Widely known as the wild man of rock, producer Phil Spector is responsible for some of the most sublime and representative rock music ever made, especially in the 1960s. After working with the Beatles and then with other bands in the70s, he withdrew from the music business. He was convicted of second degree murder in 2009, and is incarcerated in a California prison.
Even if you're not sure exactly who Phil Spector is, if you came of age anytime from the 60s until the 80s, you've been touched by his music. But you also have more than likely heard his name on the news if nothing else, concerning his scandalous trial and conviction in 2009 for the murder of Lana Clarkson, his actress girlfriend, in 2003.
Spector's fame and celebrity, however, go far beyond such recent events. While currently serving a 19 year sentence in prison, he remains a super-rich record producer, songwriter, and architect of some of the greatest rock and roll of our times. He's justly famous for his big hits, but he's also known for his reputation as a gun lover, as a ruthless businessman, as a compadre and producer of at least 2 of the Beatles, and in his later years as an unpredictable, off-kilter, dangerous character. For example, he verbally trounced Tina Turner at her ex-husband Ike's funeral in his eulogy, among many other strange public displays over the years.
Spector is a true American celebrity, a tragic hero for some and an ill-tempered buffoon for others.