Talk:Phil Spector

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Dubious: Date of birth & correct first name[edit]

(Note: This discussion has been carried over from Archive 1.) in hes personal page is the official web that he owns and the date there is December 26, 1939, shoulbe the rigth date and hes wife Rachelle has a web page where she has a link to spector official page, that means that the December 26, 1939 date is corect!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:00, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

On Spector's homepage it says he was born on December 25, 1940. ( So what's the source for December 26, 1939? -- (talk) 14:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

You're clearly right that it was 1940, and not 1939. Sources seem to differ on whether it was December 25 or 26, though: Encyclopedia Britannica says December 26, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says December 25. I've left it as the 26 pending more definitive information. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 15:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

-- His police record indicates 1939. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 21 April 2009 (UTC) -- His birth certificate states 12/26/39. It has been cited in the article. Pretty definitive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Phil Spector pretended to be born in 1940, but it was 1939.

Please revert last change.Thanks

Albert2810 (talk) 19:03, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The reference for the 1939 birth year given in the article is " Official image of Phil Spector's BIRTH CERTIFICATE." Sorry, not good enough. Since when does Christies authenticate birth certificates for Wikipedia? That is just a picture of an alleged birth certificate for someone named "Harvey Philip Spector." Phillip Spector (note the two "Ls") has a 1940 birth year in the California prison system database because they list his age as I write this on June 2, 2011 as 70, not the 71 in the Wiki article. His first name in the article is also wrong. Hence, I flagged the name and birthdate with "dubious" tags. 5Q5 (talk) 17:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I know I haven't been in the conversation thus far, but I have read through everyone's comments and looked at the ... evidence, shall we say? :) Anyhow, I agree with you, 5Q5, that this birth certificate not be verified as (this) Spector's. I wonder, also, is there precedent regarding the use of birth certificates as sources? Are they considered reliable sources? It seems to me that would be a difficult source to accept, with the number of (as seen here, perhaps) similarly named individuals in the world, not to mention forgery. Anyway, I reiterate: I agree with your decision, and placement of those tags. I just wonder how it could ever be possible to reach a resolution here. "Yes...It's Raining" 02:06, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I found a PDF copy of the murder indictment against him online: California vs Phillip Spector Case no. GA048824. The document says his name is Phillip Harvey Spector (two Ls) and gives his birthdate as Dec 26 1939, which would mean he is 71. However, the Calif prison system database is saying his age is 70, which can only mean they have a 1940 birthdate and he will be 71 in December. One possibility is that the DA's office got their info from (shudder) Wikipedia when composing the indictment and by the time Spector showed up at prison the correct birth year had been sorted out. Until some additional verifying info comes along, I am going to put the second "L" in his article name (since both the indictment and prison record agree on that) and leave the birth year dubious flags in place. 5Q5 (talk) 18:00, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I am doing some research in libraries, bookstores, and online and compiling high quality sources and will be updating the article in the days ahead regarding his name and birthdate. 5Q5 (talk) 15:09, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Unless someone has something to add to this discussion. 5Q5 (talk) 15:49, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. Now it is 1939 again in the article. (talk) 16:15, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Someone switched it back to 1939, so I flagged the references with "Dubious." As I write this the California prison system database says his age is 71, which means a 1940 birth year, not 1939 as the article now states, and he will be 72 this December.5Q5 (talk) 15:41, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Again. The birth date has been restored back to 1940. I went back to my public library and got the quotes from the professional-grade, large, multivolume hardcover reference books supporting December 26, 1940 and added them to the references in the article. The year 1940 also corresponds to his displayed age in the California prison system database. Any changing of the date to 1939 should be considered vandalism in my opinion. Be attentive on this. Thanks. 5Q5 (talk) 15:41, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

3rd wife[edit]

Rachelle Spector, he also produced an album for him and is very proud of his trial hair. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Current picture[edit]

Does the current picture for the page have to be so damn creepy? Come on guys, surely we could come up with something better. (talk) 05:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you. Plus, it very possibly violates the spirit of WP:UNDUE. Spector is known as one of the most influential popular music producers of all time first, and much later as a convicted murderer. I don't think this image should be in the infobox to illustrate him; but free or WP:FUC images of him in his earlier career may be hard to come by. Doc talk 05:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Ehh. His "earlier career as a musician" (as you put it) is the only key to his notability. There are scores of murderers of women rotting in prisons all over the world: but only one Phil Spector. He is notable as a producer first and foremost. Doc talk 11:33, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I just came across this page for the first time, and damn is the current infobox photo terrible. Besides being creepy, it's almost certainly a violation of the biographies of living persons policy, one of the most crucial on Wikipedia. The image section of that policy specifically mentions mugshots: WP:MUG. Regardless of Spector's guilt or innocence in the murder trial, the page needs a new infobox photo immediately.  White Whirlwind  咨  23:52, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Before this image in the infobox there was no image. I think it has to go back to that way unless we can find a suitable image. It's very doubtful there are any free images out there, but I did find this image on Flickr that has some rights reserved. I don't know if it's enough to get it into WP Commons, and then this article. I'll look into it. Doc talk 02:48, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, this image is no good. If we can find an image that fits this it is okay. Sigh... Doc talk 02:57, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
And furthermore - all of the foreign language wikis use this image as the infobox image in their respective wikis. The rest of the world doesn't seem to have a problem with it; but this is where unchallenged free images collide with (and usually win against) WP:UNDUE (and BLP), complying with WP:NFCC, and probably common sense. He will never be known more as a convicted murderer than his real claim to fame, and this image in the infobox as his primary identifying image perpetuates the lie of him being known solely as a criminal. Doc talk 06:34, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Reference required for Let It Be (film) tracks?[edit]

User "Dr.K" will not let me edit the Phil Spector page unless I provide a reference that states that the songs on the Let it Be film were not mixed by Phil Spector. The proposed addition was the following sentence to be inserted at the end of the second paragraph of the Comeback section:

"However, it must be understood that the songs which featured in the motion picture were in fact the 'naked' renditions, as recorded prior to Spector's involvement in the production."

...Dr.K - do me a favour and actually READ around the information you are seeking to influence. Phil Spector was not involved until after the film was the film tracks, are by their very existence not mixed by Phil Spector. Asking for a reference here is akin to saying:

"I know you think 2 comes before 3, but I'm going to demand you provide a citation for that"

Please revert my original edit, as both the wikipedia Let it Be film and album pages confirm my point (FWIW, they assert this without someone demanding a reference is provided too). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Emalgiar (talkcontribs) 06:42, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

You attempted to add your personal commentary as follows:

However, it must be understood that the songs which featured in the motion picture were in fact the 'naked' renditions, as recorded prior to Spector's involvement in the production <ref>[[''Let It Be'' (film)]](Soundtrack)</ref>.

Please understand that personal commentary like that is not allowed on Wikipedia. The tone of your commentary is also inappropriate for an encyclopaedic article. We are not supposed to give lectures to readers as in your expression However it must be understood.... Your citation is also invalid and your edit is original research. Another editor told you this also on your talkpage. So, please don't make this personal by bandying my name around. This is not good form. So please stop it and spare me the silly lessons on logic. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

As an advocate of clear and precise referencing, you will appreciate my removal of the sentence I originally sought to clarify - as it was not referenced itself.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Emalgiar (talkcontribs)

Indeed. Thank you for that. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:31, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Returning to photo question[edit]

Regarding the issue of finding an appropriate photo for the top of the article, which has recently re-emerged: I agree with deletion of the one that was recently added, which is creepy and violates WP:UNDUE, if not WP:BLP. As to finding a more appropriate one that is unencumbered by copyright issues, I am not nearly as good as Doc and some others at discerning the fine points of what is "wiki-legal" and what is not. So I'll just point to this photo, and this, and this, along with one more that is somewhat less ideal, IMHO -- all of which appear to be "street legal" since they've been reproduced all over the place -- but I leave it to the experts to determine if I'm right or wrong about that.

Also, I have deleted an old anon post on this subject (above) that grossly violates WP:BLP, which must be observed even on article talk pages, and even on those of convicted murderers. DoctorJoeE talk to me! 14:42, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, all of those photos appear to be copyrighted, and therefore ineligible for use here. Anyone that wants to attempt uploading any of these images with a "fair-use rationale" should be cautioned that those images will be deleted. Maybe not tomorrow, or a year from now, but they will be deleted by some other editor. For now it's free prison photos from California, freely licensed images that could theoretically have the potential to exist since this is a living subject: or nothing at all for the lead image of this article. There will certainly be no mug shot of him in the infobox here, so we are stuck with what we've got. Anyone watching: try the fair-use route for an image of a younger Spector, and see what happens. I'm forever soured by the experience, especially in understandable cases like this one. Doc talk 04:51, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
This is the photo that's currently uploaded to the article: [1]. According to its info box, it's from Getty Images. I've read about Getty's aggressive protection of their copyrights, utilizing their own proprietary search software to seek out purloined images. When found, they demand large payments for their use up to that point. Be forewarned. Wordreader (talk) 02:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The label does say "photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images" -- so we should probably get it out of the article, and probably out of Wikimedia too, yes? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 02:33, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Wow! That was a fast reply. I agree with you. Even if Getty wasn't so assertive, it's still wrong to use it. Wordreader (talk) 02:39, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed -- I'm taking it out . We can always put it back if I'm wrong, but it seems clear that it's a copyrighted image. I don't know the exact procedure for removing it from WM, if that is necessary. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 02:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the huge image banks like Getty and Corbis are very serious about what they do. That's how they get to own every good image out there. Money talks. Good call removing it. Doc talk 03:09, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

How about this image from Flickr? It appears to have the right license, but I believe it's a screenshot from Easy Rider so I don't know if that's ok. - Maximusveritas (talk) 15:40, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Marky Ramone posted a recent photo of himself with Spector on Twitter that hasn't been published or copy-written anywhere. Wouldn't this constitute public domain?--Ilovetopaint (talk) 17:29, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

No, the person who posts the Twitter pictures (in this case, Ramone), retains the rights to the photo. There was a recent legal decision about that. I haven't ever uploaded photos here before though, so maybe someone with more experience can weigh in on these photos. - Maximusveritas (talk) 03:56, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Third wife to section on wives[edit]

The third wife was listed under children -- I moved her to the wife section. Risssa (talk) 01:08, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Associated Acts in Header[edit]

Not really sure how to proceed with this. Spector has been involved with so many musicians in varying degrees, but in most cases he left a real imprint on their career.

There are the obvious ones like: Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love, Bob B. Soxx, Righteous Bros., John Lennon and George Harrison.

Then there are the acts he did just one album for: Beatles (Let It Be), Ike & Tina (River Deep - Mountain High), Ramones (End Of The Century), Leonard Cohen (Death Of A Ladies Man) and Dion DiMucci (Born To Be With You). Each album Spector did for those artists are a discussion point for each of those artists careers in their biographies - whether positive or negative.

Then we have the sporadic but noteworthy work: Modern Folk Quartet (P.S. co-wrote/produced their most famous song, which was used as the theme for The Big TNT Show), Starsailor (P.S. produced their highest charting single), Gene Pitney (P.S. produced his 3rd highest charting single and the two have a Rolling Stones song named after them for their contribution), Ben E. King (for his involvement on Spanish Harlem - King's 2nd biggest hit).

Further, we have the general appearances: Cher (she is currently listed, but she should be under Wrecking Crew as he only did one solo song for her and it flopped), Rolling Stones (co-wrote and appeared on Little By Little, plus they named a song after him for joining in on the session), Bob Dylan (recorded 5 songs of his for Concert for Bangladesh, plus an appearance on Cohen's album).

Not to mention, The Paris Sisters, Alley Cats, Connie Francis, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hellobeatle (talkcontribs) 18:37, 6 July 2013‎

Associated acts[edit]

Since this section looks a bit long and inconsistent I consulted

According to it:

The following uses of this field should be avoided:

  • Association of groups with members' solo careers
  • Groups with only one member in common
  • Association of producers, managers, etc. (who are themselves acts) with other acts (unless the act essentially belongs to the producer, as in the case of a studio orchestra formed by and working exclusively with a producer)
  • One-time collaboration for a single, or on a single song
  • Groups that are merely similar

As a result, Cher, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ronnie Spector, and Sonny Charles have been removed. Please write here if you believe any further changes should be made.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 18:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC).

Interesting. I'm on the fence with listing the Beatles though, when the real production work was only with John Lennon's and George Harrison's solo career; especially given the number of songs he did with Lennon after the Beatles break-up. Whereas, he really just re-produced Let It Be since it was poorly recorded/mixed in the first place. There is also a debate as to whether Jack Nitzche should just be in the Wrecking Crew. I will add the Paris Sisters as he recorded multiple singles and an album with them, as with a notable Dion DiMucci album. It also lists in the guidelines:
  • Other acts with which this act has collaborated on multiple occasions, or on an album, or toured with as a single collaboration act playing together. This would include Lennon, Harrison, DiMucci, Cohen, Paris Sisters, and likely many more. The work done with Lennon and Harrison is far too substantial and in a high enough quantity to be included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hellobeatle (talkcontribs) 19:04, 6 July 2013‎

His murder conviction and jailing belong in lede[edit]

This is not a public relations piece. It is an encyclopedia article based on fact. When someone is in prison after being convicted of murder, that is not a trivial fact. It is central to that person's life and to the person murdered. It is a fact that belongs in the first paragraph. Please do not revert this edit without discussion on this talk page. Provide justification for any proposed action with the idea of arriving at consensus. Thanks. Skywriter (talk) 13:16, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

The heading of this section is misleading. The issue is not whether the murder conviction belongs in the lede - it does. It is whether it belongs in the opening paragraph - it doesn't. WP:OPENPARA is what applies here. The reason for Spector's notability is his work as a record producer and songwriter. He is not notable because he was convicted of murder - were he a run-of-the-mill murderer, this article would not exist. Clearly the murder conviction should be in the opening paragraphs - but not in the first paragraph itself. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:09, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Ghmyrtle - and I can't improve on the case he/she made. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 16:16, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Makes sense to me also. It should be left out of the first paragraph. It would be WP:UNDUE to do otherwise. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:38, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

He is famous because he is a record producer, song writer AND murderer. There is no reason why all three facts should not be reflected in the leading sentence. [WP:UNDUE]] does not apply here. That he took someone's life is the dominant fact of his life. It is the controlling factor in what he does, where he lives, what he eats and drinks, the air he breathes, and who he talks to. That he took a life defines the quality of the rest of his own life. Killing someone is not an after thought as it appears to be in the lead to this misguided and fawning bio.

No one talks about someone for three paragraphs and then in the fourth paragraph says tersely, "Oh and by the way, he killed somebody." An honest portrayal would show how the killing integrates with the rest of his life.

An article does not go on for three paragraphs about what a famed and talented stage actor John Wilkes Booth was. It immediately gets to the complexity of who Booth was and what he did. So should this article on Spector.

The following linked article gets to the core of who Spector is compared to this Wikipedia bio that fails to place his actions, personality and misogyny, in perspective.

Evil Deeds A forensic psychologist on anger, madness and destructive behavior. by Dr. Stephen Diamond Dangerous Genius: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector The fine line between madness, evil and creativity. Published on March 24, 2013 by Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D. in Evil Deeds

(This entry was updated due to an editing conflict.)

Skywriter (talk) 07:03, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Your edits did not add the words "and murderer" to the opening sentence. They added 34 words, and that is undue weight. The article as it now stands goes into some detail about his murder conviction; it is absurd to describe it as "misguided and morally corrupt". Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:30, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I would surely hope a sensationalist editorial about Phil Spector entitled "EVIL DEEDS" would keep away from talking about his quite nice music work. As for it being in the lede, I agree with Ghmyrtle: "He is not notable because he was convicted of murder - were he a run-of-the-mill murderer, this article would not exist." The article as it is now is split neatly in two halves: Phil Spector the Record Producer and Phil Spector the Convicted Murderer. The lede does well to reflect this.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 09:13, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

If you want to count words, here are some numbers. One hundred and ninety four words appear before this article gets to the nitty-gritty that the guy was convicted of murder by a jury (and, at that, ignores that he's exhausted appeals.)

In a total of 8278 words, the reader is taken all the way to word #6026 before again getting to the "by the way" he killed somebody, has exhausted appeals, and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

What version of 'fair and balanced' is that? Skywriter (talk) 08:37, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Where do the words "by the way" appear? This is an encyclopedia, not a sensationalist tabloid. I repeat, his notability derives from his work in the field of music, not as a murderer, and that is what the balance of the article reflects. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
And once again I agree. The comparison with John Wilkes Booth is ludicrous: Booth is remembered as an assassin who was once an actor; Spector is remembered as a record producer whose life ended badly when he killed a woman. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 15:22, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Wow! I was just reading this article wondering if Spector was still in jail. I found myself struggling to find any mention of the murder in the article! Why is all this important information buried underneath his discography? The article as written and organized seems biased. While Spector may have been highly regarded in the music industry for decades, his notoriety with the general public is based on being involved with a sensational murder case - not on being a record producer. The article needs to be reorganized so that it is consistent with the format of other Wikipedia biographies. It looks like someone has tried to buried unflattering information as if it were a footnote - rather than what makes the subject notorious. Cleo123 (talk) 22:42, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

That's simply not true. The murder and conviction are mentioned at the end of the lead section. Rothorpe (talk) 22:48, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
The only section of the article that would remotely make sense to reorder below his crime would be "Legacy and influence". It might look strangely out of place though, unless he received accolades for murder.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 11:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I think that this edit - which removed any mention of the murder from the opening paragraph - was a serious error. (I hadn't commented before, because I hadn't noticed.) What editors collectively agreed at Jimmy Savile, to overcome similar problems over achieving the right balance between his "good" and "bad" sides, was to ensure that both were mentioned in the opening paragraph, and then, in separate sections, refer to his achievements and then his criminal activities. I'd favour the same approach here. There is a problem with this article in that the murder conviction now appears to be underplayed in both the lede, and the article itself, by relegating it to a position after his discography and musical legacy. There is no simple answer, but I have a lot of sympathy with people coming to the article and identifying an apparent lack of balance. We should not judge whether or not his musical triumphs in some way outweigh his criminal conviction, but we need to have a fair balance, and in my view the article falls short of that and more work is needed. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:01, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I've rearranged the article in a way that may compromise.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 13:44, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
At first glance, that looks to me like a big improvement (though "infamy" always reminds me of Kenneth Williams). Thanks. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:59, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


I rearranged data in many formal references and further readings to use YYYY-MM-DD Archived and Retrieved date format consistently. And I rearranged data to use "Last, first (DMY)." author and publication date consistently to begin listings where we do have author and publ date. Evidently I missed "Bronson, Fred (1992)".

  • Bronson, Fred (December 2002). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits. Watson-Guptill Publications.
  • Bronson, Fred (2003). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits. Billboard Books (3rd ed.), pp. 106–28.

Two listings may be shortened or combined if those are two issues of identical 3rd-edition material.

  • Williams, Richard (1972). Phil Spector: Out of His Head.
  • Williams, Richard (date?). Out of His Head; ISBN 0-7119-9864-7
  • Williams, Richard (date?). Phil Spector: Out Of His Head, Omnibus Press, 2003

Three to five listings may be shortened or combined, moreso if 2003 is a reprint of 1972 material and ISBN 0-7119-9864-7 is the same material.

--P64 (talk) 19:25, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Height - plus differences with the movie[edit]

Does anybody know how tall Spector is?, and can then put it in the bio? The movie makes him out to be a short runt of a guy, but I know a lot of the movie is not based on fact (it notes that at the outset). For that matter, can somebody who knows, insert a section titled perhaps "Differences with movie" - for example, the movie says he was teetotal for 10 or so years, and then was drunk on the night of the murder. Is that true?, or just poetic license by the moviemakers? Thanks to anybody who knows.Betathetapi545 (talk) 20:52, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Spector is like 5'6" in real life; that's probably not worth including in the article. Any information pertaining to the accuracy of the Pacino film has to be sourced from somebody who already has such verified information published.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 21:37, 17 October 2014 (UTC)