Legendary record producer Phil Spector‘s lifelong reign of terror came to an end today. He was sentenced to 19 years to life for the February 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Fifty years of waving guns in the faces of women came down to this.
Spector will now be remembered more for the murder than for creating the lush, magnificent ‘Wall of Sound,’ and producing records that are the bedrock of rock and roll.
Clarkson is dead, but she lives on; she speaks thanks to the Internet. The Spector defense in two trials tried to paint her as depressed and suicidal. They argued that she took her own life. It’s hard to imagine this gorgeous, sunny, blonde, five foot eleven woman wanted to be alone with the rodent-like Spector even for a minute. But for some reason, she went back to his house on the night of February 3, 2003. It was the worst mistake she could have made.
I wrote about Clarkson in the hours after she was reported dead. Luckily, she left behind a website with a message board that still exists on the Internet. Her last post was on January 30, 2003. You could see she was thrilled to interact with her fans who loved her B movies like ‘Queen of the Barbarians.’
Earlier, on January 8, Clarkson answered a message from a fan who wanted to know what kind of men she liked. This is what she wrote:
I am automatically physically attracted to tall men. Being that I am six feet tall, it is nice to date men that I can look up to. This does not mean however that I am opposed to dating men with whom I see eye to eye, so to speak. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends who were 5′10 or 11. I am fond of a twinkle in the eye and a spring in the step. Someone with confidence, sensuality and a great sense of humor. As I am a firm believer that laughter is a healing force, I tend to do a lot of it and try to be around positive dynamic individuals that are interested in life and the pursuit of happiness! I am a spiritual person so I like to be with someone who has some sort of spiritual practice, likes kids, does volunteer work and likes to travel. I hope to make some sort of difference in this lifetime… I’d like to find a partner who has the same aspiration. I could go on but these are some general attributes that I find attractive and hope to have in my life.
Good question, thanks for stopping by.
None of those attributes described fits Spector, a self-centered egotistical recluse who terrorized his children, wives, girlfriends, and associates.
Clarkson routinely answered questions from her fans, and did so with aplomb. She admired Marilyn Monroe. She wrote: “this is not to imply that I wish to live the sort of lonely and narcotics-shrouded existence she did. What I love about her is her essence, her work and her commitment to it. She was an ACTRESS with a capital ‘A’!” she wrote in one posting. She concluded: “I have been blessed to work in an extremely difficult industry, but in my opinion have not even begun to reach my full potential. I have been pounding my head against a plexiglas ceiling trying to break through to a completely different level for a while now. God willing, this is the year it will happen. Keep your eye out for a new quality of work from Ms. Clarkson!”
It didn’t sound, when I cited it on February 4, 2003, the morning after her murder, like a woman who planned to commit suicide.
In another posting, Clarkson described her long haul as a ‘C’ level actress: “I’ve always been fortunate to make a living as an actress. However, I have done other jobs to supplement my taste for producing, writing and directing. I’ve worked as a standup comic, a model, a producer, a travel agent, done trade shows, worked for a jewelry company and teach image enhancement workshops for the corporate world. I also occasionally teach acting.”
She did not care to share her personal life with her fans, however. “Thanks for stopping by. I am dating, but don’t feel comfortable sharing that part of my life,” she wrote to one fan. “I prefer to keep my love life private!” She then adds eerily: “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.”