Phil Spector, the brilliant music producer-turned-murderer, was sentenced to prison in 2009 for the deadly shooting of actress Lana Clarkson. On September 23, The Smoking Gun published two never-seen images of Spector in prison that have caused quite a stir on Hollywood blogs.
Spector was known for his shockingly frizzy wigs, which he wore during his trial. However, the new prison photos reveal a bald Spector, with remnant wisps of hair surrounding a haggard face. The New York Post has an excellent image gallery documenting Spector’s hair transformations starting back in 1978.
Looking back, it’s quite somber to view the face of a young Spector, riding high with his famed production and creative leadership work with the Beatles and the Ramones. However, Spector also had a reputation in the music community for having a hot temper, and many celebrity musicians reported Spector’s threatening behavior. According to Mental Floss, Spector has allegedly pointed a gun at five different musicians, including Leonard Cohen, John Lennon, Debbie Harry, Ronnie Spector, and the Ramones. Yikes.
It’s hard to imagine doing business with someone who is such a loose cannon, that he’d draw a gun on you during production. Spector’s fascination with guns became his downfall. In 2003, the body of Lana Clarkson was found in his Alhambra, California, mansion. The Los Angeles judge assigned to his case revealed that Spector had been involved in four other incidents where he pointed a gun at women. Clearly, this bizarre and extremely threatening behavior has persisted for decades.
Despite Spector’s erratic and rough personality, many musicians have been extremely inspired by Spector’s music work, citing him as a major influence. His production and recording processes have formed the cornerstones of genres like shoegaze and dreampop. Spector was the recipient of a Grammy Award in 1971 for his work on George Harrison’s The Concert for Bangladesh album. He was also featured in Rolling Stone as one of the greatest artists of all time. It’s no surprise that so many young musicians look up to him.
Spector is due to serve a sentence that ranges between 19 years to life. BBC News notes that he won’t be eligible for parole until he is 88-years-old. For many musicians, it must be quite difficult to see such an influential leader and musical artist in prison. It serves as a brutal reminder of how far talented celebrities can fall.