When a person is suspected of murder, the usual reaction is one of grief and dismay.
However, when the person is legendary music figure Phil Spector, it’s different.
Spector, the producer responsible for the “Wall of Sound” behind The Ronettes, The Beatles, the Ramones, and Ike and Tina Turner, was arrested last week in Los Angeles for murder.
That’s almost refreshing in it’s own way.
As cynical as it may be, sometimes all you need is a celebrity murder scandal.
Spector is known for stunts such as drawing guns on Leonard Cohen and the Ramones while producing their albums.
Spector also kept his ex-wife Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes prisoner inside his house for two years, and made her keep a plastic, life-size dummy of him in her car while driving alone.
His ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Jennings told The Daily News that, “He flew me to his house…and locked me in his house for three days.”
In a classic quote, Spector once confessed to Rolling Stone that “being the rich millionaire in the mansion and then dressing up as Batman… I have to admit I did enjoy it to a certain extent. But I began to realize it was very unhealthy.”
Los Angeles police found a woman dead of a gunshot wound in a mansion belonging to Spector, the same guy who dressed up as Batman and made his wife drive with a mannequin next to her.
Spector was in the mansion at the time and made no effort to explain the event to police.
As I write this, the major stories in the newspaper are about the space shuttle tragedy, the upcoming war in Iraq, and North Korea’s continued goading of the United States and its allies.
In short, the news is pretty damn depressing right now.
You can even throw the economy going to pieces and the Eagles missing the Super Bowl into the mix.
If there was ever a time to start taking Paxil, this is it.
But hold on. Joe Millionaire and the new season of The Real World are working pretty well as national distractions.
But they’re not enough.
And with Dawson’s Creek and Jenny Jones cancelled, America needs an industrial-strength celebrity scandal to get it through these hard times.
O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky both had their days in the sun.
Now, it is Phil Spector’s turn.
Mr. Spector, I know it is accidental, but you’re a hero for giving us sleaze during difficult times.
Neal Ungerleider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.