Canned Butter

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In 2009 a documentary came out about the murder trial of legendary record producer, Phil Spector, entitled The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector. I caught this flick tonight at the 8th annual Jackpot Records
film and music festival held at the Bagdad Theatre here in Portland.
I remember the trial vividly. Often seeing photos of the guy looking haggard on the cover of any dumbass magazine in the grocer checkout line. I thought he did it honestly. The film changed my mind.
The film consisted of three aspects that comprised the documentary. A single interview session, courtroom footage and evidence, and the music that Spector cultivated. The interview footage is brilliant. Even though he sounds slightly “medicated” throughout his responses and stories are insightful and provocative. Call it his ego at work, but Spector doesn’t hold back. His work with The Beatles’ Let It Be album is great as well as his post-Beatles stories of Harrison and Lennon. His Lennon impression and tales of those records leaves one to imagine the working relationship those two shared. Anyway, the film is great, and the problem I discovered for myself is the judgement I made based on the crazy photos of hair-do’s and courtroom naps. It’s quite sad how the media can trash you if they don’t like you. Don’t be fooled kids, fame sucks.
The first trial proved to be a mistrial, but in the second trial the powers finally brought their target down. Unfortunate. Spector did some incredible work. Ask Brian Wilson. He knows.
My opinion? I don’t think he pulled the trigger on Lana Clarkson. I think he probably said something that sent the over-the-hill depressed actress over the top in the early drunken hours of that tragedy. I mean, if the guy can conjure the performance that’s laid down on record of “My Sweet Lord” out of George Harrison and then go up the street and get the performance of “God” out of John Lennon… well listen to them. You’ll see how persuasive Phil Spector can be.

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