April 18, 2009
Phil Spector: Not in the control booth anymoreBy Joyanna Adams
I was only eighteen when I met Phil Spector.
I haven't been following the news on his case too closely-just another famous man with too much money, with his life falling apart...gone mad. In fact, to me it seems, if you look at this picture and think back on O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake...they all that that same look on their faces at their trials. That, "I have no idea how this could be happening to me, I'm too important" distant glare -- or maybe it's just because of too much cocaine, but I digress.
As I read the headlines: "Phil Spector: Convicted of Second Degree Murder," I remembered back on that week that I spent with the man. I'm sure he doesn't remember me at all.
How did I meet Phil Spector? That's a good question. You see, right out of high school I had more than the usual case of "I want to see the world, let me out of here!" My need to see the world rivaled that of Columbus and Magellan. Too bad I couldn't have texted them first to get some advice.
But they were men, and I was just a young girl, feeling like I had just gotten out of prison, and I wanted desperately to go somewhere. So I hitched a ride with a band, up to New York.
The band was Phil Drisco's band. Drisco was a trumpet player who later went on to a bit of fame as a religious guy and became a very small footnote in music history.
Phil Drisco was recording his first major album with Phil Spector late at night in a studio right off of Broadway. He had to record at night because Phil was also working with Paul McCartney, who was recording RAM with him during the day (early in 1970). Lucky me, I got to go and sit in the controlling booth with Specter, late at night, and watch the band record.
I'll tell you one thing, I was scared of the man. I knew he was the architect, for lack of a better word, of the Supremes sound, and now he was working with the great Paul McCartney I was in total awe.
But still, even though he was a "god" on some levels, he was also just plain spooky. Call it woman's intuition.
For instance, it was always dark in the control room, and I sat in the corner, as far away as I could get. But after a half hour, Spector insisted that I come over, sit next to him, and watch him do his thing. Why read my boring books?
Well, what could I say?
So, there I sat. Every night for a week. He would make small talk. He was basically very, very sweet, and he treated me almost like a daughter. But still, I thought it very odd that he seemed to need me to sit next to him while he turned knobs and pushed buttons.
He was thoughtful, yes, and kind, but...I don't know...there was just something I couldn't put my finger on. I thought he looked on me as a "child." How could he possibly have any sexual interest in me at all because well, he was so much older and famous?
Later I read that the girl that he picked up (Lana Clarkson) and took home, was reportedly dead just a few hours later. When someone testified that Spector came outside and said, "I think I shot somebody" -- it was spooky because I could almost imagine it.
Life is funny like that. What if you had met Ted Bundy, had drinks with him for a week, and thought he was nice...but spooky...you know? What makes these people "snap?"
I guess looking back, I was lucky that I was so innocent. If he would have even made a tiny suggestion of indiscretion, I would have... run. I know he knew I was that innocent.
So, there I sat, scared to death, night after night...feeling pretty stupid. Somehow, I think that Spector was scared to death of being alone. He just had to have a girl... there. Being alone in that control room was just too much for him to bear. I think being alone in general was his nightmare. It might be just that simple.
Years ago, I read that he kept another woman locked up in his mansion for years...much like a prisoner. So, he'd lost it by then.
We see famous movie stars freaking out all the time. Some just cut their hair -- some commit murder.
There are probably more women than just me sitting out there today and thinking, "Whoa, that could have been me."