Earlier this week I received an email from a publicist representing Rachelle Spector—wife of imprisoned Wall of Sound producer Phil Spector. Along with the email's content was a link to a new music video featuring Rachelle, 32, singing P.S. I Love You—a new song she wrote about her husband. [Pictured above: Rachelle Spector]
Phil Spector currently is serving a 19-year term at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Calif. after his conviction in 2009 of murdering Lana Clarkson at his Los Angles home in 2003. Spector, 73, will be 88 years old when he is eligible for parole. [Rachelle and Phil Spector in 2009]
I asked Rachelle Spector's publicist if Rachelle would be willing to answer a series of questions by email. The publicist asked and Rachelle agreed. Here is her P.S. I Love You video, followed by her answers to my questions...
JazzWax: Why are you releasing this video now?
Rachelle Spector: The video has been a work in progress. The goal is to show a sympathetic and humanizing side of a man who has been crucified in the court of public opinion for way too long. And slowly but surely, with my music, the videos and all of my prime-time television interviews about his innocence, I am changing this perception to a more positive one and putting the focus back on the music, where it belongs.
I'm also getting
people to remember that this is where it all started for both him and
me. Music is such a huge part of both of our lives. Also, as you see in
the beginning of the video, this is about a woman who is dedicated to
her husband and plans on sticking by his side.
JW: Many people will see this video and assume you are doing this for the money or career visibility. Is that fair?
RS: First off, people are going to think what they want and I cannot change this. All I can do is be me. You can't get any more real than writing and singing from you heart. Actions speak louder than words.
Everything that I have done has been consistent for almost 10 years. I have stood by his side and become his biggest and only advocate. I obtained my private investigative license to help my husband's case. As I mentioned earlier, I am now also a pilot so I can continue to see him regularly.
Not to mention, I have been involved with music way before I met Phil Spector. I have been singing since I was 6. Playing trombone for over 25 years. I've written and produced many songs. Now I am writing lyrics, engineering, arranging, and dabbling in the production aspect as well. Everything I have accomplished has been from my hard work and I should be judged as an artist and my talent.
JW: Who came up with the idea for the song and video?
RS: I came up with the idea for not only the video but the entire project. I actually edited the music video myself, which was pretty fun! I have been working on it for about a year and a half now. The project was based on love letters that my husband [Phil Spector] and I would write back and forth to each other over the years. Then at some point I decided to turn some of those letters into songs.
As far as the lyrics and music is concerned, I teamed up with veteran songwriter and producer Chris Seefried. Chris produced the tracks, and we co-wrote the lyrics and music. I engineered the songs. I am very interested in the whole production aspect as well. I have been making all of the executive decisions, even to put the song out in mono. The entire EP will be released at the end of spring.
JW: Was it emotionally hard to do?
RS: Yes, absolutely. Especially given my current situation—my husband being away from me and wrongfully convicted. Living it is one thing, but to put those words on paper and to sing them was was emotional. But this was so important for me to get out the sympathetic and humanizing side of my husband that people either don't know or have forgotten about.
JW: How often are you allowed to visit your husband?
RS: I visit my husband every weekend. I either drive or fly. I obtained my pilot's license to make it a bit easier on me to see him regularly. Yes, it is very hard and taxing on me. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Most of the world's population does not know what it is like to have a family member incarcerated—in this case my husband—albeit wrongfully.
JW: Where did you two meet?
RS: We met at Dan Tana's restaurant in Los Angeles in September 2003. I was there with a friend. I did not know who Phil Spector was or the extent of his musical accomplishments. It was a total chance meeting. I had gotten up to use the restroom and the other gentleman at my table knew that I was a singer so he jumped in front of me and said, "Hey Phil Spector, you have to meet Rachelle," and blah blah blah. Then I got pushed into this table with five different guys. Long story short, Phillip has been telling me he loved me since the first day we met. We have been together ever since. This September will be 10 years!
JW: Did you tell your husband about your plans to do the video?
RS: Unfortunately, he will not be able to see any of my videos—though he does have the song. When he first received it in the mail, he called me immediately and was singing it to me over the phone and was so excited about it! He told me he is so proud of me, my accomplishments and just how much I have grown as an artist and person through the years. Not to mention how much he appreciates me and everything that I am doing for him.
JW: Your video seems to be saying, to know him is to love him. While many people in the industry acknowledge he was a genius, they also say he wasn't a nice guy. Is this unfair?
RS: Let's just be honest here—we all know life isn't fair. Also you have to consider the source when they are making fun of or criticizing someone else. Many people who say negative things about him have never even spoken to my husband let alone met him. Many people who know him personally and have spent even a little time around Phillip love him! And yes you are correct! To know Phil is to love Phil for sure. He is a very easy man to love. He is a very kind, caring and gentle man. He has done so much for so many people.
JW: What do you want most people who see your video to think about you and Phil Spector?
RS: I hope people will keep an open mind with everything and be willing to look at things from a different perspective. This is all about a woman standing by her man and being able to express it through the gift of music.