Excerpt from The Spector Sound!!
John was talking one
day about the record producer, Phil Spector. He spoke about one of the times
during which he had worked with him. It was when John recorded the album with a
bunch of late 1950’s and early 60’s songs on it. Included are songs like “Be My
Baby,” which is on a collectible limited production album entitled “Roots.”
John’s eyes kind of got big when he was talking about the experience, and he made funny rumbling sounds like “speectoooooor,” in a deep voice. People in the music business will get this because Spector had a way of flooding things with reverb. John went on to say he told Phil, when they were working on this album, that he had wanted Phil to make him sound like Ronnie, from the Ronnettes.
At a later time, I had the distinct experience of working on a project that Phil Spector was producing, which was Yoko’s “Season of Glass” album. I actually first met Phil at the Hit Factory on March 9th, 1981. The meeting was in the same studio in which we had recorded “Double Fantasy” and all of the side musicians from that album were called in for this project. On the first day of those sessions, before we even started getting set up in the studio, we were told that we had to meet Phil, one at a time, in the room that was originally made for John and Yoko. I thought that this was a little peculiar. Why did we have to go in one at a time?...Why was there a bodyguard in there with him?... Why was that bodyguard holding his hand in his jacket breast pocket? What was in there, I wondered. I later came to the conclusion that Phil Spector was under the impression that people were after him. He didn’t want to go out in public places. I mean really, who would know him by sight? Most of you probably don’t even recognize his name, or at least you wouldn’t have if it weren’t plastered to the media’s walls right now.
On the first day of “Season of Glass” he said he wanted to talk to us one on one for a minute. I really can’t remember what we said to each other during this brief meeting. I was a little sidetracked by the awkwardness of having to stand in a cafeteria style line to meet him. He asked me if he could call me Anthony. Hell, why not as long as that bodyguard kept whatever he was holding in that pocket hidden while he was around me. In that first meeting he seemed pleasant and polite. It was weird though, courteous or not, the whole situation wreaked of oddity......... (continued)