Harvey Philip Spector (born December 26, 1939) is an American record producer and songwriter.
The originator of the "Wall of Sound" production technique, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl group sound and clocked in over twenty-five Top 40 hits between 1960 and 1965. In later years he worked with such artists as Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon, George Harrison and the Ramones with similar success, including production work on the Academy Award winning Let It Be and Grammy Award winning Concert for Bangladesh soundtracks. In 1989, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer.
The 1965 song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," produced and co-written by Spector for the The Righteous Brothers, is listed by BMI as the song with the most U.S. air play in the 20th century.
The 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home led to his being charged with murder in the second degree. After a 2007 mistrial, he was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to a prison term of 19 years to life.
Spector was born on December 26, 1939 to a lower middle class Jewish family in the Bronx in New York City. His grandfather emigrated from Russia. Spector changed his last name from "Spektor" to "Spector."
Following his father's death by suicide in 1949, Spector and his mother and sister moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953, where he became involved with music, learning the guitar. At 16, he performed Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" at a talent show at Fairfax High School. While there at Fairfax, he joined a loosely knit community of young aspirants, including Lou Adler, Bruce Johnston, Steve Douglas, and Sandy Nelson, the last of whom played drums on Spector's first record release, "To Know Him Is To Love Him."
The Teddy Bears
With three friends from high school, Marshall Lieb, Harvey Goldstein, and singer Annette Kleinbard, Spector formed a group, The Teddy Bears. During this period, Spector also began visiting local recording studios, and he eventually managed to win the confidence of record producer Stan Ross, co-owner of Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, who began to tutor the young man in record production and who exerted a major influence on Spector's production style.
By the spring of 1958, Spector and his bandmates had raised enough money to buy two hours of recording time at Gold Star. With Spector producing, the Teddy Bears recorded the Spector-penned "Don't You Worry My Little Pet," which helped them secure a deal with Era Records. At their next session, they recorded another song Spector had written — this one inspired by the epitaph on Spector's father's tombstone. Released on Era's subsidiary label, Dore Records, "To Know Him Is to Love Him" went to #1 on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, selling over a million copies by year's end.
Following the success of their debut, the group signed with Imperial Records, but their next single, "I Don't Need You Anymore," only reached #91. While several more recordings were released, including an album The Teddy Bears Sing!, the group never again charted in the Hot 100. The Teddy Bears went their separate ways in 1959.
After the split, Spector's career quickly moved from performing and songwriting to production. While recording the Teddy Bears' album, Spector had met Lester Sill, a former promotion man who was a mentor to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. His next project, the Spectors Three, was undertaken under the aegis of Sill and his partner, Lee Hazlewood. In 1960, Sill arranged for Spector to work as an apprentice to Leiber and Stoller in New York.
Spector quickly learned how to use a studio. He co-wrote the Ben E. King Top 10 hit "Spanish Harlem," with Jerry Leiber and also worked as a session musician, most notably playing the guitar solo on the The Drifters' song, "On Broadway." His own productions during this time, while less conspicuous, included releases by LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, and Billy Storm, as well as The Top Notes' original version of "Twist and Shout."
Leiber and Stoller recommended Spector to produce Ray Peterson's "Corrina, Corrina," which reached #9 in January 1961. Later, he produced another major hit for Curtis Lee, "Pretty Little Angel Eyes," which made it to #7.
Returning to Hollywood, Spector agreed to produce one of Lester Sill's acts. After both Liberty Records and Capitol Records turned down the master of "Be My Boy" by The Paris Sisters, Sill formed a new label, Gregmark Records, with Lee Hazlewood and released it. It only managed to reach #56, but the follow-up, "I Love How You Love Me," was a smash, reaching #5.
In the fall of 1961, Spector formed a new record company with Lester Sill, who by this time had ended his business partnership with Hazlewood. Philles Records combined the names of its two founders. Through Hill and Range Publishers, Spector found three groups he wanted to produce: The Ducanes, The Creations, and The Crystals. The first two signed with other companies, but Spector managed to secure The Crystals for his new label. Their first single, "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" was a success, hitting #20. Their next release, "Uptown," did even better, making it to #13.
Spector continued to work freelance with other artists. In 1962, he produced "Second Hand Love" by Connie Francis, which reached #7. In the early '60s, he briefly worked with Atlantic Records' R&B artists Ruth Brown and LaVerne Baker. Ahmet Ertegün of Atlantic paired Spector with Broadway star Jean DuShon for "Talk to Me," the b-side of which was "Tired of Trying," written by DuShon.
Spector briefly took a job as head of A&R for Liberty Records. It was while working at Liberty that he heard a song written by Gene Pitney, for whom he had produced a #41 hit, "Every Breath I Take," a year earlier. "He's a Rebel" was due to be released on Liberty by Vicki Carr, but Spector rushed into Gold Star Studios and recorded a cover version using Darlene Love on lead vocals. The record was released on Philles, attributed to The Crystals, and quickly rose to the top of the charts.
By the time "He's a Rebel" went to #1, Lester Sill was out of the company, and Spector had Philles all to himself. He created a new act, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, featuring Darlene Love and Bobby Sheen, a singer he had worked with at Liberty. The group had hits with "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" (#8), "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?" (#38), and "Not Too Young To Get Married" (#63). Spector also released solo material by Darlene Love in 1963. In the same year, he released "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, which went to #2.
Although predominantly a singles-based label, Philles did release a few albums, one of which was the perennial seller A Christmas Gift for You in 1963.
The Wall of Sound
Spector's trademark during that era was the so-called Wall of Sound, a production technique yielding a dense, layered effect that reproduced well on AM radio and jukeboxes. To attain this signature sound, Spector gathered large groups of musicians (playing some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars) playing orchestrated parts — often doubling and tripling many instruments playing in unison — for a fuller sound. Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids."
While Spector directed the overall sound of his recordings, he took a relatively hands-off approach to working with the musicians themselves (usually a core group that became known as The Wrecking Crew, including session players such as Hal Blaine, Steve Douglas, Carol Kaye, Roy Caton, Glen Campbell, and Leon Russell), delegating arrangement duties to Jack Nitzsche and having Sonny Bono oversee the performances, viewing these two as his "lieutenants."
Spector frequently used songs from songwriters employed at the Brill Building (Trio Music) and at 1650 Broadway (Aldon Music), such as the teams of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Spector often worked with the songwriters, receiving co-credit for compositions.
Spector was already known as a temperamental and quirky personality with strong, often unconventional ideas about musical and recording techniques. Despite the trend towards multi-channel recording, Spector was vehemently opposed to stereo releases, claiming that it took control of the record's sound away from the producer in favor of the listener. Spector also greatly preferred singles to albums, describing LPs as "two hits and ten pieces of junk."
The first time Spector put the same amount of effort into an LP as he did into 45s was when he utilized the full Philles roster and the Wrecking Crew to make what he felt would become a hit for the 1963 Christmas season. A Christmas Gift for You arrived in stores the day of the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The somber mood of the country may have contributed to the album being a flop in its initial release. Despite its initially poor reception, selections from the album are now Yuletide mainstays on radio stations, and the album has since been a regular seller during the holiday season.
In 1964, The Ronettes appeared at the Cow Palace, near San Francisco. Also on the bill were The Righteous Brothers. Spector, who was conducting the band for all the acts, was so impressed with Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield that he bought their contract from Moonglow Records and signed them to Philles. In early 1965, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" became the label's second #1 single. Three more major hits with the group followed: "Just Once in My Life" (#9), "Unchained Melody" (originally the B-side of "Hung On You") (#4) and "Ebb Tide" (#5). Despite having hits, Spector lost interest in producing The Righteous Brothers, and sold their contract and all their master recordings to Verve Records. However, the sound of The Righteous Brothers' singles was so distinctive that the act chose to replicate it after leaving Spector, notching a second #1 hit in 1966 with the Bill Medley-produced, "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration."
The Spector-produced recording of "Unchained Melody" had a second wave of popularity 25 years after its initial release, when it was featured prominently in the 1990 hit movie, Ghost. A re-release of the single re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. This also put Spector (as a producer) back on the U.S. Top 40 charts for the first time since his last appearance in 1971 with John Lennon's "Imagine," although he did have U.K. top 40 hits in the interim with The Ramones.
Spector's final signing to Philles was the husband-and-wife team of Ike and Tina Turner in 1966. Spector considered their recording of "River Deep - Mountain High" to be his best work, but it failed to go any higher than #88 in the United States. The single, which was essentially a solo Tina Turner record, was more successful in Britain, reaching #3.
Spector subsequently lost enthusiasm for his label and the recording industry. Already something of a recluse, he withdrew temporarily from the public eye, marrying Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett, lead singer of the Ronettes, in 1968. Spector emerged briefly for a cameo as a drug dealer in the film Easy Rider, in 1969. He also appeared as himself in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie in 1967.
In 1969, Spector made a brief return to the music business by signing a production deal with A&M Records. A Ronettes single, "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered" flopped, but Spector returned to the Hot 100 with "Black Pearl" by Sonny Charles and the Checkmates, Ltd. The record reached #13.
In 1970, Allen Klein, manager of The Beatles, brought Spector to England. While producing John Lennon's hit solo single "Instant Karma!" which went to #3, Spector was invited by Lennon and George Harrison to take on the task of turning the Beatles' abandoned "Get Back" recording sessions into a usable album. Spector went to work using many of his production techniques, making significant changes to the arrangements and sound of some songs. The resulting album, Let It Be, was a massive commercial success and topped the US and UK charts. The album also yielded three #1 singles: "Get Back," "The Long and Winding Road," and "Let it Be". His overdubbing of "The Long and Winding Road" infuriated its composer, Paul McCartney, especially since the work was completed without his knowledge and without any opportunity for him to assess the results. In 2003, McCartney spearheaded the release of Let It Be... Naked, which stripped the songs of Spector's input. Spector later stated that McCartney's complaints were "bullshit"; it had not stopped McCartney from accepting the "Best Musical Score" award at the 1971 Academy Awards for the Let It Be soundtrack.
In any case, both John Lennon and George Harrison were satisfied with the results, and Let It Be led to Spector co-producing albums with both ex-Beatles. For George Harrison's multi-platinum album All Things Must Pass (#1, 1970), Spector provided a cathedral-like sonic ambiance, complete with ornate orchestrations and gospel-like choirs. The LP yielded two major hits: "My Sweet Lord" (#1) and "What Is Life" (#10). That same year, Spector co-produced John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band (#6) album, which featured a very different, sparse and raw sound.
In 1971, Spector was named director of A&R for Apple Records. He held the post for only a year, but during that time he co-produced the single "Power to the People" with John Lennon (#11), as well as Lennon's chart-topping Imagine album. The album's title track hit #3 upon its release and #1 after Lennon's murder in 1980. With George Harrison, Spector co-produced Harrison's "Bangla-Desh" (a #23 hit) and wife Ronnie Spector's "Try Some, Buy Some" (which made it to #77). Also that year, Spector recorded the music for the #1 triple album The Concert For Bangladesh. The album later won the "Album of the Year" award at the 1972 Grammys. Despite being recorded live, Spector used up to 44 microphones simultaneously while recording to create his trademark Wall of Sound.
Lennon retained Spector for the 1971 Christmas single "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and the poorly-reviewed 1972 album Some Time In New York City (#48). Similar to the unusual pattern of success that Spector's A Christmas Gift For You experienced, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" also stalled in sales upon its initial release, only later to become a fixture on radio station playlists during the holiday season. In 1973, Spector participated in the recording sessions for what would be Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll album (#6). It was during these sessions that Spector's relationship with Lennon ended; some versions claim that the producer suffered a breakdown in the studio, brandishing a gun and disappearing with the Rock 'n' Roll tapes, although Spector biographer Dave Thompson places most of the blame on the out-of-control behavior of Lennon and his entourage. After several months, Lennon retrieved the tapes and finished the album himself.
As the Seventies progressed, Spector became increasingly reclusive. The most probable and significant reason for his withdrawal, recently revealed by biographer Dave Thompson, was that Spector was seriously injured when he was thrown through the windshield of his car in a crash in Hollywood. According to a contemporary report published in the New Musical Express, Spector was almost killed, and it was only because the attending police officer detected a faint pulse that Spector was not declared dead at the scene. He was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center on the night of March 31, 1974, suffering serious head injuries which necessitated several hours of surgery with over 300 stitches to his face, and more than 400 stitches to the back of his head. His head injuries, Thompson suggests, were the reason that Spector began his habit of wearing outlandish wigs in later years.
The 1974 accident took place shortly after Spector had established the Warner-Spector label, which undertook new recordings with Dion, Cher, Harry Nilsson and others, as well as several reissues. A similar relationship with Britain's Polydor Records led to the formation of the Phil Spector International label in 1975.
After a pair of failed dirge-like singles with Cher, Spector produced Dion’s "Born To Be With You." A set of slow and mid-tempo songs recorded against a darker Wall of Sound, drenched in sinister portent, the release was initially panned and released only in the UK, but has since grown in stature.
The majority of Spector's classic Philles recordings had been out of print in the U.S. since the original label's demise, although Spector had released several Philles Records compilations in Britain. Finally, he released an American compilation of his Philles recordings in 1977 which put most of the better known Spector hits back into circulation after many years.
Spector began to re-emerge in the late 1970s, producing and co-writing a controversial 1977 album by Leonard Cohen, entitled Death of a Ladies' Man. The album angered many devout Cohen fans who were used to his stark acoustic sound versus the orchestral and choral wall of sound the album contains. Despite initial negative critiques, the album is now considered one of Cohen's best. The recording of the album was fraught with difficulty; Spector reportedly mixed the album in secret studio sessions and Cohen said Spector once threatened him with a crossbow. Cohen has remarked that the end result is "grotesque," but also "semi-virtuous." Cohen, however, still includes a re-worked version of the track "Memories" in live concerts. Bob Dylan also participated in the recording of "Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On," which is the second time Spector indirectly produced Dylan - the first being Dylan's live recordings on The Concert For Bangladesh.
Spector also produced the much-publicized Ramones album, End of the Century in 1980. Similar to his work with Leonard Cohen, End of the Century received negative backlash from Ramones fans who were angered over the radio-friendly sound of the album. However, End of the Century contains some of the best known and most successful Ramones singles such as "Rock 'n' Roll High School," "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" and their cover of a previously released Spector song for the Ronettes, "Baby, I Love You." Guitarist Johnny Ramone later commented on working with Spector on the recording of the album, "It really worked when he got to a slower song like 'Danny Says'—the production really worked tremendously. For the harder stuff, it didn't work as well."
Rumors had circulated for years that Spector had threatened members of the Ramones with a gun during the sessions. Johnny Ramone remembered a meeting at Spector's home in which the producer became upset when they tried to leave. "And then he reaches into his jacket pocket and well, he pulls out a gun, puts it on the table right in front of us, and says, 'You guys don't really have to go yet, do you?'" Drummer Marky Ramone recalled in 2008 "They (guns) were there but he had a license to carry. He never held us hostage. We could have left at any time."
Spector also worked with Yoko Ono in 1981, and co-produced Season of Glass, her first work after her husband's death.
Spector remained inactive throughout most of the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. He attempted to work with Céline Dion on her album Falling Into You, but that fell through. His most recent released project has been "Silence Is Easy" by Starsailor, released in 2003. He was originally supposed to produce the entire album, but was fired owing to personal and creative differences — however, one of the two Spector-produced songs on the album was a U.K. top 10 single. Plans to work with The Vines were halted because of his murder trial.
The latest song to be produced by Spector is a track by singer-songwriter Hargo. The track, "Crying For John Lennon," originally appeared on Hargo's 2006 album In Your Eyes, but on a visit to Spector's mansion for an interview for the John Lennon tribute movie, Strawberry Fields, Hargo played Spector the song and asked him to produce it. Spector and former Paul McCartney drummer Graham Ward produced it in the classic wall of sound style on nights after his murder trial.
In December 2007, the song "B Boy Baby" by Mutya Buena and Amy Winehouse featured melodic and lyrical passages heavily influenced by the Ronettes song "Be My Baby." As a result, Spector was given a songwriting credit on the single. Contrary to popular belief, the sections from "Be My Baby" are sung by Winehouse, not directly sampled from the mono single. Winehouse has made reference to her admiration of Spector's work with 1960s girl groups. She is known to cover Spector's first hit, "To Know Him Is to Love Him."
Also in December 2007, Spector attended the funeral for Ike Turner whom he previously produced in the mid-late 1960s with his then-wife Tina Turner. While delivering a eulogy, Spector lashed out at Tina Turner and stated that "Ike made Tina the jewel she was. When I went to see Ike play at the Cinegrill in the 90s…there were at least five Tina Turners on the stage performing that night, any one of them could have been Tina Turner." Spector then lashed out at Oprah Winfrey for promoting Tina Turner's autobiography that "demonized and vilified Ike."
In mid-April 2008, BBC 2 broadcast a special entitled Phil Spector: The Agony and The Ecstasy. It consists of Spector's first screen interview -- breaking a long period of media silence. During the conversation, images from the murder court case are juxtaposed with live appearances of his tracks on television programs from the 1960s and 1970s, along with subtitles giving critical interpretation of some of his song production values. Whilst he doesn't directly try to clear his name, the court case proceedings shown try to give further explanation of the facts surrounding the murder charges that were leveled against him. He also speaks about the musical instincts that led him to create some of his most enduring hit records, from "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to "River Deep, Mountain High", as well as The Beatles' album Let It Be, along with criticisms he feels he has had to deal with throughout his life.
Many producers have tried to emulate the Wall of Sound, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys—a fellow adherent of mono recording—considered Spector his main competition as a studio artist, going so far as to name the acclaimed Pet Sounds album using Spector's initials. Bruce Springsteen emulated the Wall of Sound technique in his recording of "Born to Run." Shoegazing, a British musical movement in the late 1980s and mid 1990s, was heavily influenced by the Wall of Sound.
For his contributions to the music industry, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #63 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Spector's early musical influences included Latin music in general, and Latin percussion in particular. This is keenly perceptible in many, if not all, of Spector's recordings from the percussion in many of his hit songs: shakers, guiros (gourds) and maracas in "Be My Baby," and the son montuno in "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," heard clearly in the song's bridge played by session bassist Carol Kaye while the same repeating refrain is played on harpsichord by keyboardist Larry Knechtel. Phil would visit Spanish Harlem clubs and schools to hone his listening and practical skills.
The Beach Boys paid tribute to Spector in the lyrics of their song "Mona":
* "Come on/Listen to "Da Doo Ron Ron," now/Listen to "Be My Baby"/I know you're gonna love Phil Spector"
The character of Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a 1970 Russ Meyer film, is based upon Spector, though neither Meyer nor screenwriter Roger Ebert had met him.
On February 3, 2003, Spector was arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of 40-year-old nightclub hostess and actress Lana Clarkson of Los Angeles was found at his mansion, Pyrenees Castle, in Alhambra, California. Police responded to a 9-1-1 phone call from Spector's driver and discovered Clarkson, who had injuries consistent with a gun being placed in her mouth and fired. She was pronounced dead at the scene. On November 20, 2003, Spector was indicted for Clarkson's murder. In September 2004 he was ordered to stand trial in Los Angeles.
Spector has stated that Clarkson's death was an "accidental suicide" and that she "kissed the gun." However, on October 28, 2005, a judge ruled that potentially damning statements Spector allegedly made to police could be used against him at trial. Spector's lawyers had sought to suppress an apparent statement made by Spector after Clarkson was found dead. Spector allegedly said, "I think I killed somebody." His lawyer argued that comments attributed to the music producer should be thrown out because he was suffering from prescription-drug withdrawal symptoms at the time. Two months before the night of the crime in question, Spector had stated in an interview with the British Daily Telegraph that he had bipolar disorder and that he considered himself "relatively insane." The judge has also ruled that transcripts from a deposition Spector made several months before Clarkson's death could also be introduced by the prosecution at trial.
Prior to and during the trial itself, Spector went through at least three sets of attorneys. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro, an original O.J. Simpson "dream team" member, was first to represent Spector at his arraignment and early pre-trial hearings. Shapiro also arranged for his release on $1 million bail. Spector eventually fired and entered into a civil suit against Shapiro in order to re-claim a $1 million retainer paid to the defense attorney. In December 2005, Spector dropped all claims against Shapiro. Shapiro was replaced by Leslie Abramson and Marcia Morrissey. They, in turn, were later replaced by Bruce Cutler, the former long-time lawyer of New York City mafia boss John Gotti. Cutler left Spector's defense on August 27, 2007 claiming "a difference of opinion between Mr. Spector and me on strategy." Attorney Linda Kenney Baden then became lead lawyer for closing arguments.
Spector remained free on $1 million bail while awaiting trial, which had been scheduled to begin on April 24, 2006, but had been postponed several times since then, first to January 16, 2007, then to March 5 and finally to March 19. On February 16, 2007, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler stated that he would allow Spector's trial to be televised, though he also indicated that he would reverse course should the media abuse this access.
Jury selection began Monday, March 19, 2007 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. Three hundred prospective jurors were screened over two days. Those not granted hardship exemptions by Fidler completed 18-page questionnaires including queries as to whether celebrities are entitled to act as they please, and whether police treat celebrities with greater leniency. Voir dire began April 16, 2007. A jury of nine men and three women (along with four male and three female alternate jurors) was sworn in on April 19, 2007. A list of possible witnesses shown to prospective jurors included long-time Spector studio associates Hal Blaine and Nino Tempo, limo driver Adriano de Souza and writer Anne Beatts. Opening statements in the trial began April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles.
The trial was surrounded by controversy from its start. Famed forensic expert Henry Lee (who provided key evidence in the O. J. Simpson trial) was accused of hiding crucial evidence that the District Attorney's office claimed could prove Spector's guilt. Furthermore, a coroner who examined Clarkson's body concluded that bruising on her tongue indicated that the gun was shoved in her mouth. Despite these setbacks, Spector's defense team had a breakthrough on June 12, 2007 when the Los Angeles Sheriff's criminalist DNA expert stated that only Clarkson's DNA was found on the handgun, which aided Spector's defense that she shot herself. The DNA expert also found none of Spector's DNA on Clarkson's fingernails, which hurt the prosecution's argument that Clarkson struggled with Spector.
On September 18, 2007, the jury reported that they had "reached an impasse" and judge Fidler adjourned the case for attorneys to review the position. The jury was split 7-5; however, no indication was given as to which side was which. Fidler stated he would consider whether or not the charge of involuntary manslaughter would fit the profile of the case. At the urging of the defense, Fidler, however, decided against the addition of the lesser included charge as he considered it tantamount to an instruction to convict. On September 20, 2007, the jury resumed deliberations. Prior to the deliberation, Fidler removed "Special Instruction 3," which he characterized as a misstatement of the law.
The charge in the case against Spector was second-degree murder. Spector could have received a 15-year-to-life sentence (with another ten years added automatically since the crime involved a gun) if convicted.
On September 26, 2007 at 1:45pm PST, the jury stated that it could not reach a verdict. The jurors announced a deadlock of ten for guilty and two for not guilty. Judge Fidler then declared a mistrial in the murder case against Phil Spector.
The judge and lawyers met on October 3, 2007, to discuss future proceedings. Sandi Gibbons, the spokesperson for the District Attorney's office, confirmed that preparations were being made to retry Spector immediately.
In early December 2007, it was announced that San Francisco lawyer Doron Weinberg had agreed to serve as Spector's attorney and had proposed that the retrial begin in September 2008. The only remaining member of Spector's defense team was Christopher Plourd, who Weinberg told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler would not be available to resume the case until the autumn of 2008. All of the remaining members of Spector's previous defense team either resigned or were dismissed after the mistrial. Also, in the same month, Spector decided to once again sue former attorney Robert Shapiro for a one million dollar retainer paid before the first trial. Spector also claimed that Shapiro inadequately prepared the trial and may have been responsible for the prosecution filing charges in the first place.
On April 11, 2008, Spector lost another battle in his bid to disqualify the judge presiding at his murder retrial. Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler, who presided over Spector's 2007 mistrial, has been accused by the defense as showing a bias against Spector. A state appellate panel refused to order the appointment of a neutral judge to determine whether Judge Fidler should be recused from the retrial of the case. Fidler previously refused to recuse himself from the retrial.
Jury selection in the murder retrial began on October 20, 2008, with Judge Fidler again presiding. On February 19, 2009, the trial visited Spector's home for an hour, where the jury inspected the scene and submitted 9 questions to the judge.
The case went to the jury March 27, 2009. On April 13, the jury returned a guilty verdict, convicting Spector of second-degree murder. In addition he was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a crime. Spector was immediately taken into custody and was formally sentenced on May 29, 2009, to 19 years to life in the California State Prison System. Spector will be 88 years old before becoming eligible for parole.
Spector was married to Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett, former lead singer of The Ronettes, a girl group that he had managed and produced, from 1963 to 1974. They adopted three children:
* Louis Phillip Spector & Gary Phillip Spector (twins), born May 12, 1966 (adopted at age 5)
* Donté Phillip Spector, born March 23, 1969 (adopted at age 8 months)
Other children (with Janis Savala, who became Spector's third wife):
* Nicole Audrey Spector & Phillip Spector Jr. (twins), born 1982. Phillip Spector Jr. died of leukemia December 25, 1991
Spector married aspiring singer and actress Rachelle Short on September 1, 2006.
* 1959: The Teddy Bears Sing – The Teddy Bears
* 1963: A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector – Various Artists
* 1963: Twist Uptown – The Crystals
* 1963: He's A Rebel – The Crystals
* 1964: Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica – The Ronettes
* 1965: Ronettes – The Ronettes
* 1966: River Deep - Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
* 1970: Let It Be – The Beatles
* 1970: All Things Must Pass (co-producer) – George Harrison
* 1970: Plastic Ono Band (co-producer) – John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band
* 1970: Plastic Ono Band (co-producer) – Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band
* 1971: Imagine (co-producer) – John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band with the Flux Fiddlers
* 1971: The Concert for Bangla Desh (co-producer) – George Harrison and friends
* 1972: Some Time in New York City (co-producer) – John Lennon and Yoko Ono with Elephant's Memory plus Invisible Strings
* 1975: Rock N' Roll (co-producer) – John Lennon
* 1975: Born To Be With You – Dion
* 1977: Death of a Ladies' Man – Leonard Cohen
* 1980: End of the Century – Ramones
* 1981: Season of Glass (co-producer) – Yoko Ono
* 1986: Menlove Ave. (co-producer) – John Lennon
* 1991: Back to Mono (1958-1969) (Box set compilation) – Various Artists
* 2003: Silence Is Easy (co-producer) – Starsailor
* "To Know Him Is to Love Him" – The Teddy Bears (12/01/58, #1)
* "Corrine, Corrina" – Ray Peterson (1/09/61, #9)
* "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" – Curtis Lee (8/07/61, #7)
* "Every Breath I Take" – Gene Pitney (9/11/61, #42)
* "I Love How You Love Me" – The Paris Sisters (10/30/61, #5)
* "Under the Moon of Love" – Curtis Lee (11/27/61, #46)
* "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" – The Crystals (1/22/62, #20)
* "I Could Have Loved You So Well" – Ray Peterson (1/27/62, #57)
* "Uptown" – The Crystals (3/03/62, #13)
* "He Knows I Love Him Too Much" – The Paris Sisters (3/10/62, #34)
* "Let Me Be the One" – The Paris Sisters (5/26/62, #87)
* "Second Hand Love" – Connie Francis (6/09/62, #7)
* "He's A Rebel" – The Crystals (11/03/62, #1)
* "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" – Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (1/12/63, #8)
* "He's Sure the Boy I Love" – The Crystals (1/19/63, #11)
* "Puddin N’ Tain (Ask Me Again, I’ll Tell You the Same)" – The Alley Cats (2/16/63, #43)
* "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts" – Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans (3/30/63, #38)
* "(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry" – Darlene Love (5/11/63, #39)
* "Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" – The Crystals (6/08/63, #3)
* "Not Too Young to Get Married" – Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans (7/13/63, #63)
* "Then He Kissed Me" – The Crystals (8/17/63, #6)
* "Wait ’Til My Bobby Gets Home" – Darlene Love (9/07/63, #26)
* "Be My Baby" – The Ronettes (10/12/63, #2)
* "A Fine Fine Boy" – Darlene Love (11/23/63, #53)
* "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" – Darlene Love
* "Baby, I Love You" – The Ronettes (2/01/64, #24)
* "(The Best Part of) Breakin' Up" – The Ronettes (5/16/64, #39)
* "Do I Love You?" – The Ronettes (8/01/64, #34)
* "Walking In the Rain" – The Ronettes (12/05/64, #23)
* "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" – The Righteous Brothers (2/06/65 #1, UK #1)
* "Just Once in My Life" – The Righteous Brothers (5/15/65, #9)
* "Unchained Melody" – The Righteous Brothers (8/28/65, #4)
* "Ebb Tide" – The Righteous Brothers (1/08/66, #5)
* "River Deep - Mountain High" – Ike and Tina Turner (6/18/66, #88 UK #3)
* "Love Is All I Have to Give" – The Checkmates, Ltd. (5/03/69, #65)
* "Black Pearl" – The Checkmates, Ltd. (7/05/69, #13)
* "Proud Mary" – The Checkmates, Ltd. (11/01/69, #69)
* "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)" – John Lennon (3/28/70, #3)
* "The Long and Winding Road"/"For You Blue" – The Beatles (6/13/70, #1)
* "My Sweet Lord" – George Harrison (12/26/70, #1)
* "What Is Life" – George Harrison (3/27/71, #10)
* "Power To The People" – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (5/15/71, #11)
* "Try Some, Buy Some" – Ronnie Spector (5/22/71, #77)
* "Bangla-Desh" – George Harrison (9/11/71, #23)
* "Imagine" – John Lennon (11/13/71, #3)
* "Rock 'n' Roll High School" – Ramones (8/04/79, UK #67)
* "Baby, I Love You" – Ramones (2/04/80, UK #8)
* "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" – Ramones (5/16/80, #54)
* "To Know Him Is To Love Him" - TRIO / Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris (5/16/87, C&W #1)
* "Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (10/20/90 Reissue, #13)
* "Silence Is Easy" – Starsailor (01/09/03, UK #8)