Friday 3rd June

| BY Natalie Dembinska

FLASHBACK: A Love Rant To Phil Spector


Before I go any further, I would just like to say that, no, I have never written to Phil Spector before. Nor am I one of those crazies who becomes fixated on some Ted Bundy-type person and takes it upon herself to communicate with their pen pal while they’re locked up in their pen, writing letter after letter, professing their undying love and making plans for their wedding on said object of lust’s release, spritzing the notepaper with cheap scent before wrapping it around a scandalous picture of herself, all while filling in a form for conjugal visits.

Those ladies are not well. They know that these men have committed unspeakable acts, so why line yourself up as wiling victim number whatever? After all, should they be released (these things do happen: look at OJ – admittedly he didn’t make it behind bars the first time round, or do things again that he didn’t do the first time round, which he could have done and even told us how he cold have done them, but all you need is a good lawyer and decent bank loan to pay for them and you, too, can again experience the pleasure of solitary showers in the mornings), declaring your love for a man who would happily dismember you for kicks is all kinds of wrong. That is not me. Look into my eyes. There’s no crazy here. 

Which is why this note will never be sent – and that’s not because I’m scared of that crazy mess Phil. I’m not. Give him a teat with some crème de menthe to suckle on and he’ll turn to putty, placid as a pussycat. It’s his wife Rachelle who causes me to hide under the kitchen table. Girlfriend is a first-class gold-digger, with acrylics that could gouge out eyes at 100 paces. Yeah, she married him for love, they always do, but a black Amex tends to help close the deal, as does a diamond the size of a fist. She drove him into a sugar coma with her candy and then rode that pony all the way to the HMV bargain bin. Since when does standing by your man involve twisting his arm to produce his first record in 30 years from his prison cell and claim that you’re basically the second coming of the holy trinity with a little virgin Mary thrown in for good measure? If he had been asked under oath what he thought of Rachelle’s music, he would have had another five years added to his sentence for perjury. Obviously, crafty girlfriend at some point in their time together on the outside did something to his hearing because, otherwise, there is no way he would not divorce her after this atrocity. Not only is it called Out of My Chelle (which might well sound like shell to you, but to me at least, sounds weirdly similar to cell), but the video is filmed in the house where Lana Clarkson died. Bathing the last steps Lana climbed and yourself in golden light does not in any way make this a good thing. She then drives a car around a fountain with a severed head – well, more dummy head – in the seat next to her. Maybe the head was a subtle take on Phil making Ronnie Ronette drive around with a dummy in her car so no one would chat her up, and Rachelle, because she has bled the bank accounts dry, couldn’t stretch to a complete dummy, but I think not. These are not the actions of a woman in love. The man had no chance with that kind of crazy in his life. When being dealt a bad hand, you need someone to make you a cup of tea, maybe rub your back, not dig their claws into it and lie about their age. No 30-year-old looks that old.  

Personally, I would never use Phillip’s incarceration for personal gain. No amount of Wall of Sound trickery could ever make my voice sound like anything other than a cat being slowly tortured to death. I’d also never love him close up, only from afar. Being divided by an ocean only makes my love grow stronger. Sometimes it’s good to put a bit of distance between yourself and your bona fide lust Muppet, no matter how good a tipper he is. When someone tips more than the normal 20%, you make your excuses and leave before they change their mind or before your boss demands you share it out. You don’t follow them home. Now, a $500, or whatever it was (I could Google, but can’t be bothered if I’m honest), tip for a drink and some water is what you would call a good night. The man who left it has obviously been drinking and was also off his medication, as it turns out, and is well known for his habit of pulling guns on people after one too many. He is the reason – well, one of the reasons – motels were invented. And cabs. You drop him off at home and then get yourself to the nearest motel. Or you invest in a bulletproof vest, or maybe a suit of armour. Loving him whilst dead isn’t that easy. So it really is in your interest to do all you can to stay alive. Call it the benefit of hindsight. Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, his vision was obscured by his wig? 

The wigs, to be honest, kind of do it for me. Have you ever seen a sexier collection? Cher is turning in her Malibu bed with envy. Or not. Rachelle probably got in touch post incarceration and offered to sell them to her cheap, as she needed the cash. Fast. He looked like a different bit-part actor every time he stepped into that courtroom. Never looked the same on a day-to-day basis. It’s amazing they caught him at all, if you think about it. You may interpret the wigs as a sign of crazy, which, yes, they may be, but also they reveal something more intimate about the man beneath the hair. Which other person can you think of, who when on trial for life, takes it upon himself to, rather than just go with a comb-over, brighten up the days of all those around the world following his trial? Wig watching, for a brief period, might have overtaken bird watching. And what’s more, the outrageousness of them not only revealed his giving nature, but also what must be a fine sense of humour. Maybe he should have been a comedian in his later years, rather than a recluse.

Really, though, to quote the Vandellas, “It’s the little things you do, oh that mean so much, so very, very much” – and, yes, they’re weren’t a Spector creation, but those Ronettes asking themselves if they love him, saying yes and then that Ronnie saying all those nasty things when she blatantly misinterpreted small acts of love and kindness as some kind of controlling egomaniacal behaviour disorder is shocking. He should have had her tried for slander. So, yes, she walked out the house barefoot when she decided to leave him, but think of how exfoliating gravel can be. Like sand on a beach. You’ll never get smoother heels. Everyone really should try it at least once. Any maybe he did drink crème de menthe from a can of Shasta Cola, but what self-respecting parent drinks around their children? What did she want? A Michael Jackson type who offered it to the kids under the guise of Jesus Juice? And maybe the kids weren’t exactly the gift she was expecting on leaving rehab, but she’d always wanted some and nothing gets you back on the straight and narrow like routine, which children need and so do you. As an added bonus, you don’t have to spend the next nine months with your uterus pressing up against your bladder. Squeezed bladders require frequent emptying in bathrooms. And we all know what happens in bathrooms. Could push anyone over the edge. Is that the act of a cold-hearted man, providing you with what you need to make a full recovery? I think not. And, really, wearing a Batman costume around the house is what every family man concerned with the safety of his family does. Have you seen that guy from Fathers 4 Justice? He wears one. Nothing scares an intruder off quite like a caped crusader, and a costume is so much safer than guns, which as we all know, haven’t been kind to him. Imagine someone breaks into your house, despite the high-tech security – what do you do? Yes you could shoot at them with a gun, but that would wake your family. Scare them. Much better to dress in a costume and stand at the top of the stairs, arms spread, shouting. That would give anyone a heart attack. And, possibly, making Ronnie drive around with a life-size mannequin in the car seat next to her at all times might have been a little excessive, but surely, when it comes to making sure your family is safe, nothing is too extreme. Any man who would go to these sorts of lengths to keep you safe is a keeper. That’s all.

You see, Phil, apart from being a musical genius, is, at heart, a tender soul with much love to give. It’s just that his ways of showing love have been horribly misinterpreted. His actions come from a place of deep caring; they are not the result of an ego the size of Trump Towers. Yes he may have lived on the opposite end of LA to everyone else with a name, but wouldn’t you? Those paparazzi always hanging around are a pain in the arse. Your choice of geographical location has no bearing on your crazy; it only communicates your desire for a good night’s sleep, night after night. There is crazy in those eyes but there is also love. But more crazy. The kind, though, that can be easily controlled with a Taser gun and some gentle hair stroking. Which, if Phil were to ever get down on one knee with a modestly sized rock (I don’t gold-dig like others, namely Rachelle), I would say yes, Taser and then hug. The guns would be kept under lock and key, which I would have conveniently swallowed. True love bares many challenges, all of which we will overcome together. Hand in hand. 

Taken from Issue 27 of 10 Men