Spector is known as the innovator of the “wall of sound” recording technique and countless moments of pop sublimity. They are inextricable from his everyday barbarism, waving guns around and holding them to musicians’ heads to enforce his will.

Erm, no. Just as we can say that Che rocked that beret and yet slaughtered hundreds (just directly, himself, in executions) it is not just possible but essential that we differentiate. The music stands over here, the man over there. Just as the Rev Dodgson was more than a tad odd and yet Alice is a Great Book.

11 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Well getting his music and threatening musicians are a little closely linked. Still, let’s see them do Suge Knight next. How did he get Vanilla Ice’s rights? Or better yet Tupac. Jay Z.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Still, you have to admit the thought appeals. I mean, who wouldn’t be tempted? Some musicians …. well if the gun had gone off …. I think we might have survived.

    It would have been terrible if we lost Tina Turner before River Deep, but Ike? I think we could have got over that. I warm a little to the idea of him blowing away Leonard Cohen. Would we miss the miserable Canadian, really? He could have ended Sonny Bono’s career before it started.

    And I am afraid it must be said, well, I will just say Yoko. You know we all wanted it.

  3. But I think it’s possible to say that people who behave in certain ways at work might well also behave in certain ways outside.

    The problem with this is that if we’re saying that there’s a link between “toxic masculinity” and producing some of the very finest art, that rather buggers up the argument about the lack of female film directors and #metoo, doesn’t it? That actually, to win a load of Oscars, you need people like Weinstein. To revolutionise animation, you need people like John Lasseter.

    I’m not even saying there aren’t very good films directed by women, but there aren’t many legendary, significant films made by women. Point Break, The Piano, Triumph of the Will.

  4. Say what you like about Wagner’s antisemitism, he never stooped so low as to threaten singers with guns. And even Caravaggio settled things with his fists and cold steel.

  5. They are inextricable from his everyday barbarism

    Do we think the grauniad is about to start campaigning for the removal of the statue above the entrance to broadcasting house? After all, the artist that sculpted it was a white male paedophile incestuous rapist. Or is that not barbaric enough for socialists?

  6. Sam Vara,

    And how many people bought a copy of Tristan und Isolde compared to sales of Be My Baby?

    Wagner isn’t very good. I bought a full set of Tristan und Isolde just to see what the fuss was about, and there’s nothing there. It’s like buying late era Prince albums. It’s not horrible, but there’s nothing special about it.

    Almost no-one uses a bit of Wagner in a movie. Ride of the Valkyries, Lohengrin overture, that’s about it. None of his arias are up to much. Mozart wrote more banging arias in the first act of The Marriage of Figaro than Wagner ever wrote.

    He’s only famous because going to see Wagner is the same challenge as eating a Bangalore Phal in a restaurant and the whole Hitler thing.

  7. More people bought Be My Baby than Tristan primarily because the former is less challenging. Takes 3 1/2 hours less to listen to for one thing.

    “I don’t like Wagner” ≠ “Wagner is no good”

    I enjoy opera but only saw my first Wagner in 2019 (Tannhauser) and enjoyed it immensely. Beautiful music. Also, 3 acts and 2 intervals means it is not actually a substantial effort.

  8. Lord Lloyd-Webber has made use of Wagner in some of his best-selling shows and songs. Who wrote the tune of “Memories”?

  9. Parsifal is the kind of opera that starts at six o’clock. After it has been going three hours, you look at your watch and it says 6:20.
    David Randolph (1914-2010)

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