Saturday, February 25, 2012
Accused: pop genius Phil Spector
12:01AM GMT 08 Feb 2005
This spring, Phil Spector will finally be tried for the alleged murder of Lana Clarkson, the actress found dead at his home two years ago. Mick Brown, the last journalist to interview the pop producer before the shooting, distils the dramatic evidence that has already emerged
MICK BROWN CONTACTS ME IN 2005. HE USES ME. USES QUOTES OF MINE WITHOUT PERMISSION - ALTHOUGH HE WAS ADVISED TO DO SO. DOESN'T QUOTE ME. WANTS TO MEET WITH ME WHEN HE'S ATTENDING A PHIL SPECTOR STORY. I AM PRIVATELY COPYING THE 17TH KARMAPA, 14TH SHARMAPA, AND JIGME RINPOCHE IN ON ALL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ME AND MICK BROWN. SHARMAPA ADVISES ME THAT BROWN IS NAIVE, A STUDENT OF AKONG TULKU'S, AND I AM AWARE OF HIS ROLE IN THE KARMAPA CONTROVERSY. I SEE BROWN COMING IN FOR THE KILL WITH ME AND LET MY TEACHERS KNOW. BROWN IS UNAWARE THAT I AM SENDING THEM OUR EMAILS.
Over the two years since he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Lana Clarkson, an actress and model, and released on $1 million bail, Phil Spector has wiled away the hours in his California castle by sending e-mails to friends.
SURE. PHIL SPECTOR WILED AWAY HIS HOURS EMAILING FRIENDS. HE WASN'T PUTTING TOGETHER A LEGAL TEAM AND PREPARING FOR THE WAR OF HIS LIFE? I SEE MICK BROWN DOES NOT KNOW PHIL SPECTOR OR UNDERSTAND HOW BRILLIANT HE IS.
Rather than protestations of innocence or cries of despair, these have tended to take the form of corny jokes and squibs. One of his more recent dispatches bore the catchline 'Only in America'.
REALLY - ONLY IN AMERICA CAN YOU BUY CIGARETTES AT THE FRONT AND DRUGS AT THE BACK. ONLY IN REALITY IS CAFFEINE - WHICH ROUTINELY HARMS PEOPLE'S HEARTS, LEADS TO HOSPITALIATIONS, ETC. - WHILE GOVERNMENTS AND AGENTS DEMONIZE MARIJUANA KNOWING FULL WELL THEY PERSONALLY HAVE PREVENTED MEDICAL RESEARCH INTO ITS MEDICINAL VALUES. ONLY IN REALITY ...
'Only in America,' it reads, 'do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front. Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a Diet Coke. Only in America do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.'
Only in America, the list might add, could a high-profile murder case drag on for as long as Spector's has, while the accused carries on with life much as normal, entertaining friends and dining out – proof, as one Los Angeles attorney puts it, that 'justice grinds very slowly in California, particularly if the defendant is rich'.
28 July 2003: Unscripted ending [profile of Lana Clarkson]
08 Feb 2005
4 February 2003: Pop's lost genius [interview with Phil Spector]
08 Feb 2005
But after two years of legal prevarication, the Spector case has finally ignited in the most sensational manner. Ever since his arrest, Spector has maintained that Clarkson killed herself, that she 'kissed the gun', as he has put it. But testimony released three weeks ago from a Los Angeles Grand Jury alleges that at the time of his arrest Spector confessed to shooting Clarkson.
BROWN HELPS IT IGNITE IN THE MOST SENSATIONAL MANNER. THAT'S WHAT HE TOLD ME - THE 6' TALL, 160 POUND WOMAN WHO SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A PROSTITUTE WHO
PLAYED KINKY SEX GAMES WITH GUNS SHOT HERSELF IN HIS FOYER. SHE WAS DANCING AROUND SINGING DA DOO RUN RUN. LOOKS LIKE SHE FELL BACK INTO THE CHAIR.
'I didn't mean to shoot her, it was an accident,' he is alleged to have told police officers as they wrestled him to the floor of his mansion, within feet of Clarkson's dead body. Only later, police evidence alleges, did he offer a contradictory version of events, claiming that Clarkson had shot herself while singing one of his greatest hits, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.
SURE. ONLY LATER. NO ONE HEARD PHILLIP TELL BEATRICE THIS AND IT SOUNDS DERANGED SINCE THEY WERE TASING HIM, WRESTLING HIM, KNEELING ON HIS BACK, AND PROBABLY KNOCKED THE BODY AROUND, MOVED THE GUN, AND SOMEHOW THE TASER WIRES ENDED UP UNDER CLARKSON'S LEG.
This grand-guignol detail seems entirely consistent with a case that has taken on the aspect of high theatre, and has seen Spector twice changing lawyers. There have been stand-up courtroom rows and the sort of 'litigating in public' – increasingly common in high-profile American cases – in which crucial evidence has been revealed and spun by both the defence and prosecution in an attempt to sway media and public opinion, in a way that could never happen in Britain because the law prevents any discussion of a case that might influence a jury once a defendant has been arrested.
SPOT ON. U.S. PROSECUTORS UNDERSTAND THIS - HIGH PROFILE TRIALS GET THEM ON TELEVISION AND ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS. THEY ALSO UNDERSTAND THE NEWS MEDIA CAN
BE USED TO INFLUENCE JURORS. SEEMS LIKE A NO BRAINER SO WHAT IS MICK BROWN'S POINT?
In the 1960s, Phil Spector, who is now 65, was the architect of pop music's Wall of Sound, the producer of such hits as River Deep – Mountain High and Be My Baby. Records of a thunderous and melodramatic beauty, they made Spector a millionaire by his early twenties, 'the first tycoon of teen'.
He went on to work with John Lennon, George Harrison and the Ramones. But by the 1980s darkness had engulfed him. He retired from the music business, retreating behind high walls and electronic gates, while the legends of his eccentric behaviour – his drinking binges and enthusiasm for guns – fermented around him.
NOW THEY'RE DRINKING BINGES. HIGH WALLS. ELECTRONIC GATES. ENTHUSIASM FOR GUNS. FERMENTED ... IN MICK BROWN'S IMAGINATION.
The Telegraph Magazine has a particular interest in the case. Phil Spector had not given a major interview in more than 20 years when, in December 2002, I travelled to LA to meet him. A vintage white Rolls-Royce, registration PHIL 500, arrived at my hotel to drive me to the 'Pyrenees Castle', a faux-Spanish mansion on a hill above the suburb of Alhambra, where Spector has lived for six years. Passing through the electronic gates, the car stopped beside a steep flight of stone steps leading to the house. 'Mr Spector,' the driver told me, 'likes guests to walk up.'
THE TELEGRAPH HAS MOTIVE, OBVIOUSLY. WOW! MICK BROWN INTERVIEWED PHIL SPECTOR. I HAVE TALKED TO HIM THOUSANDS OF TIMES. IS IT FAUX SPANISH? BROWN MUST BE AN ARISTOCRAT. BROWN DOESN'T WANT TO WALK UP. HE MUST BE SPOILED.
At the top of the steps, I was ushered through the front door into a baronial hallway, a suit of armour standing sentinel. It was in this hall that in the early hours of February 3, 2003, police would find the body of Lana Clarkson slumped in a chair. In the starkly matter-of-fact language of police evidence, 'She was wearing a black nylon slip/dress, black nylons and black shoes. A leopard-print purse with a black strap was slung over her right shoulder, with the purse hanging down on her right side by her right arm. She had what appeared to be a single-entry gunshot wound to the mouth.'
WASH HE USHERED? WAS THE HALLWAY BARONIAL? WHERE AM I - IN UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS? YES, THEY FOUND THE BODY. PAGE TASED PHILLIP TWICE, TACKLED HIM, ACTED LIKE AN ANIMAL, AND THEN LOOKED UP AND SAW LANA CLARKSON. HOW CONVENIENT THAT THE PURSE WAS OVER HER SHOULDER. SOUNDS LIKE AN AFTER THOUGHT. DID IT APPEAR TO BE A SINGLE-ENTRY GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE MOUTH? POSITIVELY CSI. PAGE REALLY GETS THIS FORENSIC STUFF.
On the day of my visit, Spector spoke with extraordinary candour about his life and career; the genius which had been both blessing and curse; his fragile mental state and his years on the brink of insanity.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN PHILLIP ON THE BRINK OF INSANITY BUT MICK BROWN APPEARS TO BE ON THE BRINK OF SOMETHING HERE ...
'I've been a very tortured soul,' he told me. 'I would say I'm probably relatively insane to an extent… I have devils inside that fight me.' But the worst, he told me, was now behind him. He was trying to be a 'reasonable man'. It was a phrase he returned to constantly throughout our conversation.
PHIL SPECTOR IS A REASONABLE MAN AND WAS TORTURED BY HIS SON'S DEATH - MOST PARENTS, WHO HAVE AN 11 YEAR OLD CHILD DIE, ARE TORMENTED.
The interview appeared in The Telegraph Magazine on February 1, 2003. Thirty-six hours later, Spector walked into a Hollywood nightclub, the House of Blues, and met Lana Clarkson. Subsequent press reports would depict Clarkson as a faded B-movie actress. In the 1980s and 1990s she had appeared frequently on television and in film, starring in 'sword-and-sorcery' movies.
THE TELEGRAPH IS THRILLED - PHIL SPECTOR FINALLY TALKED TO ONE OF THEIR LUNATICS. THEY LOOK LIKE PORN MOVIES.
But while it was true that, at 40, her film career appeared to be over, Clarkson was far from faded: she had continued to work as a model and was developing a new career as a comedian. In January 2003 she had taken a job as the hostess in the VIP lounge of the House of Blues, a club frequented by showbusiness high rollers, to tide herself over until more work came along.
WAS SHE FAR FROM FADED? IT DOESN'T SOUND THAT WAY.
Friends described her as cheerful, optimistic and excited about her new position.
ACTUALLY, HER CLOSEST FRIENDS DIDN'T DESCRIBE HER THIS WAY BUT JACKASS AND GANGSTAS WENT TO TOWN ON THEM.
'I am going to meet people,' she told one friend. 'They will remember that I am here and it might get me another job.' She had spent February 2 shopping with her mother and e-mailing friends, including a reply to a birthday party invitation. 'Can't wait. XOXO Lana.'
THEY WILL REMEMBER SHE IS WHERE? IN HER HOME, ALONE, WRITING ABOUT HER FORMER CAREER.
In the wake of the shooting, Spector's comments in The Telegraph were recycled in the media around the world, and became an instant template for his psychological state. I received a call from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department asking whether there was anything more I could tell them about Spector's behaviour on the day we met.
THEY MOST CERTAINLY WERE RECYCLED IN THE MEDIA AROUND THE WORLD AND THEY DID INDEED BECOME AN INSTANT TEMPLATE FOR PHILLIP'S PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR.
THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT CALLED A LOUSY SENSATIONALIST JOURNALIST, WHO THE SHARMAPA KNOWS IS A LIAR, ABOUT PHIL SPECTOR'S BEHAVIOR MONTHS EARILER IN AN
INTERVIEW THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PHILLIP, A DEAD WOMAN, DRUGS, GUNS, ETC. WOW. THAT'S A STRETCH. THEY REALLY MUST NOT HAVE A CASE.
There wasn't. Somebody else suggested the article would be useful if Spector decided to make a defence of diminished responsibility; his lawyers would be sure to get in touch. They didn't. I had liked Spector when I met him. I found it hard to believe he would kill anybody in cold blood. The coincidence of the article's publication and the death of Clarkson left me feeling shocked. I wrote to Spector to express my sympathy for the predicament he now found himself in, but heard nothing back.
BROWN THINKS HE IS PART OF HIS CASE. PERHAPS THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SHOULD PROFILE HIM NOW. SMART - PHILLIP'S LAWYERS DIDN'T GET IN TOUCH WITH BROWN.
SHARMAPA'S SHOULD HAVE. IN COLD BLOOD - HOW TERRIBLY TRUMAN CAPOTE OF BROWN. I WROTE TO PHILLIP AND EXPRESSED SYMPATHY. THEN WE WENT OUT FOR DINNER AND DRINKS AND DISCUSSED WHAT HAPPENED.
While the police set about assembling a case, Spector moved quickly to declare his innocence and claim there was no case to answer. In June, he gave an interview to Esquire magazine in America.
GOOD WORD - ASSEMBLING. ASSEMBLING A CASE. SOUNDS RIGHT. GREAT INTERVIEW IN ESQUIRER. REALLY CAPTURES PHILLIP AND THE INSANITY HE DEALS WITH.
'I didn't do anything wrong,' Spector was quoted as saying. 'I didn't do anything. I called the police myself. I called the police.' Clarkson had 'kissed the gun. I have no idea why. I never knew her, never even saw her before that night. I have no idea who she was or what her agenda was.
DID SHE KISS THE GUN? IS THAT THE TYPE OF KINKY GAMES SHE WOULD PLAY WITH GUNS? WHO KNOWS WHAT HER AGENDA WAS.
'They have the gun – I don't know where or how she got the gun. She asked me for a ride home. Then she wanted to see the castle. She was loud – she was loud and drunk even before we left the House of Blues. She grabbed a bottle of tequila from the bar to take with her. I was not drunk. I wasn't drunk at all. There is no case. She killed herself.'
THE HOUSE OF BLUES LET HER GRAB A BOTTLE OF TEQUILLA? DIDN'T DESOUZA REALIZE THIS? SEEMS OBVIOUS - SHE KILLED HERSELF.
In September, the Los Angeles county coroner's office finally released its own findings: Clarkson's death, the coroner ruled, was homicide, not suicide. Two months later, on November 20, 2003, Spector was charged with murder.
TOOK A LONG TIME. SHE SHOT HERSELF IN FEBRUARY.
At that point, few concrete details had emerged about what had actually occurred on the night of February 2 and in the early hours of February 3. But in December 2003, a Los Angeles judge ruled that police search warrants and supporting affidavits should be released. From those documents, the coroner's report, which was released six months later, and the recent testimony to the Grand Jury, it is possible to piece together a detailed account of the events leading to Lana Clarkson's death.
NOTHING CONCRETE EMERGED UNTIL FIVE FORENSIC EXPERTS TOOK THE STAND TO CONFIRM SHE SHOT HERSELF. BROWN HASN'T SEEN THE LA DA'S CONFIDENTIAL REPORT THAT'S ON THE INTERNET ABOUT THE CORONER PENA - HE WILL LIE, ALTER DOCUMENTS, AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR HIS JOB. HE KNOWS IT IS POLITICAL. AH, THE GRAND JURY. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PIECE ANYTHING TOGETHER FROM POLICE REPORTS, A CORONER'S REPORT, AND GRAND JURY TESTIMONY. IT IS ONE SIDED AND NEEDS TO STAND UP TO CROSS-EXAMINATION WHICH IT DID NOT. SLANDER WORKED HOWEVER.
The most crucial evidence of Phil Spector's behaviour on that night comes from Adriano DeSouza, Spector's 'relief' driver who at 7pm collected the record producer at his home in Spector's new Mercedes limousine for a night on the town. DeSouza, a Brazilian, had been working on and off for Spector for two months.
THE JURORS THEMSELVES DISCOUNTED DESOUZA. ICE SHOULD BE CALLED ONTO THE CARPET TO EXPLAIN THEIR ROLE IN THE SET UP OF PHIL SPECTOR, THE DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS, AND THE GREEN CARD. EVERYONE IN AMERICA SHOULD BE OUTRAGED OVER THIS SITUATION - PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION MATTERS WE ARE UNABLE TO DEAL WITH - EVER - IN THIS COUNTRY.
(In fact his first job had been collecting me the previous December. We were delayed outside my hotel when the car stalled, necessitating a jump-start. I remember DeSouza anxiously calling on his mobile phone to explain that we would be late. He told me it was his first day working for Spector, and he was keen to make a good impression.)
According to DeSouza, the evening began with Spector collecting a female friend (who is not named in the testimony) from her home, and DeSouza driving them to the Grill on the Alley, a Beverly Hills restaurant, for dinner. Two hours later, Spector dropped off his date at her home and instructed DeSouza to return to the Grill.
SOUNDS LIKE DOMINICK DUNNE. FOLLOWING PHILLIP INTO THE BATHROOM. OUT AND ABOUT IN BEVERLY HILLS GOSSIPING WITH WAITRESSES, VALETS, ETC.
He had apparently made another assignation. A waitress, 'Kathy', was waiting for him outside. De Souza drove them first to Trader Vic's bar, and then to another restaurant, Dan Tana's. By now, Kathy was complaining that she was tired and wanted to go home. But Spector did not want the evening to end. At 1.30am they arrived at the House of Blues. According to the police, Spector had been drinking alcohol at each stop along the way, and by now, DeSouza said, he was 'slurring his words'.
SO WHAT? PHILLIP DIDN'T WANT TO GO HOME. IS THAT A CRIME?
Spector and Kathy went inside, but after quarter of an hour Kathy emerged with 'a tall lady, blonde hair', who introduced herself to DeSouza as Lana Clarkson. She explained that Spector wanted him to take Kathy home and return to collect him. Clarkson clocked out of the House of Blues at 2.21. At 2.23 DeSouza saw Spector emerge from the club; he seemed to be having difficulty walking, DeSouza claimed, and was being helped by Clarkson.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH KATHY?
As DeSouza opened the car door for him, Spector invited Clarkson to go back to the Castle. She declined, saying she had to collect her car. Spector offered her a lift, continuing to press his invitation.
THIS SOUNDS PSYCHOTIC.
'More than once. Two, three times,' according to DeSouza. Finally, Clarkson relented, and they set off for Alhambra. According to DeSouza, Clarkson told him, 'I would like to have only one drink. It will be fast.' Spector turned to her: 'You don't need to talk to the driver.'
CAREFUL WITH DRIVERS IN HOLLYWOOD. THEY LISTEN TO PEOPLE. THEY GOSSIP. THEY LIE. I KNOW. I'VE USED COUNTLESS CAR SERVICES AND THOUGHT THE CIA SHOULD
EMPLOY SOME OF THESE DRIVERS. AND THEN THERE ARE THE NANNIES, HOUSE KEEPERS, GARDENERS, ETC.
At about 3.15, the Mercedes drove through the gates of the Castle and pulled to a halt. Spector and Clarkson got out and set off up the steps to the house. According to DeSouza, Clarkson was 'like, grabbing [Spector's] arm and shoulder and helping him up the stairs'. DeSouza continued up the drive, and parked at the rear of the house. About half an hour later, he said, Spector came out of the back door.
THE CAR PULLED TO A HALT. PHILIP WALKS UP THE STEPS BUT IT PISSES BROWN OFF THAT HE HAS TO. WAS CLARKSON LIKE GRABBING PHILLIP'S ARM AND SHOULDER? SHE SOUNDS DRUNK AND OUT OF CONTROL. HOW DID DESOUZA SEE THIS IF HE WAS DRIVING UP THE DRIVE?
According to DeSouza, 'he looks mad' and disoriented. DeSouza asked Spector whether he wanted to collect his briefcase and a portable DVD player which he had left in the car. 'No, no, no,' Spector said – but then changed his mind and took the DVD player. DeSouza followed him into the house and placed the briefcase inside the hall. There was so sign of Clarkson.
THAT'S BECAUSE CLARKSON WAS IN THE HOUSE. THAT'S WHY THERE WASN'T A SIGN OF HER WHEN PHILLIP CAME OUT TO GET SOMETHING.
For the next 90 minutes or so he waited in the car. Then, around 5am, he heard a soft popping sound. He got out, but could see nothing amiss and returned to the car. Spector then emerged again from the back door. DeSouza got out of the car. Spector was still dressed in the clothes he had worn that evening – white jacket, black trousers and shirt. In his right hand was a revolver, which he was holding across his body. DeSouza could see blood on the back of his hand.
DID HE WAIT IN THE CAR? WHY WAS PHILIP HOLDING A GUN ACROSS HIS BODY? SOUNDS CRAZY.
He claimed that Spector then said, 'I think I killed somebody.' Looking past Spector, DeSouza could see a pair of women's legs extending out into the hall. He stepped to the left and saw Clarkson, slumped in a chair with blood on her face. He asked, 'What happened, sir?' Spector shrugged and said, 'I don't know.'
THIS GUY SOUNDS LIKE HE'LL CLAIM ANYTHING.
By then, DeSouza was in shock. He tried to use his mobile phone, but was so panicked he was unable to press the buttons. He could see Spector in the doorway, looking at Clarkson. DeSouza climbed into the car and drove it back to the front gate, from where he called the emergency services. While Spector would later assert that he had called the police, there is no record in the available police evidence of such a call.
IF DESOUZA WAS IN SHOCK - IMAGINE THE STATE PHILLIP WAS IN AFTER WITNESSING THIS LUNATIC SHOOT HERSELF, ETC. HE COULDN'T PRESS THE BUTTONS? HE WAS ABLE TO CALL BLAINE. ABJECT INSANITY. SEAL INSPECTOR.
According to the police transcript, the conversation between DeSouza and the Alhambra officer who took his call was a comedy of misunderstanding. `Your boss's name?' the policeman asked.
'It's, uh, Phil Spector.'
'Yeah. Phil Spector.'
The police arrived at the gate of Spector's house at 5.10, but it was a further 15 minutes before they finally assembled outside the back door. Spector stepped out. He was no longer wearing the white jacket and his hands were in his pockets. An officer told him to raise his hands above his head.
THEY SAW A BULGE, RIGHT?
Spector did so, then put his hands back into his pockets and turned to go into the house, saying, 'You've got to see this.' He was again warned to take his hands out of his pockets, and when he refused an officer, Michael Page, deployed a Taser stun gun on him.
WHY DIDN'T THE POLICE JUST GO IN WITH HIM? WAS HE GOING TO SHOOT THEM WITH HIS BACK TO THEM? MY GOD. THE LIARS AND THE LIES THEY TELL.
'It had no effect,' Page said. Page followed Spector into the house and fired again; again it had no effect. (Page testified that he had used the Taser four times in his career, and it had never worked.) Page and another officer then wrestled Spector to the ground, attempting to handcuff him. A third officer, Beatrice Rodriguez, stated that at this point she heard Spector say, 'What's wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident.'
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALHAMBRA PD?
This statement was not captured by police on tape, but subsequent exchanges between Spector and the police were. 'Just ask me and I'll tell you,' Spector said as officers held him down. 'Oh, God. LAPD works for me… I can explain it but if you'd just give me a chance… I'm not drunk and I'm not stupid. I can tell you what happened.
PHIL SPECTOR IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT STUPID BUT ...
'You don't have to handcuff me. I'm sorry this happened. I don't know how it happened, but it happened and I'm sorry this happened. The gun went off accidentally. She works at the House of Blues. It was a mistake…'
Then Page looked up and saw the body of Lana Clarkson slumped in a chair.
'She had what appeared to be a single-entry gunshot wound to the mouth,' the police report states. 'Broken teeth from the victim were scattered about the foyer and an adjacent stairway.
DID IT APPEAR THAT WAY? IT ALSO APPEARED, ACCORDING TO MY FRIEND (AND PAGE'S COUSIN) THAT PAGE THOUGHT PHILLIP HAD A GUN IN HIS POCKET - I THOUGHT PAGE WAS THINKING THROUGH MORE LIES.
'Lying on the floor under the victim's left leg was a Colt, 2in, blue-steel,.38-calibre, six-shot revolver. This weapon had five live cartridges in the cylinder, and under the hammer, a spent cartridge… There was blood splatter on the weapon.'
THE TASER WIRES WERE UNDER HER LEG ALSO. WHY WAS THE GUN UNDER HER LEG?
A check on the weapon found no registered owner. According to the coroner's report, the weapon was 'apparently taken' from a holster, which the police found, also stained with blood, in a drawer in the hall. Ammunition in the gun was by the same manufacturer as a cache of bullets found in a plastic sack upstairs in the house.
BRUCE CUTLER SAID THIS WAS NOT PHILLIP'S GUN.
In a living-room, police noted, 'candles had been lit atop a fireplace mantel. The coffee table between two couches had a brandy glass partially filled with alcohol, and atop the table was a Jose Cuervo tequila bottle and a partially empty Canada Dry soft drink.'
PHIL SPECTOR KEPT A SHRINE, WITH CANDLES, FOR HIS SON PHILLIP, JR. I HAVE LIT THESE CANDLES ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS.
In a bathroom off the hall police found a blood-soaked cloth lying on the floor, and a wet hand towel on the sink top. Smears of Clarkson's blood were found on the handle of the back door and on the wooden banister, `about 7ft west of the victim's remains'.
WERE THEY 7' WEST OF THE VICTIM'S REMAINS? SOUNDS LIKE THE DETECTIVES I USED TO WORK FOR. ARE YOU SURE THEY WEREN'T SOUTHWEST?
In an upstairs dressing-room, police found the white jacket that Spector had been wearing that evening, spattered with blood on the sleeve and lapel. A search of the house uncovered 10 other firearms, including two more blue-steel Colt revolvers.
JANICE TOLD ME SHE PACKED UP ALL GUNS AND THREW THEM IN A BOX WHEN THEY MOVED FROM ALHAMBRA.
Spector was taken to the Alhambra police station. He was agitated and refused to co-operate. An officer, Derek Gilliam, was told to try to calm him down. Spector, Gilliam said, began to ramble about his music-business friends, including George Harrison.
THE SITUATION WITH GILLIAM SOUNDS UNCONSCIONABLE AND ILLEGAL.
Gilliam is the nephew of Terry Gilliam, the film director and Monty Python veteran. He mentioned that his uncle knew Harrison and had been a member of the Monty Python team. 'He called me a liar,' Gilliam stated. Spector then said, 'I basically have the rights to Monty Python.'
PHILLIP IS HILARIOUS AND COULD BE IN MONTY PYTHON. BUT AT THIS POINT - YOU BETTER GET ME A BUCKET. I WANT TO "PUKE." QUOTE EMINEM LATER.
It was then, Gilliam said, that Spector denied killing Clarkson. According to Gilliam's testimony, Spector said that Clarkson had somehow obtained the gun and was twirling it around her head. He told her to put the gun down, but she didn't.
SHE WAS DANCING AROUND.
'He said that the young lady began singing his songs, two of them, one being Da Doo Run Run [sic] and the other, You've Lost That Loving Feeling [sic].
THAT'S WHAT HE TOLD ME. GILIAM MUST BE ONE SADISTIC INDIVIDUAL.
'He said that she took the gun into her hand and basically put it to her head… And basically said, "It went like this, bang", and he basically fell back into his chair, throwing his head back. And he sat there for about five seconds in that position. He said that she was singing the song. He was real animated about it.'
RIGHT. IT'S OBVIOUS. SHE FELL BACK INTO THE CHAIR.
According to Gilliam, Spector re-enacted the scene two or three times. The last time, he threw his head back and for a long time didn't move. Gilliam said he was afraid 'that maybe he had gone into some form of an attack or something'. Then, with an expression which Gilliam described as a `half-slanted smile', Spector said, `You don't pull a gun out on me.'
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALHAMBRA PD?
That exchange was seemingly not taped, but a subsequent exchange between Spector and Detective Esther Pineda was. After being told that he had been arrested for murder, Spector asked, 'Of whom?', and described it as 'the most bizarre nonsense… absolutely absurd'.
WHY WASN'T THIS EXCHANGE TAPED? RIGHT "Of whom." It is the most bizarre nonsense and the most absurd situation I have ever witnessed in my entire life.
Apparently growing increasingly agitated, he launched into a stream of invective.
EVERYONE ELSE WOULD HAVE SENT THANK YOU NOTES AND FLOWERS.
'And when somebody comes over to my f***ing house, who pretends to be security at the House of Blues… remember I own the House of Blues. Where this lady pretended to work, OK? And then just blows her f***ing head open… She wasn't a security at the House of Blues and she's a piece of shit.
EXACTLY. THAT'S HOW SOMEONE TELLING THE TRUTH TALKS. SHE HAD NO RIGHT TO BLOW HER HEAD OPEN AT HIS HOUSE. AN INNOCENT MAN IS NOW IN PRISON OVER THIS SITUATION AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO HEAR HIS CASE AND CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO COMMENT. BUSINESS AS USUAL. INNOCENT PEOPLE DYING IN PRISON, BEING EXECUTED, ETC. TOUGH GUYS ON THIS COURT.
'And I don't know what her f***ing problem was but she certainly had no right to come to my f***ing castle, blow her f***ing head open, and [break in police transcription]… murder. What the f*** is wrong with you people?'
WHO KNOWS WHAT HER PROBLEM WAS. SHE WAS ON DRUGS AND DRINKING. IT HAPPENS FREQUENTLY WITH CELEBRITIES. THE DA IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.
The man who arrived at the Alhambra police station to arrange Spector's $1 million bail was his lawyer and friend, Robert Shapiro. One of America's best-known defence attorneys, Shapiro has a reputation for smoothness and charm – a man who, according to another Los Angeles lawyer, 'couldn't find his way out of the box' in a trial, but is a peerless negotiator.
SHAPIRO WAS NO FRIEND OF PHIL SPECTOR'S AND HIS CONVERSATION WITH STEVEN MACHAT, ABOUT HIS SON'S DRUG USE, IS INSANE AND SICKENING. THIS MAN IS NOT A PEERLESS NEGOTIATOR. I'VE TALKED TO HIM - ONE OF LORCA COHEN'S FRIENDS HAD A HEROIN/GREEN CARD PROBLEM. IT WOULD HAVE COST SEVEN GRAND TO RESOLVE.
It was Shapiro who put together the 'dream team' which in 1995 secured OJ Simpson's acquittal over the double murder of his wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goodman.
SEE F. LEE BAILEY'S WEBSITE FOR ADDITIONAL OJ DETAILS.
Hours after being released on bail, Spector went to Shapiro's office and signed an 'Engagement for Professional Services' letter, agreeing to pay a non-refundable $1.5 million to the lawyer. He made an immediate downpayment of $1 million.
IRS SHOULD AUDIT THE RETAINER SHAPIRO PUT INTO HIS PERSONAL ACCOUNT.
Shapiro quickly moved to secure expert witnesses for the defence, including the forensic scientist Dr Henry Lee and the pathologist Dr Michael Baden, both of whom had testified in the Simpson case. Shapiro quietly let it be known to the media that Baden had attended the autopsy on Clarkson, where tests had shown that she had gunpowder residue on her hands. The results, Baden had apparently told Shapiro, were 'not inconsistent with suicide'.
CONSISTENT WITH SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUNDS, DRUG ABUSE, ALCOHOL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AUTOPSY, ETC.
It would be another 12 months before the coroner's report was made public. In the meantime, the case dragged through a series of procedural hearings. Then, in January 2004 – just a few weeks after he had been formally charged with murder – Spector fired Shapiro. Spector would subsequently file suit for the return of the unused portion of the $1 million he had paid immediately after his release from custody, claiming that Shapiro and his colleagues had taken advantage of their friendship with Spector 'and used his legal plight as an opportunity to unabashedly line their own pockets'.
CORONER WORKED HARD TO TURN THE SUICIDE INTO A HOMICIDE. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT MEDIA HUNGRY WHORES LINE THEIR POCKETS ON THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS.
Shapiro, the suit went on, had provided inadequate representation in the case, indeed it was 'likely that the "services'' provided by [him] had actually led prosecutors to file the formal criminal charges'.
SHAPIRO THE SUIT. DEMANDS AN INVESTIGATION BUT BY "WHOM?" WHO DOES THESE INVESTIGATIONS IN AMERICA?
Changing lawyers is almost de rigueur in Californian 'celebrity trials'. It slows things down. Michael Jackson twice changed lawyers in the run-up to his trial on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy. To replace Shapiro, Spector hired another renowned attorney, Leslie Abramson.
CORRUPTION IS DE RIGUER IN LOST ANGELES. LESLIE ABRAMSON SEEMS COOL. SHE WAS BACK ON THE CASE DURING THE APPEAL. INTERESTING.
If Shapiro has a reputation as a negotiator, Abramson is renowned for her ferocity. One client, a contract killer, is said to have remarked, 'Leslie was so good, for a while there she even had me believing I didn't do it.' She immediately went on the offensive.
For more than a year, the coroner's report into Clarkson's death had been kept on 'security hold' at the coroner's office. But in May 2004, Abramson leaked a copy to the media. It contained what appeared to be crucial evidence on behalf of the defence, which confirmed Shapiro's leak of a few months earlier.
LEAKED. WHO LEAKED THE GRAND JURY TRANSCRIPTS TO BROWN?
Analysis had revealed 'several highly specific particles and many consistent particles of gunshot residue on both the right and left hand' of Clarkson. 'Therefore,' the report went on, 'the decedent may have discharged a firearm or had hands otherwise in an environment of gunshot residue.'
WOW - ANALYSIS REVEALED THIS.
The DA's office immediately hit back. A spokesman, Sandi Gibbons, said that the residue on Clarkson's hands could be explained because a gunshot releases a cloud of residue within a 3ft radius.
HOW WOULD SANDI GIBBONS KNOW THIS?
'She could have had her hands on her lap when the gunshot went off and residue would still have been on her hands.' Spector, Gibbons went on, also had gunshot residue, and Clarkson's blood, on him. Furthermore, there was evidence that Spector had wiped the gun and moved it after the shooting. The gun was found under Clarkson's left leg, and she was right-handed.
OBVIOUSLY SHE WOULD HAVE HAD HER HANDS IN FRONT OF HER FACE UNLESS THIS WAS SOME WEIRD MOB EXECUTION AND HER HANDS WERE TIED BEHIND HER BACK. WHAT TYPE OF INVESTIGATION WAS DONE HERE?
Clarkson, the coroner's report stated, had died from a gunshot entering `front to back and slightly upwards'; the weapon was 'in the mouth' when it was fired. It also noted that traces of hydrocodone – better known as Vicodin, a powerful opiate-based painkiller – were found in Clarkson's bloodstream, along with traces of alcohol.
CORONER IS A TRUE LUNATIC.
A pathologist would later testify to the Grand Jury that the combination of Vicodin and alcohol would 'most likely' have made Clarkson 'very sleepy'. There was no evidence that Clarkson and Spector had had sex.
I THINK IT MADE CLARKSON MORE THAN SLEEPY. IT KILLED HER. I AM NOW LISTENING TO THE RADIO AND PHILLIP'S SONG IS ON - THE GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL SONG EVER - YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING.
The report concluded, 'It should be noted that there was no history of suicidal ideations of the decedent and there was no suicide note found at the scene.'
MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE HIGH ON DRUGS AND BOOZE DON'T LEAVE SUICIDE NOTES WHEN THEY SPONTANEOUSLY SHOOT THEMSELVES.
Police visiting Clarkson's home shortly after the killing would find her work records laid out neatly on her desk. She was apparently in the midst of filing her tax returns.
TAX PROBLEMS ALSO? INTERESTING INVESTIGATORS.
Three days after the release of the coroner's report, Phil Spector appeared in court for a procedural hearing. It quickly turned into a firework display. In the course of the hearing, the deputy DA, Douglas Sortino, asserted that police had collected three incidents in the past 10 years in which Spector had allegedly threatened women with a gun. Abramson retorted that the DA was playing to the media, and that these women were all liars 'who had crawled out from under rocks' and were simply trying to cash in on a high-profile case.
THE DA PLAYED TO THE MEDIA. THESE WOMEN ARE LIARS AND THEY CRAWLED OUT OF THE GUTTER. ABRAMSON GETS IT. SO DO PEOPLE IN REALITY. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE INVESTIGATORS?
I LOVE THIS SONG ...
Outside the courtroom, Spector could hardly be restrained, interrupting Abramson on several occasions as she staged an impromptu press conference. When Abramson raised the matter of Spector having been Tasered by police and 'thrown to the ground at the feet of the poor, deceased Ms Clarkson', Spector interjected: 'Broken nose and two black eyes, and 50,000 volts of electricity shot through me, unarmed, inviting the police into my house.'
I'LL BET HE COULD HARDLY BE RESTRAINED. HE TOLD ME WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN THE POLICE TASED HIM, SHOT HIM TWICE WITH 50,000 VOLTS OF ELECTRICITY, TACKLED HIM, FALSELY ACCUSED HIM, LIED, HIS FRIENDS BETRAYED HIM ... THAT'S WHEN I DECIDED I WOULD STAND UP FOR PHIL SPECTOR ALTHOUGH I KNEW I WOULD LOSE CUSTODY OF RAY THE MOMENT THE DA'S INVESTIGATOR ROLLED BY MY HOUSE AT DINNER UNANNOUNCED AND I THOUGHT SOMETHING HAPPENED TO RUTGER.
A few minutes later, he erupted again when Abramson was asked how the defence would deal with Adriano DeSouza's claim that he had heard Spector say, 'I think I just shot her.' DeSouza, Abramson said, was 'sitting inside a closed car, with the radio on…'
'Asleep…' Spector interrupted.
I WOULD ASSUME PHILLIP KNOWS HE WAS ASLEEP.
'Asleep… Philip, please, darling. I do wish you wouldn't say anything,' Abramson said, adding to reporters, 'You can't stop a starring talent from being a starring talent, you just can't! But it's OK, I don't mind.'
Spector: 'I should stop now?'
Abramson: 'You have to stop me, darling, and I have to stop you.'
DeSouza's native language, Abramson went on, was Portuguese.
'He is not perfect in his English. I will not say he is illiterate, he is not. I will not say he is stupid, he is not…'
Spector: 'But he is illegal!'
Abramson: 'Well, that's a different issue.'
Spector: 'Yeah, he's an illegal alien. And he was threatened with deportation.'
Abramson: 'Exactly. He is undergoing deportation proceedings but the District Attorney's office has interceded on his behalf.'
WOW. ICE REALLY HELPED OUT WITH THE SET UP OF PHIL SPECTOR. WHY? SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING BRIBES MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH ICE OFFICIALS. HARD TO SAY.
At the end of the conference Spector exploded again, referring to one of the prosecutors as 'the one who proves you have children through anal sex', before again being cut short by Abramson saying, 'Phil, I get to be nasty, you don't.'
THE DA IS NASTY. SO IS THE JUDGE.
Rumours began to surface of discontent in the Spector camp, and were confirmed in August when Abramson resigned after it was revealed that Spector had been talking with yet another high-profile defence lawyer, Bruce Cutler – best known as the long-time attorney of the Mafia boss John Gotti.
I WONDER WHY BRIAN BENNETT MENTIONED A MAFIA WAITRESS?
Cutler, whom Spector has described as 'a genius’, successfully defended Gotti in three trials, before he was finally convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on racketeering charges in 1992. He died in prison 10 years later at the age of 61. Hiring a new lawyer seemed to have had the effect of buying Spector more time.
PHILLIP COULD ALSO DIE IN PRISON.
In September he was granted a court delay in scheduling what might, in normal circumstances, have been the next stage in the proceedings – a preliminary hearing, where a judge decides whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial. However, in order to speed proceedings along, it is within the gift of the DA to opt instead for a Grand Jury – a sitting jury of 'community stalwarts’ who consider a scaled-down version of the prosecution case behind closed doors and decide whether there is sufficient evidence to connect the accused to the crime.
I THINK PHILLIP SHOULD HAVE HAD A PRELIMINARY HEARING. THESE GRAND JURIES ARE OUTRAGEOUS. A WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS ALSO.
Spector’s preliminary hearing was waived, and instead, at the end of September, he was indicted by a Grand Jury, finally paving the way for the trial itself to begin. Grand Jury testimony is usually made public, but Spector’s lawyers immediately appealed to have it sealed.
In a bizarre courtroom exchange over the currency of fame, his defence argued that such was Spector’s renown as a record producer that the testimony would inevitably influence any future jury. In a riposte that must have wounded Spector’s ego more than anything, the DA countered that most of Spector’s hits had been made in the 1960s and 1970s, and that 'most people who came of age after that period have no idea of who he is’.
WHAT IS BIZARRE HERE? BROWN IS SPINNING THE STORY. PEOPLE KNOW WHO PHIL SPECTOR IS - SEE MICK BROWN'S ARTICLES.
The appeal was turned down, and three weeks ago the testimony was finally made public. Among the 31 witnesses who gave evidence were three women who claimed that Spector had pulled a gun on them in the past. Dorothy Melvin, who dated Spector in the 1990s, at a time when she was Joan Rivers’s manager, testified that he had hit her twice in the head with his right fist while clutching a revolver when she tried to leave his home.
I CAN'T WAIT TO READ JOAN RIVERS' MANAGERS BOOK ON HER AND CHER. I CONTACTED KEVIN SESSUMS ABOUT HIS ARTICLE AND LET HIM KNOW THAT I'M WRITING A BOOK ON PHIL SPECTOR AND LEONARD COHEN.
Another former girlfriend, Stephanie Jennings, a photographer, testified that in 1995 Spector had blocked the door of her hotel room with a chair and gun and would not let her leave. Deborah Strand testified that in 1999, at a Beverly Hills party, Spector had pulled a gun on her and pointed it at her right cheek following an argument. All of this, of course, is circumstantial to the events of February 3.
I WAS AT THE CARLYLE HOTEL. NEVER HAPPENED. ALL OF THIS IS, OF COURSE, CIRCUMSTANTIAL. I WAS, HOWEVER, AT THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL WITH PHILLIP IN 1999 WHEN HE HAD ANOTHER INCIDENT WITH A WOMAN THERE. CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS BUT IT REMINDED ME OF THE CARLYLE INCIDENT. PHILLIP WAS ENDLESSLY TARGETED.
More critical, it seems, is the forensic evidence. Lynne Herold, a forensic scientist who had examined the gun, testified that someone had wiped it of blood, possibly using the blood-soaked cloth found in the bathroom. This cloth was in fact a nappy, identical to others found with Spector’s guns upstairs, and which Herold thought were ordinarily used to clean the guns.
LYNNE HEROLD IS A LIAR; CHANGED HER TESTIMONY; AND LOOKS LIKE A RANK AMATEUR AND ARROGANT IDIOT.
Herold further determined that the gun had been fired from the normal upright position, instead of turned to the side, as might be expected of a suicide. The 'mist-like’ spray of blood found on Spector’s white jacket could only have come from the backflow of bullet gasses from the mouth, and put Spector 'within two or three feet’ of the discharging weapon. That does not mean, of course, that he pulled the trigger.
NO, IT DOESN'T MEAN HE PULLED THE TRIGGER AND THE BLOOD SPATTER IS ACTUALLY IRRELEVANT. MAYBE THE INVESTIGATORS CAN SHOOT SOME REAL HUMAN BEINGS TO SEE HOW BLOOD ACTUALLY TRAVELS. I'M SURPRISED THEY DIDN'T.
Phil Spector has made no comment on the Grand Jury testimony. But Bruce Cutler described it to me as 'very deceptive, one-sided and biased. Putting this poison in the public domain is for one purpose and one purpose only: to try and paint Phil in a negative light and to influence a potential jury pool. It’s inherently unfair.’
CLEARLY IT IS INHERENTLY UNFAIR. OBVIOUSLY IT IS MEANT TO INFLUENCE JURORS. SO WERE BACA'S COMMENTS.
By going to the Grand Jury, Cutler said, Spector’s defence had been denied the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and to present evidence from their own forensic experts.
'Everything they’ve found is consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I don’t want to get into the drugs and the liquor in the lady’s system. I don’t want to get into the gun-play. I don’t want to get into the fact that Phil’s fingerprints are not on that gun, and that gun was not registered to him and that’s not his gun. Where is the motive for this crime? There is none.’
THE GUN WASN'T PHILLIP'S. INTERESTING. THERE IS NO MOTIVE.
Spector’s 'so-called confession’, Cutler told me, was 'not true’. DeSouza was 'not facile’ in the English language, and there had been no confession to the policewoman Rodriguez. Was he saying the police had made it up?
DESOUZA IS OBVIOUSLY A LIAR - AS IS RODRIGUEZ. YES, POLICE LIE ALL THE TIME. EVEN POLICE CHIEFS KNOW THIS SO PEOPLE SHOULD GET REAL.
'I’m saying there is no memorialised evidence of this. It’s unfounded and untrue.’
NOTHING'S MEMORIALIZED? THESE ARE BALD FACED LIES TOLD BY PEOPLE WITH MOTIVE.
Spector is next due to appear in court on February 17, when a judge is expected finally to set a date when his trial will commence. This is likely to be sometime in the spring. If convicted, Spector faces life imprisonment. There was no question, Cutler told me, of Spector changing his plea.
WELL, WATCHING AN INNOCENT MAN IN PRISON WHEN THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HANDS DOWN A DEATH SENTENCE IS TOUGH.
'Of course not. He didn’t kill the woman.’
IT'S DEAD OBVIOUS.
The case, he said, will definitely go to trial, 'unless [the judge] dismisses it for prosecutorial misconduct and some of the shenanigans they’ve pulled. And,’ Cutler added, 'we’re going to win.’
SHENANIGANS. THESE PEOPLE BELONG IN PRISON.
Phil Spector, after all, is a man fighting for his life. For Lana Clarkson, it’s too late for that.
Robert Hillburn/LA Times on Mick Brown's "book"
Eu penso que eu matei alguém
'I think I killed somebody'
12:04AM GMT 12 Mar 2007
Audio: The Spector Tapes
Later this month, Phil Spector, one of pop music's greatest producers, creator of the Wall of Sound and records such as You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', will stand trial in Los Angeles for the murder of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson.
The long-delayed case is certain to rival the O J Simpson trial in terms of courtroom drama, a hearing that will shine a light into the darkest corners of a life touched by genius, but afflicted by insecurity, failed relationships, heavy drinking, an obsession with guns and explosive losses of temper.
I TEND TO DOUBT IT WILL RIVAL OJ BUT DOMINICK DUNNE'S COVERAGE HERE IS PATHETIC. FAILED RELATIONSHIPS? WELL, THERE WAS VERONICA SPECTOR WHO EVIDENTLY
WASN'T AN APPROPRIATE WITNESS FOR THE DA. ODD. NEITHER WAS DEBORAH HARRY. STRANGE. MARKY RAMONE. RETRACTED THE STORIES. LEONARD COHEN. GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE GRAND JURY BUT NOT A JURY TRIAL? SEEMS SUSPECT. I'VE NEVER SEEN PHILLIP DRINK HEAVILY. HE HAS NO OBSESSION WITH GUNS BUT THE GOLD DIGGERS UNDERSTAND HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS - CALL A COP, LIE, HAVE THEM TAKE A REPORT, AND - WHEN NECESSARY - HEAD INTO COURT. OF COURSE THESE GOLD DIGGERS FORGOT TO FILE REPORTS AT THE TIME SO THEY ARE PROBABLY ENTIRELY FRAUDULENT AND FICTIONAL. THIS LINE OF THINKING WILL NOT WORK FOR MICK BROWN'S BOOK OR THE ANGLE HE APPEARS TO BE TAKING.
In the Saturday magazine, we published the first exclusive extract from Mick Brown's new biography of Spector, in which he traced the origins of his demons and dreams. In this compelling second instalment, he examines the events leading up to Lana's death - a death, Spector claims, that was the result of accident or suicide.
THE TELEGRAPH IS CLEAR ABOUT THEIR MOTIVE AND ATTEMPTING TO HELP MICK BROWN SELL BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME. THEY APPEAR TO KNOW LANA PERSONALLY BUT NOT
SPECTOR. NOT ONLY DOES SPECTOR CLAIM IT WAS AN ACCIDENT OR SUICIDE - IT WAS. INCONVENIENT AND GETS IN THE WAY OF SALACIOUS REPORTING ON THE PART OF THE TELEGRAPH.
It's an old axiom that actresses die twice in Hollywood, the first time around their mid-thirties, when they can no longer pretend to play young.
I WOULD ASSUME THAT WHEN YOU'RE OVER 40 AND NEVER REALLY HAD A CAREER YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE UP THE ILLUSION THAT YOU'RE AN ACTRESS.
10 March 2007: Mick Brown: Spector's dreams and demons
12 Mar 2007
8 February 2005: The Spector Trial
12 Mar 2007
At the age of 40, Lana Clarkson, an actress who had appeared in 15 movies and countless TV shows, had hit a lean time in her career, and was trying to get back on her feet.
PRIMARILY BARBARIAN QUEEN. NOT SURE THAT'S A MOVIE, HOWEVER.
For Lana, 2002 had been a particularly difficult year. The roles that had made her a minor cult star in her twenties, and sustained her through her early thirties, had all but dried up.
She had been named after the Hollywood movie star Lana Turner, a fact that seemed to set her destiny in stone.
Growing up in California's Napa Valley, she dreamt of being an entertainer, and when the family moved to Los Angeles in 1978, when Lana was 16, she began a career in acting and modelling.
DID MICK BROWN FIND THE STORY I DID - ABOUT LANA CLARKSON'S FAMILY LIVING IN A COMMUNE IN CALIFORNIA WHERE SHE WAS FED THE MEAT OF HER CHILDHOOD PONY?
SOUNDS LIKE PEOPLE WERE ON LSD AT THAT COMMUNE.
At 20 she made her film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, playing the role of a geekish schoolteacher's improbably beautiful wife. She had one line of dialogue: "Hi..."
SO DID REBECCA DEMORNAY - COHEN'S INCREDIBLY ANNOYING EX.
Her big break came in 1985, in Barbarian Queen, as Amethea, a warrior in a fur leotard, leading a slave uprising.
I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD VIEW THIS AS A BIG BREAK. IT LOOKED LIKE IT MIGHT BE AN ENTRY TO THE PORN INDUSTRY.
It was a part the statuesque Lana seemed made for, and became the passport to a succession of similarly low-budget films, such as Amazon Women on the Moon and The Empress Strikes Back, which brought her a large and devoted fan base.
Semi-nudity was an almost obligatory requirement of such films, but Lana was never comfortable with it. ]
SURE. DID SOMEONE HOLD A GUN TO HER HEAD?
According to her friend, the celebrity hairstylist Eric Root, Lana "wanted to be a superstar. And she was gorgeous enough."
BEAUTY'S RELATIVE AND WHAT ELSE WOULD HER HAIRDRESSER SAY? HE WAS PART OF HER IMAGE.
Her dream of fame is the oldest story in Hollywood. She worshipped the twin doomed deities of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, and collected Monroe memorabilia, covering her walls with pictures of the star.
ACTUALLY CORRUPTION AND LA CONFIDENTIAL STORIES ARE SOME OF THE OLDEST IN HOLLYWOOD. ELVIS AND MARILYN WEREN'T DEITIES AND NEITHER IS JIHAD GIANELLI'S
DOG WHO SHITS OR VOMITS ON PUJAS AND HAS IT OUT FOR SHARMAPA - ANOTHER TARGET OF MICK BROWN'S WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE 16TH KARMAPA. WHY WOULD THE
16TH KARMAPA LEAVE TIBET WITHOUT ONE OF THE SINGULAR MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS IN HIS LIFE - THE BLACK CROWN? ONLY A LIAR OR IDIOT WOULD BELIEVE THIS.
"This is not to imply that I wish to live the sort of lonely and narcotics-shrouded existence she did," she wrote on her website. "What I love about her is her essence, her work and her commitment to it."
UNFORTUNATELY, SHE DID LEAD THE LIFE OF SOMEONE SHROUNDED IN DRUGS AND ALCOHOL.
Lana knew everybody. She was said to have dated Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.
WELL, NOT SURE WHAT TO THINK HERE. YOU'RE SO VAIN COMES TO MIND HOWEVER.
Answering fans' queries on her website, Lana was careful not to give too much of herself away - "I prefer to keep my love life private!" she wrote in one posting, then hinted teasingly at revelations to come.
HOW ABOUT HER BABY DOLL GIBSON TRYSTS? HER LOVE AFFAIR WITH RAUL LEVY WHO SAID SHE PLAYED KINKY SEX GAMES WITH GUNS AND TRIED TO THROW HERSELF OFF A BALCONY IN FRONT OF HIM? DIDN'T MICK BROWN GOOGLE THESE
THINGS? WHY DID BROWN THINK THE JUDGE GAGGED GIBSON AND EVERYONE WITH A SENSE OF DECENCY?
"As far as past relationships, there have been some great loves (some of them famous), but you'll have to read about them in my book. That won't be completed for a couple of years yet."
WOW! NOT RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMOUS PEOPLE. FOR THE RECORD, I WAS NOT LEONARD COHEN'S LOVER. UNFORTUNATELY, I MUST NOW WRITE A BOOK. I WANT TO SET
THE RECORD STRAIGHT FOR MY CHILDREN. AND, IF POSSIBLE, I WANT TO HELP MY DEAR FRIEND PHIL SPECTOR. I ALSO NEVER HAD SEX WITH OLIVER STONE EVEN THOUGH LEONARD COHEN HAS ACCUSED ME OF DOING THAT - HIS FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE WHEN HE HEARD I WAS REPORTING HIS TAX FRAUD TO THE IRS.
By the mid-1990s, Lana's film and television career was on the wane and she would say that nowadays she considered herself a comedienne.
THIS VIDEO OF HER AS LITTLE RICHARD COULD ACTUALLY PROVE HOW SERIOUS HER DRUG PROBLEM WAS. ONLY THE LOST ANGELES DISTRICT LUNATIC WOULD ATTEMPT TO
GLAMORIZE THIS SITUATION.
She devised a stand-up routine, developing a range of comic characters, along the lines of Tracey Ullman, and started working small comedy clubs. Lana's shows were always full. But in the absence of acting roles, she needed something else.
WHERE WERE HER SOLD OUT SHOWS? WHAT ELSE DOES SHE NEED? RIGHT - VICODIN.
In December 2002 she applied for a job as hostess at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, across from the Chateau Marmont Hotel. The Foundation Room, or VIP lounge, of HOB is frequented by high rollers from the rock and film worlds. Membership costs $1,000 (£500) a year; champagne, $250 a bottle.
LOTS OF EXCESS IN HOLLYWOOD AND YET PHILLIP IS DEMONIZED FOR HELPING WAITRESSES BY LEAVING THEM EXTREMELY GENEROUS TIPS THAT ANYONE WOULD APPRECIATE.
It wasn't Lana's first choice for a job but she told friends she enjoyed the work, and was optimistic it would lead to better things. "I am going to meet people," she told one friend. "And it might get me another job."
WHAT WAS HER FIRST CHOICE FOR A JOB? MAYBE GOING HOME WITH PHIL SPECTOR WOULD HELP HER GET ANOTHER JOB. SHE CLEARLY THINKS LIKE THAT.
She worked from 6pm until 2am. It was 1.45am on February 3 when Phil Spector walked in. The details of what occurred would emerge during the next two years, from a combination of police evidence, the coroner's report and testimony to a grand jury.
THE DETAILS DIDN'T EMERGE. THE POLICE REPORTS ARE DERANGED AND SOUND LIKE THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE STORMING THE BASTILLE. AH, THE GRAND JURY. MICK
BROWN KNOWS - LEONARD COHEN TESTIFIED AGAINST PHIL SPECTOR. I GUESS BROWN WAS UNABLE TO GOOGLE ALL THE VERSIONS OF COHEN'S STORIES - INCLUDING THE ONE WHERE HE'S BITING INTO REVOLVERS IN HAMBURGERS IN A DARK PERIOD.
At a few minutes before 7pm on February 2, Adriano De Souza, Spector's stand-in driver, arrived at the producer's secluded home, the Alhambra castle.
HOW SECLUDED WAS HIS HOME? SOUNDS SO MYSTERIOUS.
Spector had a dinner date with a woman friend, Romy Davis. Two hours later, Spector dropped Davis off at her home and returned to the restaurant - he had made another assignation with a waitress, Kathy Sullivan.
DID PHILLIP MAKE AN ASSIGNATION? HOW ODD.
They ended up at the House of Blues, arriving at 1.30am. According to the police, Spector had been drinking at each stop along the way, consuming three, possibly four, daiquiri cocktails as well as two Navy Grog cocktails, each containing three shots of different kinds of rum.
WAS IT THREE OR FOUR? DID HE FINISH THEM? DO WE HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THIS? VIDEO FOOTAGE? OVER HOW MANY HOURS? HOW ABOUT CLARKSON'S TEQUILLA CONSUMPTION? THAT SOUNDED FAIRLY HEAVY.
Lana was waiting at her post at the entrance of the Foundation Room to greet new arrivals.
THE HOUSE OF BLUES SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE BACKGROUND OF ITS EMPLOYEES.
There was a moment's confusion; Lana did not know or recognise Spector and initially refused to let him into the members-only area.
SHE REALIZED WHO HE WAS FAIRLY QUICKLY.
Spector began to complain loudly, and another House of Blues employee, Euphrates Lalondriz, came to smooth things over, telling Lana who Spector was and that he was to be treated "like Dan Ackroyd - like gold". (Ackroyd has a share in the club.)
WHO WOULDN'T COMPLAIN? I TRIED TO LEAVE THE VIP ROOM. MY EX-HUSBAND AND I WERE THERE, AT THE INVITATION OF THE REGGAE PERFORMER WHO WANTED TO SPEAK
TO HIM ABOUT PRODUCING HIS ALBUM, WHEN I DECIDED TO LEAVE. I HEADED FOR THE EXIT SIGN AND SOME INSANE BOUNCER STARTED AN ARGUMENT WITH US. LINDSEY NEARLY HIT HIM. I ASKED FOR THE MANAGER, EXPLAINED WHO WE WERE, AND WAS OFFERED A LIFE TIME MEMBERSHIP. IT WAS AND REMAINS A PSYCHOTIC EPISODE.
Spector ordered a shot of Bacardi 151 rum "straight up". When Kathy Sullivan ordered only water, Spector grew angry, telling her to "get a f****** drink". Sullivan, who had been complaining of tiredness, refused and Spector told her: "That's it - you're going home."
ST I SEE PHILIP HAD IT WITH KATHY.
Spector called for Lana and told her to walk Sullivan to his car and tell De Souza to take her home, then return to collect Spector. He had purchased an $8.50 alcoholic drink and a $5 water and left a tip of $450. After settling the bill, Spector tried to order another drink but was told the bar was closed.
MOST PEOPLE CALL FOR THE STAFF WHEN THEY NEED SOMETHING. NICE OF PHILLIP TO SHIP KATHY HOME WITH HIS DRIVER. I WONDER WHAT THEY GOSSIPED ABOUT ON THE
At around 2am, Lalondriz overheard Lana on his headset asking if she could accept an invitation from Spector to have a drink.
Lalondriz heard the club manager tell her that she could not drink, but could sit with Spector. Lana was seen talking to Spector for a few minutes before the two walked out of the room together.
HOW CONVENIENT FOR THE HOUSE OF BLUES. I SEE THEIR LAWYERS THOUGHT THEY HAD LIABILITY.
Two minutes later, De Souza saw Spector emerge from the club, helped by Lana. As De Souza opened the door, Spector invited Lana to go home with him. She declined.
WHY WAS CLARKSON WALKING WITH HIM IF SHE WASN'T LEAVING WITH HIM?
Spector then offered her a lift to her car, which Lana accepted. During the drive, Spector continued to press his invitation, "More than once. Two, three times," according to De Souza. Finally, Lana relented.
THIS SOUNDS DERANGED. TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT DIFFERENT STORIES ABOUT PHILLIP. FOUR PERJURED STATEMENTS TO IMMIGRATION. AND VOILA - A GREEN CARD. INTERESTING HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS.
At the House of Blues employee parking lot, Lana got into her car. De Souza and Spector now followed Lana to a side street off La Cienega Boulevard where she parked her car.
As Lana got into Spector's Mercedes, she leant forward to De Souza and told him, "This will be quick. Only one drink." Spector turned to her. "You don't need to talk to the driver."
LANA CLARKSON NOW CONTROLS PHIL SPECTOR'S DRIVER. THE SITUATION IS NOW OUT OF CONTROL. I HAVE WITNESSED THIS SO MANY TIMES, IT IS NOT FUNNY. SEE SCOTT RABBS ARTICLE IN ESQUIRER AND THE SITUATION WITH BILL PAVELIC AND MICHELLE BLAINE WHO APPEARED TO BE ABOUT READY TO PROJECTILE VOMIT.
They arrived at Spector's home at about 3am. Spector and Lana got out and set off up the 88 steps towards the house. According to De Souza, Spector had some difficulty walking.
Around 15 minutes later, Spector came out of the back door. According to De Souza "he looked mad" and disoriented. For the next 90 minutes or so De Souza waited in the car.
DID HE LOOK DISORIENTED? WHAT COULD THAT POSSIBLY MEAN? FELL ASLEEP IN THE CAR. HAD A SIESTA. ATE SOME SNACKS. WAS LISTENING TO THE RADIO. FOUNTAIN ON. AN ILLEGAL WORKER IN THE U.S. IS ABOUT TO BE FORCED TO ENCOUNTER THE POLICE OVER WHAT COULD BE - IN HIS MIND - A MURDER.
Then at 5am he heard what he would later describe as a soft popping sound. De Souza, who had served in the Brazilian military, thought he recognised it as a gunshot. He got out of the car, but could see nothing amiss and returned to the Mercedes.
DID SOMEONE FROM THE BRAZILIAN MILITARY THINK A GUNSHOT SOUNDED LIFE A SOFT POPPING SOUND? THE BRAZILIAN MILITARY MIGHT WANT TO VET THEIR SOLDIERS MORE CAREFULLY. THE DRIVER SEES NOTHING AND PROBABLY NEVER GOT OUT OF PHILLIP'S CAR. COMPLETELY IRRELVANT IN ANY EVENT.
It was then that Spector emerged from the back door, dressed in the clothes he had worn that evening. In his right hand was a revolver, which he was holding across his body. De Souza could see blood on the back of Spector's hand.
DID HE EMERGE FROM THE BACK DOOR? ISN'T PHILLIP LEFT HANDED? WHY WOULD HE BE HOLDING A GUN ACROSS HIS BODY? HOW DID HE SEE BLOOD ON THE BACK OF PHILLIP'S HAND - DOES HE HAVE XRAY VISION? OH RIGHT, MICK BROWN AND THE DA AND GOLD DIGGERS ARE WRITING THIS ... WHAT AM I THINKING?
It was at that point, according to De Souza, that Spector said: "I think I killed somebody." Looking past him into the hallway, De Souza could see Lana, slumped in a chair with blood on her face.
HE WASN'T GAZING PAST HIM OR LOOKING LOVINGLY IN HIS EYES? I SAW CLARKSON SLUMPED. IT LOOKED LIKE SHE FELL BACK INTO THE CHAIR AND PHILLIP WOULD HAVE TO BE STRATTLING HER TO HAVE SHOT HER IN THE MOUTH WHICH SOUNDS DERANGED.
He asked: "What happened, sir?" Spector shrugged and said, "I don't know." He then turned back towards the house.
SIR. I THOUGHT PHILLIP JUST SAID HE KILLED HER SO WHY WOULDN'T HE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NOW?
De Souza tried to call 911 on his mobile phone, but was so shaken he was unable to make the call. He climbed back into the car and set off back down the drive.
IS THERE EVIDENCE THAT HE TRIED TO CALL 911 PRIOR TO CALLING BLAINE? WHY DID HE TAKE PHILLIP'S CAR? WAS HE GOING TO STEAL IT?
Part of the way down, he stopped and telephoned Spector's assistant, Michelle Blaine, leaving a message on her voice mail: "You have to come here. I think Mr Spector killed somebody." He then continued down the driveway to the entrance and dialled 911.
THE PERFECT STORM BEGINS. BLAINE HAS STOLEN NEARLY $1 MILLION FROM PHILLIP.
The first police car arrived at the gate of Spector's house shortly after 5am.
WHERE'S THE AMBULANCE?
According to Officer Michael Page, Spector appeared "mildly agitated". Spector was told to put his hands up, and did so before putting them back into his pockets. He turned to go into the house saying: "You got to come see this."
REALLY. MILDLY AGITATED. HE TOLD HIS COUSIN ANTHONY THAT PHILLIP LOOKED LIKE HE WAS GOING FOR A GUN. PHILLIP INVITES THEM INTO HIS HOUSE AND WHAT
UNFOLDS IS PSYCHOTIC.
He was again warned to take his hands out of his pockets and, when he refused, Page fired a Taser dart at him. It didn't work. Spector backed further into the house, pursued by another officer. Another dart was fired, again with no effect, and Spector was restrained and handcuffed.
THE TASER DART WORKED. PAGE IS A PATHETIC LIAR AND SO ARE HIS COWORKERS. TWO TASERS HAD NO EFFECT. TO SAY PHIL SPECTOR WAS RESTRAINED IS AN OUTRAGE.
Then Page looked up and saw the body of Lana slumped in a chair.
AMAZING. PERHAPS PAGE THOUGHT HE WAS AT A FOOTBALL GAME INITIALLY. WHY DIDN'T PAGE BRING A MEDIC IN WITH HIM?
"She had what appeared to be a single entry gunshot wound to the mouth," the police report would state. Broken teeth - her teeth - were scattered about the foyer and an adjacent stairway. Lying on the floor under her left leg was a Colt.38-calibre six-shot revolver. A check of the weapon serial number was negative. There was blood splattered on the weapon.
MY GOD. WHAT PHIL SPECTOR WITNESSED IS OUTRAGEOUS. THE WEAPON, ACCORDING TO BRUCE CUTLER, WAS NOT PHIL SPECTOR'S. WHEN PEOPLE SHOOT THEMSELVES THERE IS USUALLY BLOOD SPATTER ON THE WEAP0N.
One of the attending officers, Beatrice Rodriguez, said she heard Spector say: "What's wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident. I have an explanation."
SHE'S A LIAR AND HER BUDDIES DIDN'T HEAR THIS EXCHANGE.
That statement was not captured on tape. But immediately afterwards Officer Page activated his cassette recorder, and captured the subsequent exchanges between Spector and police.
WHY DID PAGE DECIDE TO ACTIVATE THE CASSETTE RECORDER NOW RATHER THAN WHEN THEY FIRST APPROACHED PHILLIP? WHY DID PAGE HAVE SOMEONE THROW SOMETHING OVER
THE VIDEO CAMERA? PAGE THINKS LIKE THIS: WE COULD HAVE LEGAL LIABILITY. THIS IS A CELEBRITY. LET'S COVER UP ANY EVIDENCE OF WRONG DOING IN CASE WE SCREW UP.
Spector continued: "If you're gonna arrest me, just tell me what happened... Jesus. You know you're acting stupid. Get the f*** off of me! This is stupid. I'm sorry there's a dead woman here. But I'm sorry but this happened. I can explain it but if you'd just give me a chance... You don't have to handcuff me. I can tell you what happened. What's wrong with you people? Jack Maple worked for me. Jesus Christ, the chief of police worked for me...
REALLY. IF YOU'RE GOING TO ARREST SOMEONE TELL THEM WHAT HAPPENED - SINCE YOU WEREN'T THERE. WHO WOULDN'T BE SORRY THERE WAS A DEAD WOMAN IN THEIR HOUSE
AND WHO WOULDN'T RUSH TO THEIR AID? LAPD DID WORK FOR PHIL SPECTOR - SEE JAY ROMAINE/LAPD ROBBERY HOMICIDE. I THINK HE WAS PROBABLY ARMED. MAYBE HE WAS ONE OF THE ARMED MEN LEONARD COHEN ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT. ARMED TO THE TEETH EVIDENTLY.
'I'm sorry this happened. I don't know how it happened, but it happened and I'm sorry this happened. But, excuse me... The gun went off accidentally. She works at the House of Blues. It was a mistake. I don't understand what the f***, you people, is wrong with you? Jack Maple worked for me. He worked for the chief of police. Oh, God. I'm just gonna go to sleep. Would you like me to go to sleep"
The coroner's report would later note that the weapon found under Lana's leg was "apparently taken" from a holster, which the police found, also stained with blood, in a drawer in the hall.
WHY WAS IT APPARENTLY TAKEN FROM A HOLSTER? SO THE GUN WAS PLACED BACK IN THE HOLSTER AND THAT'S WHY THERE WAS BLOOD ON IT? SOUNDS INSANE.
Although Lana's blood remained in the engraving and in other recessed areas of the weapon, the gun had been wiped after the shooting. In a powder room off the hall, police found a cloth soaked in both water and Lana's blood lying on the floor.
PHILLIP RUSHED TO HER AID.
In an upstairs dressing room, thrown on the floor, police found the white jacket that Spector had been wearing that evening; the left sleeve and front of the jacket were covered in a mist-like spray of Lana's blood. A search of the house uncovered 13 other guns and ammunition of the same type as that in the Colt.38.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AROUND BLOOD THAT'S ALL OVER? IT SMELLS TERRIBLY. IT IS THICK AND STICKY. I KNOW. LORCA COHEN'S DOG IMPALED HIMSELF ATTEMPTING TO GET OUT OF HER APARTMENT AND THE ENTIRE FLAT WAS COVERED IN BLOOD. I HAD TO CHANGE MY CLOTHES AND WASH UP AFTER CLEANING UP.
Two cocktail glasses, one containing trace amounts of alcohol, were found. Toxicology showed Lana's blood contained "therapeutic levels" of Vicodin, an opiate-based painkiller.
WHAT IS A THERAPEUTIC LEVEL OF VICODIN? IT'S A POWERFUL OPIATE-BASED PAINKILLER THAT SHOULD NOT BE MIXED WITH ALCOHOL AND GUNS.
Paramedics waited for almost an hour before being allowed in. At 6.24am, five hours after her first meeting with Phil Spector, Lana Clarkson was pronounced dead.
COPS ARRIVED AT 5 AM. THEREFORE, IT TOOK ONE AND A HALF HOURS FOR THE POLICE TO BRING IN MEDICS. PHIL SPECTOR FOUND THIS UNCONSCIONABLE - AS DO I.
Tearing Down the Wall of Sound by Mick Brown (Bloomsbury) can be ordered for £14.99 plus £1.25 p&p from Telegraph Books (0870 428 4112)
BROWN WILL NOW PROFIT OFF OF PHIL SPECTOR'S SUFFERING AND ALIGN HIMSELF WITH BLAINE, SPROCKET, THE DARWIN EXCEPTION, AND OTHER SHADY CHARACTERS.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Cyber-terrorists - Kelly Green & Sprocket - Descend Online With Their Vile Rhetoric - The Mouth Pieces For LA Confidential
Apparently today is judgement day for Spector. Yep, Tuesday, February 21, 2012 is the day the Supremes will decide wether or not they will hear Spector's case. So, what do your guys think: will the Supremes hear his case or will they tell Spector that he's going to die alone in a dank prison cell?
February 21, 2012 1:40 AM
Honestly, does anyone care about the trial bridezilla? The second she realizes he's only going to leave prison in a body bag, she'll be gone as will ALL his money! They deserve one another.
February 21, 2012 1:48 AM
What was "really gone" was that music career she pursued. Maybe she really thought she was the next Whitney Houston....
February 21, 2012 4:53 AM
The United States Supreme Court has declined to review the murder conviction of Phil Spector. The producer's attorneys argued that his constitutional due process rights were violated when prosecutors used the trial judge's comments about an expert's testimony, effectively making the judge a witness for the prosecution.
The court upheld Spector's second-degree murder conviction for the killing of actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot dead in Spector's suburban Los Angeles home in 2003. The justices did not offer any comment on the ruling by a California appeals court.
Spector's attorneys have been working to strike down his conviction with little success over the past two years. Most recently, the California Supreme Court denied a request to review the case over the same claim of due process rights violations.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/phil-spector-appeal-rejected-by-supreme-court-20120221#ixzz1n2yAMQwt