to know him is to love him 

I just finished reading Dave Thompson's Wall of Pain, about - you guessed it - Phil Spector. Yes, I did buy the book because I thought the title was hilarious. Turns out, though, the book is great. I'm a sucker for the history of rock genre; I love reading about all the petty arguments and crazy decisions made by industry folk and visionary artists that shaped such an intimidating past. I love to compare, to wonder about contemporary similarities, and absolute quality, and if history repeats itself over and over and if anything is truly unique.

People say that history is written by the winners, which is true in politics and such. In music, though, who are the 'winners,' and shouldn't they be out partying while everyone else is trying to analyze what happened?

Phil Spector is an interesting character though. The idea of a recording studio is something so different because of the way he treated them. Endless debate among music geeks. His sonic standards defined everything that we know today about what's expected of "studio-quality" recordings. Which makes you wonder. The man is still awaiting trial for the 2003 murder of Lana Clarkson, which no doubt will end in his conviction. He was a gun-toting, drug-taking, wild-tempered man- this guy's eccentricity-levels rival those of Michael Jackson when it comes to dubious behavior. Like Jackson, too, he may not be entirely to blame, as environmental and just plain mental factors play a large role.

Phil Spector is a Beautiful Old Man. According to my theory, that means that he must be dying. But that's a whole other story. I'll write about that tomorrow. For now I'm going to record some new music and try to exorcise any notions of walls and things from my aesthetic instinct.


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