The specter of Spector
Frank Cotolo
21 Apr, 2009
Since legendary rock-music producer Phil Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in the six-year-old shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, a disappointed fan base for the controversial Spector has begun to do the unthinkable: dismantling the famous Wall of Sound.
In the early 1960s, the maniacal and erratic Spector came up with a recording technique that created a sound so unique that many other record producers abandoned their careers to become male prostitutes. The Wall of Sound was a simple concept, considered bad recording practice until Spector used it as an actual technique.
"Me and a few other record producers," said a former record producer who spoke under the condition of anonymity, "heard how Phil started building the 'Wall' and when he had a hit record using it we were embarrassed."
"Indeed," said another former record producer who spoke under the condition of anonymity, "we were in awe of Phil and wondered how we could all take the same drugs and yet he thought to create the Wall and we didn't think of it. Ashamed and belittled, I, for one, thought about suicide."
After Spector was convicted of a charge that carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison, no less than 15 people whose careers had been affected negatively by Spector's Wall met at Canter's Restaurant on Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood to plan retribution by dismantling the Wall.
The anti-Wall group, all ordering chicken soup and liverwurst sandwiches and requesting separate checks, explored the details and complications of the dismantling, as well as the reasoning behind it.
"It's the ultimate statement," said a former record producer who wished to be called Clem Statewide in lieu of his actual identity. "We need to take it down, to rid the world of anything like this ever happening again, even though in today's digital platform for recording it is highly unlikely it could happen again. But back then we didn't think anything like this could happen either."
"He ruined us all," said another member of the anti-Wall group, "and we knew all along that such a man could commit second-degree murder someday."
The repercussions of dismantling the Wall will cause ripples in the history of rock and roll. Once deconstructed, no one will ever hear a recording by the Ronettes, the Crystals, and the Righteous Brothers as those records once sounded. Also, Spector's work with The Beatles as a group and as individual artists will be altered so greatly when heard that critics may now review them positively.
During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Spector as a "demonic maniac" and the anti-Wall group members all agreed.
"They can put Phil away forever until he rots or give him a lethal injection," said an anti-Wall group member who wore a Clark Gable mask to hide his face, "but unless the Wall of Sound is taken down, brick by brick, and never heard from again, there will always be a Spector influence on recording music. We cannot have that; he has hurt too many of us to leave behind such a legacy."
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles.
Copyright 2009 SRN Mediaworks Productions, in association with Frank Cotolo.
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