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Phil Spector

Spector struggles in jail

US music producer Phil Spector is 'not doing great' in prison
29 July 2009 - Little more than two months since the US producer Phil Spector was sentenced to 19 years in jail, his publicist has said he's not coping too well.

The Wall of Sound pioneer was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his home in May 2009, after a retrial.

"He's doing fair, at best, if not worse than fair.  He's not doing great," said Hal Lifson about Spector's state.
Spector is currently residing in a medical facility of the Corcoran State Prison, central California.

The 68 year-old created some of the most memorable pop hits of the 60s for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner and The Ronettes.

"He's in a horrible situation with virtually nothing to do all day," explained Lifson to BBC 6 Music News.  "Phil Spector was always a highly productive, creative person and now he's in a five ft by nine ft cell with no windows and maybe a half hour outside to walk around."

Not unexpectedly, Lifson said Spector's current existence is very limited.

"It's essentially solitary confinement," he said.  "He doesn't have computer access, he only recently got a little TV.

"It's a terrible existence for a millionaire record producer who lived in mansions and most recently in a castle, a 35 room home. 

"It's a huge, huge change of life for Phil Spector and a devastating turn in his life."

Charles Manson's approach

Meanwhile, Spector's publicist said he was "shaken" by the recent request from convicted murderer, Charles Manson, who is in another maximum security section of the Corcoran State Prison.

The cult leader, connected to 60s rock music, contacted Phil Spector, who he revered as "the greatest producer who ever lived", via a note which he gave to a prison guard suggesting a pop collaboration.

Lifson said Spector has no intention of responding to the message, or visiting the man guilty of the brutal Tate/LaBianca murders back in 1969.

"Phil Spector has been very, very alarmed and scared at the notion of Charles Manson contacting him for any reason," admitted Spector's publicist. 

He added: "He is very worried that any association be made between himself and Charles Manson.

"He [Spector] mentioned that he used to get phone calls from John Lennon and Tina Turner and now it's Charles Manson calling, so he said, 'Go figure'.  It was kind of a dark humour comment."

Spector is set to appeal in 2010 and if he fails at the state court of appeal, Lifson said Spector plans to go to the federal court of appeal in Washington.

Georgie Rogers

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