Ike and Tina Turner with Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, March 1966
Phil Spector produced the Ike and Tina Turner song “River Deep, Mountain High.” However,
Phil offered Ike $20,000 upfront in exchange for total control over the production so Ike was not a part of the making of that song. The single was successful in Europe but didn’t do as well in America. This disappointment caused Phil to go into semi-retirement. Phil later inducted Ike and Tina into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
In 2007, Phil gave a eulogy at Ike’s funeral. He said, “Ike made Tina the jewel she was.” Phil then criticized Tina’s autobiography I, Tina, he said: “I have an ambivalence towards Oprah Winfrey. She made Tina Turner’s book into a bestseller which demonized and vilified Ike. The book wouldn’t have sold 10 books. It was badly written. It was a piece of trash and because Oprah idolized Tina she didn’t feel it wrong to vilify a brother.” He also said the biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It was a “piece of trash movie.”
Phil is currently a serving a prison sentence for the second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
When Phil Spector and his wife Ronnie Spector adopted their son Donté
Phil tried to pass him off as their biological child. He wrote an actual theatrical script breakdown for Ronnie to manage the unveiling of their new child. Two years later, Phil gave Ronnie a set of adopted twins for Christmas. Just a few months after that, she escaped. Ronnie
had been tormented by Phil and kept prisoner in his mansion throughout their marriage. The day after their wedding in 1968 he surrounded the estate with a barbed-wire fence. Bars went on the windows next, and monitoring intercoms were installed in all the rooms. Then a set of 10-foot electrified gates went up. He would hide her shoes so she couldn’t leave on her own. On the rare occasions she was permitted to leave Phil made her drive with a life-size blow-up doll of himself. He frequently pulled a gun on her and installed a gold coffin with a glass top in the basement, promising that he would kill her if she tried to leave him. She escaped barefoot with the help of her mother in 1972.
In 2009, Phil was sentenced to 19 years to life for shooting actress Lana Clarkson to death at his home in 2003.
Record Producer Phil Spector (1975)
On February 3, 2003, Phil Spector, age 62, known for his creation of the ‘Wall of Sound,’ was arrested. He was later charged with murder in the shooting of actress Lana Clarkson. Previously, Spector won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
(Photos by Mark S. Wexler)