Ronnie Spector Issues Statement About Phil Spector’s Death: ‘He Was a Brilliant Producer, But a Lousy Husband’

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

On Sunday, news came through that legendary producer-turned-convicted-murder Phil Spector had passed away in prison at the age of 81. TMZ updated the story with a report that Spector had died of COVID-19, after contracting the virus while incarcerated. Discussing Spector’s “legacy” of music which involves his revolutionary “Wall of Sound” production style — is difficult considering what transpired later in life. He was convicted of murder in 2009 for the death of actress Lana Clarkson. Additionally, Spector had a lengthy list of improprieties that came to light at certain points throughout his life, including his mistreatment of his ex-wife, singer Ronnie Spector.

Ronnie issued a statement on her social media channels regarding the passing of her ex-husband, and it reads as follows:

It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me.

When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days.

Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale.

The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.

As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.

Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio.

Darkness set in, many lives were damaged.

I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever

The death of Phil Spector was announced by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which stated in a press release:

STOCKTON – California Health Care Facility inmate Phillip Spector, 80, was pronounced deceased of natural causes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at an outside hospital. His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

Spector was admitted from Los Angeles County on June 5, 2009, for second-degree murder. He had been sentenced to 19 years to life for the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

Before his incarceration, Spector was an influential record producer, musician and songwriter best known for developing a music production technique called the “wall of sound.”

Rolling Stone detailed Spector’s producing career in a lengthy obituary that touches on his working relationship with the Beatles, as well as some of the eccentricities that would come to exemplify him in the public eye:

But Spector’s productions were increasingly time-consuming and ambitious – some even said bloated. In 1966, the baroque pop epic he considered his masterpiece, Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep — Mountain High,” stalled at Number 88 in the U.S. (though it would hit Number Three in the U.K.) A resentful Spector secluded himself in his Hollywood mansion for two years, emerging only to appear briefly as a drug dealer in the classic counterculture film Easy Rider. In 1968, he married Ronnie Bennett; in her 1990 memoir, Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette, she depicted Spector as an abusive husband prone to eccentric if not outright insane behavior.

Spector returned to the music world in 1969. A new Ronettes single, “You Came, You Saw, You Conquered,” flopped, but that same year he also released Sonny Charles and the Checkmates’ “Black Pearl,” a Number 13 hit. Now securely back in the production saddle, Spector hooked up with the Beatles. He produced John Lennon’s solo hit “Instant Karma!” and was given the task of creating an album out of the group’s abandoned Get Back sessions. The result was the Beatles final studio album, Let It Be.


  • Jimmy says:

    creepy dude

  • Jim Blyth says:

    I think one must separate the man and the myth from the unbelievable ear candy he and his trusty team created. It was like capturing light in a bottle. He raised the bar in record production working with a trusted team of gifted songwriters, arrangers , sessionsires and last but not least , engineer , the late Larry Levine . RIP Phillip

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