Phil Spector was born in Wash DC, the USA, the son of two talented musicians. He also had a love of music from a very young age and was fascinated by the harmonic influences that he heard while visiting his uncle’s vinyl store. Later in life, he was to become a record producer and singer/songwriter/composer, and he pursued this career for over 20 years before deciding to leave The Who.
Phil Spector had left The Who in the early 1960s following the death of manager Peter Bull and singer John Entwistle. He felt that Entwistle’s position as an “artist” had devalued the band and wanted to focus his efforts on producing music for other bands. This led to his move to Paris, where he worked with producers including Paul Taylor and John Entwistle.
The band had spent three years in the United States, following their formation in the early 1960s from a small band in London. They became one of the first British bands to feature a woman singer, with the band’s lead singer, Ginger Lee. The group changed their name to The Who, and they went on to record numerous popular songs. As they were recording these early records, Phil Spector was becoming increasingly interested in emerging trends in popular music, especially in the realm of new wave and new York.
In his book, Phil Spector reveals many of his unusual interests, which included working with an American businessman, a top executive of the United States government, and with local groups that discussed political issues and outside hospital treatments for animals. A trip to a little symphony in California was also among his interests. He found it strange that people in the musical industry considered him to be “one of the guys”, although he was relatively young. His interest in the new wave and what he saw as the poshness of the new music helped him to create several recordings with artists such as John Entwistle and John Lennon.
Spector has always remained in close contact with the Beatles, to this day. He was the band’s road manager for many years, helping to balance out their schedules when they were touring. Much later in his life, he managed John Lennon’s touring, as well as Yves Montalcini’s band.
When talking about famous American musicians, many people immediately think of the Beatles. Phil Spector contributed tremendously to the music of the Beatles, especially by co-producing their iconic album “Abbey Road” along with engineer overdubs by George Harrison. Spector also worked closely with Paul McCartney, helping to balance out his already stellar musical career. The legendary Beatle, according to many fans, would often visit Phil Spector to help him mix recordings. Several recordings of “I am a Walrus” were done at the studio, with Phil Spector playing the acoustic guitar and John Lennon is playing the electric guitar.
It may seem strange to consider how close John Lennon and Paul McCartney really were, but their relationship was no less important than John and Richard Nixon’s. They may have had different political perspectives, but their friendship was as remarkable as any in the history of music. Many people may dismiss Paul McCartney as a “one-hit wonder” simply because there aren’t any other records of his that reach the heights of classic albums like Abbey Road, Help! etc., but that is truly missing the point.
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