David Mamet, the writer and director of the new HBO movie Phil Spector starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, includes a disclaimer at the beginning of the film: While the movie might be based on the controversial music producer, "This is a work of fiction. It's not 'based on a true story.'
Writer Mark Ribowsky has a new biography on the prolific and reclusive record producer, called He's a Rebel. Phil Spector innovated new studio techniques; his airy, heavily-overdubbed music helped form the California sound. Ribowsky also describes Spector's severe, domineering personality, and his frustration with changing trends in pop music.
Darlene Love sang with the 1960s girl group The Blossoms, and recorded hits with producer Phil Spector. Their professional relationship was rocky; Love later severed ties with him. Her first solo album, Paint Another Picture, has just been released.
Love was the phantom lead singer on some of Phil Spector's biggest girl group hits, like "He's a Rebel," "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and "Da Doo Run Run." She was in the Broadway productions of "Leader of the Pack" and "Carrie." Her first solo album has just been released. It's titled "Paint Another Picture." This is the first of a two-part interview.
Ellie Greenwich was one of the few working women songwriters in the 1960s. She wrote several hits for girl groups of that era. She talks about the high points of of her career, before the rise of rock bands that wrote their own songs.