Spector Calling

Pressure Drops

Phil Spector's mugshot. California Dept. of Corrections.

On the night of February 3, 2003, the actress Lana Clarkson was working as a hostess in the VIP room at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, when she encountered music producer Phil Spector. Spector almost immediately fixated on the 6-foot-tall blonde. He dumped his date for the night, drank excessively and continuously summoned Clarkson to his table. After the club closed for the night, a visibly drunken Spector hung around and somehow convinced Clarkson to get into his limo and return to Pyrenees Castle, his sprawling, spooky mansion in Alhambra, where she was found slumped in a chair the next morning, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Her broken teeth were scattered on the floor. Clarkson’s body was discovered by Spector’s Brazilian limo driver, Adriano de Soaza, who told the cops that he saw Spector exit the mansion from the back door with a gun in his hand, mumbling: “I think I just killed somebody.”

Not long after the murder, I got a call from Spector. He said he’d been a reader of CounterPunch and Rock and Rap Confidential and liked our “style.” We talked and emailed several times over the next few days. Spector’s story was that he and Clarkson were playing sex games when Clarkson started to “perform a blow job” on his gun and it went off. Spector said she died of “what you might call an accidental suicide.”

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Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent books are Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution and The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank) He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

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