.

ETA
That he would murder a woman eventually was predictable, but not to mention Lana Clarkson was clumsy and disrespectful.

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agreeing kevin corrigan GIF

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That’s the old “Yeah, But…” movement in action.

:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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No tears shed.

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The stories about him going to the studio and waving around a gun and pointing it at colleagues were not a secret - back in the 1960s. Pretty much anybody that worked with him or knew him had some kind of horror story to tell. Yet, he still managed to get regular work through the early 80s, and sporadically through to the early 2000s.

Ronnie Spector described his abusiveness in great detail in her 1990 biography, including that he had a glass coffin in the basement and said he’d display her corpse in there if she ever left him.

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The industry, and society indifferent to that industry, granted permission to his escalating entitlement and extreme misogyny.

Imagine if he hadn’t murdered. His horrible behavior would not have overshadowed his contributions to music.

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"There are versions of the storywhere Spector simply placed a gun on the mixing board so he could bully the band into following his directions. Dee Dee later wrote in his autobiography that the producer kidnapped the band at gunpoint, and there are versions of the story where gunplay was a regular part of the End of the Century sessions.

Dee Dee says that one night Spector brought the band back to his house and secured Joey in a back room while he waved a pistol at the rest of the band.

"He leveled his gun at my heart and then motioned for me and the rest of the band to get back in the piano room…. He only holstered his pistol when he felt secure that his bodyguards could take over. Then he sat down at his black concert piano and made us listen to him play and sing “Baby, I Love You” until well after 4:30 in the morning.

"

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Brian Eno has never had to hold people at gun point…

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Why not both?

It’s indisputable that his contributions to popular music are important, influential, and worthy of acclaim. It’s also indisputable that he was a murderous, abusive, insufferable, paranoid, and deranged individual.

It’s possible to both admire and respect his artistic contributions, while loathing who they were as humans.

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But the problem is that “genius” is all too often used as an excuse to ignore this kind of behavior, especially from men and especially in the entertainment industry. “He’s a genius, of course he’s an asshole…” That kind of thing. Spector got away with his abusive behavior because people allowed him to. A woman is dead as a result. :woman_shrugging: That matters.

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Any idea what he did to Let it Be?

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Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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I mean it wasn’t a great album to begin with, but the last thing it needed was the Wall of Sound™ treatment with huge and unnecessary choral and orchestral dubs over nearly every single track. It’s so extra - way over-sweetened.

Paul was reportedly livid at the final arrangement and had no input on its production (there’s a lot more to the story than this, but I don’t feel like typing it all out on my phone).

The remixed “Let it Be… Naked” version is far superior in my opinion. (Still not great, because it’s just not a great album, but far more listenable.)

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Absolutely. Despite his important artistic contributions, his behavior is inexcusable - full stop.

Heroes of mine such as John Lennon and Brian Wilson did objectively terrible things that were largely hand-waved away as simply being the antics of a “tortured genius”. But then again, they also didn’t murder anybody (and they also made attempts to atone for their past transgressions).

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