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Phil Spector. Spector was known for his elaborate hairstyles and had worn wigs during his 2009 trial, the second for the case. His first trial, which took place in 2007, ended in a mistrial when the jury was deadlocked.

Mad Bad and Sad

Phil Spector

On 3 February 2003, a month before Phil Spector first met his third wife Rachelle, Lana Clarkson, a B-movie actress whom Spector apparently met in a Hollywood nightclub and taken home for drinks, was shot in the face in the Castle’s hallway. She died immediately.

The murder of Lana and the consequent trial of Phil Spector, the 60s rock ‘n’ roll genius who produced his first hit when he was 18, was the best show in Los Angeles at the time and the trial was the major topic of conversation out there.

“A few years earlier everyone in the country was gripped by the televised O. J. Simpson double-murder trial, and Phil Spector was no exception.

I was covering it for Vanity Fair and I was on TV constantly, on Larry King’s and Geraldo Rivera’s shows, talking about what had happened that day in court. As I remember it, Phil asked Ahmet Ertegun, the late rock ‘n’ roll impresario to arrange a meeting so we could talk about O.J. Phil was utterly riveted by the case. He knew every detail of the story and trial. We had three dinners together. I remember him as brilliant, fascinating to talk to, and sometimes scary. It was a well-known fact at that time that he had pulled guns on people; there were many stories to that effect. I personally knew two of the women who claimed they had been held prisoner in his house for several days. He carried a gun when we saw each other, but he never pulled it on me.”

-Dominick Dunne murder-trial correspondent for Vanity Fair

At his first trial in 2007 a jury was hung but he was found guilty at a retrial.

The second trial of Harvey Phillip Spector for the murder of Lana Clarkson was dominated by one phrase: “I think I killed someone.” The then 69-year-old record producer, creator of pop’s “wall of sound”, was said to have uttered that phrase as he emerged from his home in the small hours of Monday, 3 February 2003.

Behind him, slumped in a fake Louis XIV chair, lay the body of Clarkson, a 40-year-old actor he had met earlier that night when she was working at the House of Blues venue on the Sunset Strip

The full force of Los Angeles’s celebrity crime armada descended: news helicopters hovered overhead, high-priced lawyers – celebrities in their own right – were summoned, news crews and the idly curious gathered to peer through the iron railings of Spector’s home.

Spector, too, played the part, seeming to revel in a return to the spotlight. He provided other staples of the Hollywood justice story: the tirade on the steps of the courthouse, the elaborate and downright weird hairdo, the rococo attire, the trophy wife, the phalanx of bodyguards. “She kissed the gun,” he told one interviewer.

Lana Clarkson in a promotional photo.

Spector, is certainly the only living person who may know what actually occurred, denied pulling the trigger. But a jury at Los Angeles Superior Court saw things differently. In April 2009, he was unanimously convicted of second-degree murder and given 19 years to life. On September 1, 2006, Spector, while on bail and awaiting trial, married his third wife Rachelle Short, who was 26 at the time.

In the first decade of the 2000s Spector’s behaviour began to unravel. In 2003, police investigated the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at Spector’s home in Alhambra, California. He was charged with second-degree murder, and photos of a wild-haired Spector began showing up in newspapers and magazines. The first trial, held in 2007, ended in a deadlocked jury.

When Judge Fidler announced the mistrial, there was dead silence. No hugs, no shaking of hands, nothing but general disappointment. An hour or so later, Phil, Rachelle, and Horace, Phil’s guard, arrived back at the castle, to which they had been trailed by a helicopter. Phil and Rachelle danced in their courtyard and hugged Horace, and that, in a real class act, Rachelle humped Phil’s leg, like a horny dog, laughing uproariously. Her public intimacy did not engage him—he never looked at her during the merriment. It was similar to the way O.J.’s family behaved after his victory: the ladies were all holding champagne glasses and doing high kicks on the lawn at the Rockingham house. At both houses they had forgotten that a beautiful dead woman was the cause of the celebration.

“They say one of the items O.J. was trying to get back was the suit he wore to court the day he was acquitted of murder. O.J. calls it his lucky suit. Apparently, Phil Spector wanted to borrow it.”

—Jay Leno

While the first trial was dominated by forensics and the finer points on how blood spatters, the rerun came down to an elaborate game of did he, didn’t he, involving meditations on memory, suggestibility and English language proficiency.

At the centre of the dispute was Spector’s stand-in chauffeur on the night of Clarkson’s death, Adriano de Souza, a Brazilian student who proved an unflappable witness. Despite his occasional awkwardness with English, De Souza recounted how he had collected Spector for an evening out that had seen him visit a clutch of Hollywood haunts, Trader Vic’s and Dan Tana’s, imbibe a huge amount of alcohol – “navy grog”, 150-proof tequila – and share his evening with two dates before ending at the House of Blues.

There, Spector met Clarkson, an actor whose role, far removed from the showbusiness recognition she craved, was to guard the VIP area. Initially she took the freakishly coiffed Spector for a woman, before being corrected by the management and told to treat him “like gold”.

After some persuasion she agreed to go home with Spector for a nightcap, watching Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in the back of the Mercedes S430 limousine driven by De Souza on the way to “Phil Spector’s Pyrenees castle”, a 33-room turreted mansion perched on a hill in the unprepossessing Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra. Two hours later, she was dead.

A longtime pal says Phil Spector ‘has quite the mouth on him’

Spector who kept a bodyguard/driver since his late teens, after he was attacked in a men’s-room prank that got out of hand. told Esquire Magazine in July 2003 that Clarkson’s death was an “accidental suicide” and that she “kissed the gun.” The emergency call from Spector’s home, made by Spector’s driver, Adriano de Souza, quotes Spector as saying, “I think I’ve killed someone.” De Souza added that he saw Spector come out the back door of the house with a gun in his hand. According to the prosecution, Spector had previously pulled a gun on four women. In each case, he had been drinking and “was romantically interested in the woman, but grew angry after the woman spurned him.” The prosecution alleged that on each occasion, he pointed a gun at the woman to prevent her from walking out. The prosecution argued that the testimony of the other women was important to demonstrating a “common plan or scheme.” The defense sought to prevent the women from providing such testimony. Though the law generally forbids the introduction of evidence showing a defendant’s previous transgressions, the judge ruled the testimony “can be used to show lack of accident or mistake.”

Spector had remained free on $1 million bail while awaiting trial, which began on March 19, 2007. Presiding Judge Larry Paul Fidler allowed the proceedings in Los Angeles Superior Court to be televised. At the start of the trial, the defense forensic expert Henry Lee was accused of hiding crucial evidence that the District Attorney’s office claimed could prove Spector’s guilt. On September 26, 2007, Judge Fidler declared a mistrial because of a hung jury (ten to two for conviction). Before and during the first trial, Spector went through at least three sets of attorneys. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro represented Spector at the arraignment and early pretrial hearings and achieved his release on $1 million bail. Bruce Cutler represented him during the 2007 trial, but withdrew on August 27, 2007, claiming “a difference of opinion between Mr. Spector and me on strategy”. Attorney Linda Kenney Baden then became lead lawyer for closing arguments. The retrial of Spector for murder in the second degree began on October 20, 2008, with Judge Fidler again presiding; this time it was not televised.

Rachelle Short and Phil Spector. The couple during Phil’s murder trial (Image: Reuters)

For the second trial, almost six years after Clarkson’s death, Spector downsized. Gone was the retinue of heavies that had marched into court with him every day the first time around. He was accompanied by just one bodyguard, and his young wife, Rachelle. His legal team was reduced to a single lawyer, Doron Weinberg. Facing him was the same lead prosecutor from the first trial, Alan Jackson.

Without the theatrics of that trial, Weinberg’s speciality was studied doubt. De Souza, he noted, had been through eight variations of the phrase “I think I killed someone” in recounting events to investigators. Surely that suggested sufficient doubt to acquit, Weinberg argued.

But ultimately, Spector came up against a barrage of evidence. Clarkson had given no indication that she was suicidal, the defence’s proffered explanation. Why would someone who was just about to shoot themselves go out and buy multiple pairs of shoes? The trial heard expert testimony that people rarely kill themselves on the spur of the moment, and almost never at the home of a stranger.

More damning for the defence was the judge’s decision in both trials to allow evidence of prior acts by Spector involving women and guns. A parade of women at both trials described how Spector had turned from charm to menace, often fuelled by alcohol and medication. His penchant for waving guns in people’s faces, they recounted, suggested an accident waiting to happen.

The gruesome imagery from the crime scene also made an impression the defence found hard to dispel. The dead actor, a cult success for her incarnation of the Barbarian Queen in the eponymous film, was reduced to a film noir cliche: the blonde starlet sprawled on a chair, the bottom of her mouth blown off, a 36 Colt under her left leg. Spector’s assertions to interviewers before the first trial that she was the victim of accidental suicide never seemed more ridiculous.

“If this were not Phil Spector, with a lot of money to spend, a trial like this would never have gone on for so long,” said Jean Rosenbluth, a law professor at the University of Southern California. “Cases don’t usually go to trial when there is this much evidence against the defendant.”

Phil Spector’s and his third wife Rachelle. The couple before his jail term began (Image: Getty).

After talking the jury through this biography, the prosecution was able to construct a compelling narrative: Lana Clarkson, a down-on-her-luck actress who also suffered from depression, had met him at the House of Blues nightclub in Hollywood. She returned to his house, and shared some drinks. But when Clarkson got up to leave, Spector lost his cool. By accident or design, he fired the gun. Given Spector’s personality, they argued – it was in any case an accident waiting to happen.

There is, however, a problem with this theory: it relied on circumstantial evidence. In his defence, Spector’s “dream team” of highly-paid lawyers advanced an alternative: that Clarkson, who’d had roles in Scarface and the cult fantasy flick Barbarian Queen during the 1980s, but whose career had since tanked actually committed suicide. “She had consumed a bottle of tequila, she had Vicodin [a pain-relief drug] in her system, and was broke and about to be evicted from her apartment.

The police were aware that Spector was a potential suicide. By law, they had no right to search him after he’d passed through security and entered the courtroom to listen to the verdict. One policeman in the courtroom was assigned to watch Spector during the reading of the verdict and never take his eyes off him. If he made one move toward his pocket, this officer was to leap on him.

The case against Spector was by no means cut-and-dried. It revolved around inconclusive forensic evidence, with conflicting interpretations of blood spatter patterns and gunpowder residue, which left experts divided as to whether the famous defendant was anywhere near Ms Clarkson when she died. The supposed murder weapon did not carry any of his fingerprints, and no one is sure of the identity of its owner. Officially, it was registered to a pawnshop in Texas.

In attempting to prove Spector guilty, prosecutors therefore relied on testimony from his driver, who told the court his boss had confessed to Clarkson’s killing. They also persuaded the judge to allow evidence from five former female acquaintances of Spector, who claimed that at various times in the past 30 years, he had threatened them with guns. This, the jury said in its explanation of the sentence, tipped the balance in favour of conviction. It took six years finally to bring to a conclusion the saga that began on the night of Feb 2, 2003.

It took prosecutors eight months to charge Spector with murder; and it was not until 2007 that he was actually brought to trial. That ended in a hung jury, with 10 to 2 favouring a conviction. It took the jury in his retrial just 30 hours to deliver a guilty verdict. He was unanimously convicted of second degree murder.

Additionally, he was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a crime, which added four years to the sentence. Spector was immediately taken into custody and was sentenced, on May 29, 2009, to 19 years to life in the California state prison system.

He was also ordered to pay $16,800 in funeral expenses and more than $9,700 to a state victim’s assistance fund.

Since then, Phil has been an inmate at California State Prison in Corcoran, three hours’ drive north of Los Angeles. According to Rachelle, it’s “disgusting.” He spends 23 hours a day in a shared cell measuring five feet by nine feet, and has little to do with his time except read, and sweat. In 2010 she said, “The prison was cutting off its power supply, and air, for one day a week, to save money. Temperatures up there can reach 120F. He was 70 years old then. “It’s gross,” she said.

Spector, produced his first number one hit, “To Know Him is To Love Him”, in 1958, at the age of 18, had never enjoyed what you might call a normal life. A millionaire by the age of 22 (during the early 1960s, his hits included “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the most extensively played record in history), he was always volatile. When creating his famous “Wall of Sound,” which involved vast armies of backing musicians and singers, he lorded over recording studios like a mad dictator.

The Ronettes in 1965, left to right, Ronnie Spector, Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley [Dezo Hoffmann/REX]

Stories also abound of Spector’s fascination with firearms. One night at his home, he held the punk band, Ramones, at gunpoint and he forced the band to perform.

He once fired a pistol into the roof when losing his temper while working with John Lennon. Some years later, when apparently drunk, he wandered up to Leonard Cohen, and stuck a loaded pistol in his neck, saying, “Leonard, I love you!” (Cohen is said to have casually replied, “I hope you do, Phil”). In the 1980s, his mental state deteriorated further when his only son, Philip Junior, contracted leukaemia. Phil retired from music to nurse him, only for the child to die, in 1992. Soon afterwards, he began taking vast quantities of anti-depressants, and for most of the next decade, made only occasional forays into the recording studio. He had also become paranoid about being left alone at the Castle; visitors spoke of him locking doors and gates to prevent them from leaving.

In a 1964 magazine piece, writer Tom Wolfe profiled Spector, dubbing him “the first tycoon of teen.” By this time, however, Spector had made more enemies than friends in the record business. In 1966 came the turning point, with Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep —Mountain High.” Spector considered it his greatest production to date, but it became a hit only in England. Embittered, Spector went into seclusion for two years, during which time reports of strange, near-psychotic behaviour on his part filtered out of his 23-room Hollywood mansion: Spector allegedly mentally abused his wife, Ronnie (formerly of the Ronettes); Spector also carried a gun. Except for a cameo appearance as a dope pusher in the film Easy Rider and some hits for Sonny Charles and the Checkmates — “Love Is All I Have to Give,” “Black Pearl,” and “Proud Mary” (the latter employed some 300 musicians) — he remained inactive through the late Sixties.

While producing Ike Turner and Tina Turner in the mid-1960s, Spector actually worked only with Tina; Ike was reportedly paid $10,000 not to attend the sessions.

At the funeral of Ike Turner, Spector delivered a bizarre eulogy in which he berated Turner’s ex-wife Tina’s autobiography, as well as Oprah Winfrey for promoting it, claiming the book demonized Ike. (Spector’s own ex-wife, Ronnie, had written an autobiography in 1990, Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette, that detailed Spector’s erratic and often cruel behaviour.)Many of the stars he worked with have recalled him pulling guns out at recording sessions and was dubbed “Mad Genius of Rock and Roll” for his eccentric behaviour including wearing outrageous wigs. One of the most enduring stories about Phil Spector involves the time he pulled a gun on John Lennon at a recording session. Tom Wolfe once called Spector the first tycoon of teen. He became famous for engineering the girl-group sound of the 1960s.

Ronnie Spector in New York, February 2014: ‘I’m just a regular girl who loves the stage and who loves to sing’

Ronnie Spector was married to Phil Spector when he was still known as “the tycoon of teen.” She had been the lead singer of the popular all-girl group the Ronettes, which Phil produced.

Ronnie was an absolute prisoner in her own mansion, surrounded by staff. She had nothing to do all day but drink, and drink she did. Phil had lost interest in her career. He told her not to talk to the servants. (When Lana Clarkson, on the night that was to become the last of her life, told Adriano De Souza, the driver of Phil’s Mercedes, that she was going to stay at the castle for only one drink, Phil forbade her to speak to De Souza.) Ronnie and Phil’s marriage was one of day-to-day madness, from which she ultimately escaped in bare feet. She ran down the hill to Sunset Boulevard and caught a taxi out of his life forever.

There’s so much vivacity to her that it seems impossible that she could have been shut away in one of the most nightmarish marriages in the history of showbusiness as Phil Spector’s wife. Having divorced, remarried, and endured a 15-year legal battle against her ex-husband over unpaid royalties which she finally won; she’s now as adored for her chutzpah as for her hits.

When the Ronettes landed in London in 1964 with their tight harmonies and even tighter dresses, there was hysteria and the 20-year-old lead singer with the remarkable voice, who was already dating Phil Spector, had Keith Richards and John Lennon chasing after her.

But as she began to realise her potential, so did her possessive boyfriend and he was as horrified as she was elated. Incensed not just by the attention of the Stones and the Beatles, but by the hordes of adoring young men the Ronettes drew wherever they went, after their marriage in 1968, Phil Spector pulled her from the limelight and imprisoned her in his California mansion. The only time Spector allowed her to leave was once a month, “to go get my feminine stuff, if you catch my drift”. If she was gone longer than 20 minutes he’d send a bodyguard. He’d scream at her so violently, she said, that she eventually became mute: “The last year of my marriage I didn’t talk at all. Because if I said anything he’d yell at me, so why say anything. I was a scared little girl from Spanish Harlem living in this mansion with five servants, not knowing what to do with any of it. I cried every night I was married.”

Of all the privations he subjected her to, not singing was the hardest: “I’d think, ‘Why aren’t I on that stage, where’s the audience?’ I was craving it.”

Finally, in the summer of 1972, her worried mother paid a visit. “She said, ‘honey, you’re going to die here’. She knew.” The two of them stayed up for three days and nights meticulously planning her escape. Spector often hid her shoes so she left barefoot in order to not to arouse his suspicions. His parting words (not that he knew it) were directed to her mother: “Now Mrs Bennett don’t let Veronica step on anything sharp.”

Veronica Yvette Bennett was born in Spanish Harlem in 1943 to an Irish father and half African-American, half Cherokee mother with an enormous extended family.

She remembers being eight and singing in the lobby of her grandmother’s building, whose high ceilings produced a gratifying echo. More gratifying, though, was the response from her cousins.

“They were going insane – ‘Ronnie, Ronnie, you’re the one, you’ve got it!’ And I did have it.

Ronnie was 17 and Spector was 24 when they met. “First,” she says, “I fell in love with his coolness. He was very cool. Always had one hand in his pocket. And he had a cute butt. I loved his tush, he had the cutest tush. The way he handled the band – here’s a guy, 24 years old, yet he’s telling married men with children what to do? That turned me on so much. I fell in love with that power.”

Asked in 2014 how it feels to know he’s behind bars Ronnie said, “It feels wonderful! – The more he tried to destroy me, the stronger I got. It made me think, ‘How dare you, you don’t own me’. According to Ronnie, he would pass the days, watching over and over again Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ parable of ambition, hubris and spiritual desolation, weeping at the climactic moment when Rosebud, Kane’s sled, the symbol of childhood joy and innocence, is incinerated.

Police mugshots reveal balding Spector without his wigs.

Harvey Phillip Spector was born on 26th December 1939 to a lower middle class Jewish family in the Bronx, NYC. His adored father Ben was haunted by manic depression that led to his suicide in April 1949 shattering Phil and his older sister Shirley. As a result they would both suffer mental issues periodically.

“People tell me they idolize me, want to be like me,” Spector said in an interview in December 2002, just five weeks before the killing of Lana Clarkson. “But I tell them, ‘Trust me, you don’t want my life’. Because it hasn’t been a very pleasant life. I’ve been a very tortured soul. I have not been at peace myself. I have not been happy.”

Much of this unhappiness could be traced back to his childhood. Spector was born into a working-class Jewish family in the Bronx, New York, and the son of a steelworker. When he was nine-years-old his father committed suicide, leaving him to be brought up by an overbearing mother who alternately smothered and bullied him.

Spector, his mother and elder sister Shirley moved to California. Small, pale and scrawny with watery eyes and a whining, adenoidal voice, Spector was the playground outsider, by his own account ‘always different’. He found his salvation in music. In 1958, he enlisted two school friends in a group called the Teddy Boys, and wrote and produced his first recording. Its title, To Know Him Is To Love Him, was taken from his father’s gravestone. The record gave Phil Spector his first number one record. He was just 18. By the time he was 22 he would be a millionaire.

More than just a producer, Spector was a visionary who dreamed of creating a sound never before heard in pop. He approached making records like a general waging war, assembling armies of musicians and singers in the recording studio, to create the dense, echoing ‘Wall of Sound’ that would become his trademark. He shaped an unbroken flow of hits for such artists as the Crystals, the Ronnettes, and the Righteous Brothers, whose hit You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ would become the most played record ever on American radio.

Dictatorial, quixotic, driven by an unswerving belief in his own genius and an unquenchable hunger for success, Spector became, uniquely, a bigger star than any of the artists he produced – ‘the first tycoon of teen’ in the memorable phrase of the writer Tom Wolfe. And he played the part to the hilt, acquiring the obligatory Hollywood mansion, a retinue of bodyguards, and a reputation for wayward eccentricity.

By 1966, Spector’s reign at the top of the American charts was over, his ‘Wall of Sound’ an anachronism. When his most grandiloquent and extravagant production ever, Ike and Tina Turner’s River Deep Mountan High, failed to dent the American charts, he was crushed. He retired to his mansion to brood; married his protege Ronnie Bennett.

It seemed that Spector’s career was over, but In 1970, his career was briefly given a new lease of life when he was invited to finalise production on the Beatles’ last album, Let It Be. He went on to produce George Harrison’s multi-million selling All Things Must Pass and to co-produce three solo albums with John Lennon, including the classic Imagine.

Through the Seventies, Spector worked only intermittently, producing albums by Leonard Cohen, Dion DiMucci and, finally, in 1979, the Ramones. By now his reputation for waywardness had all but eclipsed any acknowledgement of his extraordinary accomplishments as a producer. Stories abounded of his drinking, of scenes in restaurants, of, most ominously, of his predilection for guns. He would habitually wear a shoulder-holster around the home, and he seldom left home without one. ‘Phil wanted to be Elvis and Sinatra combined’, one friend would remember. ‘The cool, aloof thing, the entourage, all that protected crap.’

Recording with John Lennon he let off a live round into the ceiling of the studio. Recording Leonard Cohen, he approached the singer clutching a bottle of Jewish ritual wine in one hand and a pistol in the other, which he shoved into Cohen’s neck, whispering ‘Leonard, I love you.’

Cohen with admirable aplomb, simply moved the barrel away, saying ‘I hope you do, Phil’.

Spector, the control-freak, was proving incapable of controlling himself. He also displayed an apparently pathological fear of being left alone.

Stories abounded of him refusing to allow visitors to his mansion to leave, locking the doors and warning that his guard dogs would savage them. A central plank of the case against him was the testimony of five women who claimed that a drunken Spector had threatened them with guns when they tried to leave – a pattern of behaviour, the prosecution argued, that foreshadowed the incident with Lana Clarkson, whose body was found slumped in a chair near the door, her purse over her shoulder.

Yet for all his violent and irrational outbursts, Spector could also be immensely charming and amusing company, a man whom women would describe as ‘mesmerising’. His wealth and position insulated him from the consequences of his actions. Among those closest to him his habit of brandishing guns was explained away as ‘what Phil does’. But it became increasingly clear that behaviour that many were prepared to dismiss as simply ‘eccentric’ was actually symptomatic of debilitating psychiatric problems.

Spector had first begun to see a psychiatrist in the early 60s, ostensibly to avoid being drafted into the armed forces. In later years, he would reveal that his parents were first cousins and speculate about the genetic mark this might have left on his own behaviour. His elder sister, Shirley, would spend time in mental institutions – ‘and’, Spector once joked to the singer Gene Pitney, ‘she’s the sane one in the family…’

By the late 1990s Spector had begun to seriously address his condition, and was taking a cocktail of mood-altering drugs to stabilise his emotional state. In the interview conducted in December 2002, he spoke candidly about his mental and emotional difficulties that had assailed him over the years, stating that “to all intents and purposes I would say I’m probably relatively insane, to an extent…I have devils inside that fight me. And I’m my own worst enemy.” He described himself as having “bi-polar condition”, adding that “I take medication for schizophrenia, but I wouldn’t say I’m schizophrenic”.

But the worst, he stressed, was behind him; he was now trying to be “a reasonable man. And being reasonable with yourself. It’s very difficult, very difficult…”

It was just five weeks later that Phil Spector walked into the House of Blues and met Lana Clarkson, and his attempts to be “a reasonable man” came to a violent end.

Phil Spector Appears in a Prison Photo.

Two suits of medieval armour dominated the entrance hall of the hilltop castle that Phil Spector and his younger wife Rachelle called home. One stood opposite an oil painting of the Beatles, whose final album, Let it Be, was produced Phil, in 1969. The other, a few yards to its right, leaned on a large sword. Since Phil’s fascination with dangerous weapons landed him in prison, you might wonder if they made for entirely appropriate ornaments.

It was, according to rock’n’roll folklore, a Xanadu-like mansion, where the extraordinarily wealthy record producer, who had made a slew of the most uplifting pop songs in history but suffered from the depression which afflicts many a genius, had retired from the record business to wallow in a twilight world of darkness and paranoia. That was the Castle’s reputation, at least.

Rachelle. Bright, amenable, and one-third his age, she burst on to the scene some time in 2003, and apparently turned him from an obsessive recluse, whose controlling nature once sparked ugly lawsuit after ugly lawsuit, into a gentle old man with a renewed appetite for life, love, and the pop game. His prison sentence left Rachelle in charge of Phil Spector’s life, and legacy. She ran his home, his back catalogue, and his multi-million-dollar business interests.

In 2016, Phil Spector’s wife Rachelle was “heartbroken” after the music producer filed for divorce from jail. The now 77-year-old – who is currently serving 19 years to life for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson – is said to have “failed to recognise” his wife’s efforts to get him medical care while completing his sentence. Spector filed for divorce claiming irreconcilable differences after almost ten years together.

Spector’s younger wife Rachelle – who still lived in and ran Pyrenees Castle and her husband’s multi-million dollar business interests before their split – used to visit her husband at the Stockton prison facility, which provides medical and mental health care to the state’s most unwell inmates, including those with chronic conditions.

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Phil Spector – Wikipedia

Murder of Lana Clarkson – Wikipedia

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Phil Spector overtaken by his own demons – Telegraph

Inside story: The weird world of Mr & Mrs Phil Spector | The Independent

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Phil Spector’s wife Rachelle left ‘heartbroken’ after he files for divorce …

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