(Hollywood, CA) — It is not in dispute that Phil Spector went out on the town early in the evening of Sunday February 2, 2003, visiting such Tinseltown hot spots as Trader Vic’s, Dan Tana’s and House of Blues, and managing to consume a large quantity of alcohol in the process. It’s what the eccentric 60s record producer did when he arrived at Pyrenees Castle, his turreted, 33-room Los Angeles mansion, that a Los Angeles trial means to find out.
“All that night, Spector had been charming, complimenting his appearance, reminding himself of famous singles he’s made, basically flattering his ego,” Spector’s Brazilian chauffeur, Adriano de Souza testified. “But on the way home, fuelled by alcohol and medication, he turned nasty, berating his ridiculous wig and yelling about how all his music sounds like Christmas records.”
According to driver de Souza, it was shortly after Spector got home alone in the small hours of Monday that he heard a single shot from within. De Souza says he rushed in to Spector’s office to find the music mogul laying lifelessly sprawled on a faux Louis XIV chair, his head tilted back. The bottom of his mouth had been blown off and a 36-calibre Colt revolver was found under his left leg. At this point, de Souza claims Spector uttered the phrase,”I think I killed myself.”
The dead producer challenges this, claiming he was misheard and what he actually said was, “Someone’s been and shot my chin off along with bits of my brain, honestly.” He posits to being the victim of “accidental murder”, posthumously telling one interviewer, “I wasn’t even in Pyrenees Castle at the time of my suicide.” Defence lawyers point to the fact that the gun was not registered to Spector. However, prosecutors have argued that Spector was a malicious “demonic maniac” who has a history of torturing himself and who, on other occasions, had pointed loaded guns at himself and pulled the trigger, only for the hammer hit an empty chamber.
“He’s been bat shit nuts for years,” said one prosecutor. “It’s a wonder he didn’t top himself years ago.”
The trial continues.