Thursday, April 18, 2024

A Phil Spector Broadway Musical? Murderer’s Wife Should Keep Her Money


A Broadway musical about Phil Spector? If I were Rachelle Spector, the 32 year old woman who married Phil Spector after he was arrested for murder– and before he received a 19 years to life sentence– I’d keep my money. The latest and last (presumably) Mrs. Spector tells Tim Appelo in The Hollywood Reporter that she’s got plans to put Phil’s life and music on stage.

This sanitized version of Spector’s life, she says, is already underway. I don’t know who’s writing this thing. but my advice is, stop now.  There is no audience for a musical called “Be My Baby” or whatever. Not one about Spector. As much as the excellent HBO “Phil Spector” movie is presented as a “fiction,” it’s pretty accurate up to a point. And I don’t think the public will be forking over $150 a ticket to see Rachelle Spector’s version of events turned into a musical comedy.

Indeed, while Rachelle complains to Appelo about the HBO movie, someone licensed Spector’s music to HBO for use in the film. And that would have to have been her, since Phil’s in jail. This is interesting since Spector won’t allow his famous ex wife Ronnie, who he treated like dirt, didn’t pay, etc, to use her songs in a dramatic presentation. Ronnie Spector has been trying to mount a stage show about her life. But as she says in the performance, Phil Spector has prohibited her from using her own hits.

Nevertheless, Ronnie’s master recording of “Be My Baby” is heard right at the beginning of David Mamet’s “Phil Spector” movie.

Rachelle Spector also says in that interview that she’s got a new deal with Sony Legacy. Well, no. The deal was announced in September 2009. The great Spector boxed set, “Back to Mon0,” is now out of print from ABKCO Records. Too bad.

And the musical? Phil Spector murdered Lana Clarkson. I do think audiences will be a tad uncomfortable celebrating his life and legend, dancing in the aisles, knowing their hard earned money will be going straight to his bank accounts. As much of a genius as Spector was, he was also crazy. And now, like O.J. Simpson, he is paying the price for his bad deeds.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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