Biography of Phil Spector to be Published by Knopf in June

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Biography Of Phil Spector To Be Published In June Book Written by Last Journalist to Interview Him Before the Death of Actress in his L.A. Mansion

On June 5, Knopf will publish an explosive biography of legendary music producer, Phil Spector. The book, Tearing Down the Wall of Sound, is written by Mick Brown, the last journalist to interview Spector before the death in his home of Hollywood actress, Lana Clarkson.

Brown spoke with Spector in December 2002 at the producer's home for the London Telegraph. On February 3, 2003, only thirty-six hours after Brown's story was published, Clarkson's body was found in the foyer of Spector's home. Eight months later, Spector was charged with murder, and on April 30 of this year, the trial is expected to begin.

"I was crippled inside," Spector told Brown. "Insane is a hard word, but it's manic-depressive, bipolar. I take medication for schizophrenia, but I wouldn't say I'm schizophrenic. But I have a bipolar personality, which is strange. I've been a very tortured soul. I have not been happy. I have devils inside that fight me. And I'm my own worst enemy."

Spector and Brown spoke for nearly four hours that December day, with Brown recording the entire session. Spector spoke with candor about his life and career; his rise to become one of the most successful record producers of all time; his genius; his trademark "Wall of Sound"; his fragile mental state and his years on the brink of insanity.

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound is a full account of Spector's life. It details his difficult childhood, his rapid rise to the top of the music industry, through the events that have taken place since Clarkson's death. The roster of talent Spector has represented includes the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, the Beatles, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, and the Ramones.

For the book, Brown conducted dozens of interviews with musicians and industry professionals such as Ahmet Ertegun, Yoko Ono, Ike Turner, Brian Wilson, and Diana Ross. He also spoke with Devra Robitaille, a former employee and one-time girlfriend of Spector's, who will take the stand as a witness in the upcoming trial.

As Devra recalls on one occasion in the book:

". . .he locked the door, and then he got out a shotgun and he put it to my temple and he said, 'If you try to leave I'll pull the trigger.' I remember being quite calm. I wasn't frightened. I just wanted to go home. I said to him, 'Phillip, just stop being silly, put it down and open the door.' And eventually he did. I remember stumbling out and getting in the car and driving away like a bat out of hell. I don't think I ever thought he'd kill me, but I was terrified he could have by accident. But the really extraordinary thing was the next day I came back to work . . ."

Mick Brown will be in this country from June 5 -12, and he is willing to make available the interviews he taped with Spector.

Alfred A. Knopf is the flagship imprint of the Knopf Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, the international media company.

Contact: Christina Malach, Knopf Publicity, (212) 572-2015


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Christina Malach
Alfred A. Knopf
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