In 1958 I was a mere innocent child. As I recall, at age 16, somewhat innocent. Ok…Ok…so I wasn’t THAT innocent…cripes…cut me some slack here. I’m trying to write a story about music producer Phil Spector, who, as we all know, is NOT innocent, of murder, and is now serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life. Which, if he were to write a song about all of what’s happened in his life would most likely be, “”He’s A Rebel.”
Which actually he did produce for the group the Crystals in 1962.
HBO aired part of Spector’s story March 24th starring Al Pacino as Spector and Helen Mirren as Spectors’s attorney. The movie basically centered on Spector’s trial which took place in 2007, accused of having forced a pistol into the mouth of a woman and pulling the trigger. Which, for the most part, didn’t have a very good outcome, for the woman.
But all that aside, I thought today I’d take a look back at some of Spector’s amazing work, because it was not only such a great time to be into rock music, but the fantastc sounds of “Spector’s” rock music which was called, “The Wall of Sound.”
I don’t have any clue as to why Spector did what he did with regard to that murder. It was bad enough that he was generally regarded as creepy and had dozens of outlandish wigs all over the place. Considering the guy was creepy looking as it is, I can’t imagine how he ever thought a wig was gonna help him. For instance, look at this guy and tell me if ANY wig was gonna help his looks:
Cripes….the jury probably convicted Spector just on his looks alone.
“But Misfit, you’re not being fair to the guy. Show us one more photo that at least makes him appear somewhat uncreepy.”
Ok…..you asked for it…..
Ok….ok…..Al Pacino played Spector in the HBO movie. Surely HE didn’t make Spector look like a crazed maniac……
Actually, Pacino (above) looks like a crazed maniac himself. Damn!
But, ya gotta hand it to the crazed maniac. He DID produce some great songs. A few of my favorites from my teen years still stick with me today. My all time favorite, Gene Pitney’s “Every Breath I Take,” (1961) The high notes Gene hit in this song led many to believe that he was a black artist. Led me to believe that he split a lot of jeans hitting those high notes.
The Crystals and the Ronettes were most prominent in highlighting Spector’s “Wall of Sound” technique as evident in “Da Doo Ron Ron,” The Crystals, (1963)
And “Be My Baby,” The Ronettes, (1963)
Spector married the lead singer of the Ronettes, Veronica Yvette Bennett in 1968 and they divorced in 1974. Today, Veronica still tours doing the Ronettes top hits. You’ll recognize her by her name today…….Ronnie Spector.
But I saved my next favorite up tempo Spector classic for last. “He’s A Rebel,” by The Crystals, (1962) Now this song in particular was the one I went berserk over when driving my 1949 De Soto around town with the windows rolled down, which was an effort, considering I didn’t have power windows, and just how cool can a 16-year-old kid driving a 1949 De Soto look in the 60’s.
Well, I thought I looked cool anyhow. And that’s all that mattered. However, it was only until I realized that looking cool while driving around playing the Ronettes and the Crystals on my car radio while parked in a car hop next to a bunch of guys playing the Crystals and the Ronettes from their Corvettes and souped up Chevys and Fords as I sat in my 49 De Soto made me realize that I was a dork.
But, I really didn’t care. Other than the fact those guys in their hot cars were attracting all the hot babes and I was attracting other dorks like myself. You know the old saying, “misery loves company.” And boy did I have a lot of company.
But you still couldn’t take away the sense of euphoria driving through town with the radio blasting and listening to stuff like “Pretty little Angel Eyes,” Curtis Lee, (1961) or Darlene Love with, “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Mary,” (1963) or “Corina Corina,” Ray Peterson, (1960) all of which spanned my teenage years. Along with that stinkin’ 49 De Soto.
Spector also produced some memorable ballads as well. “I Love How You Love Me,” by The Paris Sisters, (1961) (drove every kid nuts with those sensuous voices) Or, “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin,” Righteous Brothers, (1965) Everybody wanted to have a deep voice like Bill Medley in that song. Not me…..I wanted Gene Pitney’s. Unfortunately I never had the voice for singing anything cept those background noises prominent in many of those old rock and roll records. The only note I can hold is one written on a piece of paper……which, for me, is usually a grocery list.
You know….bom ba ba bom, bom bom…..um…..here’s a better explanation for ya:
Today I’m no longer into current music. Once in a great while something will pop up that I am attracted to. But not very often. In fact, the last song I can think of was “Bad Romance” by Lady Ga Ga.
And that was only because I happened to catch her performing it for Bill Clinton. (video below)
Really liked that one. Not only because I think it has a great sound and because I like Lady Ga Ga and Bill Clinton, but because once again I can crank up my truck radio, tool around town with that song playing, and impress all the hot babes and not look like a complete dork.
Which isn’t hard to do considering all the hot babes I’m trying to impress are over 60 and I’m driving a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 with a stick shift which turns those babes on.
It’s either that or most of them are widows and will just about do anything to latch on to any guy their age that’s still breathing.
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