Surprisingly, today’s Phil Spector news doesn’t involve the legendary 69-year-old producer’s murder trial, although it does involve a death: that of the engineer who helped create Mr. Spector’s famed "Wall of Sound" recording technique.
The New York-born Larry Levine, 80, died on May 8 at his Encino, Calif. home after suffering from emphysema, Read More
There are two people’s voices I can impersonate well: that of Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt and Project Runway frontman Tim Gunn. It seems Merritt is forever impersonating as well, or perhaps just exploring the many forms of his beloved pop and rock songcraft. (Alas, Mr. Gunn specializes in another kind of craft, one that Read More
Two very strange courtroom spectacles are about to unfold in Los Angeles: the murder trials of Robert Blake and Phil Spector. I’ve been covering these cases for a while now-Blake’s since February of ’01 and Spector’s since February of ’02. As I’ve become more familiar with each story, I’ve realized that Mr. Blake and Mr. Read More
Sir Paul McCartney is a fool. I just wanted to get that on record before I proceed to the chief focus of this column, which is the Phil Spector tragedy. I’ll get to Sir Paul, and his idiocy in relation to Phil Spector and the “Naked” Beatles album-Sir Paul’s deluded ego trip-in due time. But Read More
Why can’t more musicians take pleasure in the anonymity that their art could potentially grant them? Think about it: Not only does music have the ability to distend time and reorder history (groovy!), but the pleasure of the playing allows us to disappear from ourselves. Look at Phil Spector. He was and is a pretty Read More
Every dog derided as hopelessly uncool in one decade has its day somewhere down the line. Look at the entities that have blossomed under the light of recent reappraisal. Disco? Cool. The Bee Gees? Cool. Burt Bacharach? Cool. Kiss? Cool. Fleetwood Mac? Cool. Such belated iconography is invariably intended ironically but has the effect of Read More