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Phil Spector = Guilty as Charged

on April 14, 2009, 8:30am

Phil Spector’s name should adorn the walls of musical innovation. His production style, most notoriously with the pioneering “wall of sound”, revolutionized the way music could be approached and appreciated. His resume sports such acts as The Beatles, The Ramones, and even Tina Turner. With a track record like that, it’s no surprise he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. That’s not all he’ll be remembered for however.

Yesterday afternoon, Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson. The court’s decision brings what has been a two year long case to a close. The first trial dates back to March 19, 2007 and was declared a mistrial on September 26th of the same year after the jury could not reach a verdict. The retrial began October 20, 2008. According to a report from CNN:

“After about 30 hours of deliberation, a jury on Monday convicted music producer of second-degree murder in the death of actress Lana Clarkson…wearing a black suit with a red tie and pocket square, Spector showed no reaction as the verdict was announced. Now 69, he faces a sentence of 18 years to life in prison when he is sentenced May 29”. Spector was denied bail and his defense team is planning to appeal.

While the man is respected in his field for his genius musicianship, the wild and eccentric side of him always came along with it (just ask Paul McCartney). With the trial at hand, Spector’s legendary erratic behavior reared its ugly head:

As the trial continued, Spector’s defense portrayed Clarkson as depressed over a recent breakup for the motivation of suicide, whereas the prosecution brought up his history with guns as a cause for plausibility. This included legendary stories like The Ramones playing at gunpoint, including having to do the beginning of “Rock and Roll High School” over and over, and Spector holding a gun to Leonard Cohen’s head.

It’s a bittersweet ending to a frustrated genius’ life, but the law’s the law. It seems his crazy lifestyle finally caught up with him. More details will follow, but for now we’ve always got The Beatles’ Let It Be to play. Just like the Fab 4, this truly is “the long and winding road” for Spector and unfortunately there’s no happy ending whatsoever.

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