Screen Reviews
Da Doo Ron Ron: The Story of Phil Spector

Da Doo Ron Ron: The Story of Phil Spector

directed by Binia Tymieniecka

starring Phil Spector, The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darleen Love, The Righteous Brothers, The Ramones

Channel Four Television and Charly Films

Da Doo Ron Ron: The Story of Phil Spector

“Kick ‘em when they’re down” is a long time Hollywood mantra, and it looks like Phil Spector gets his turn in the barrel this week. At age 69, he’s doing 19-to-life for second degree murder, and this rather unflattering 1982 documentary has been re-released by Charley Films. It’s an interesting time capsule, but it’s hard to separate fact from rancor in its collection of celebrity and has-been interviews.

Spector got into the music business working for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two songwriting geniuses with umpteen dozen hits to their names. While others wrote bigger hits, or more of them, or uncovered more talent, Spector was a master of publicity and it’s his name we remember when thinking of 1960s AM rock. While he could hear talent, it was his genius at recording and producing that made hits tuned to the tinny lo-fi AM radio sound popular in that decade. With upwards of 30 studio musicians backing his singers, he crammed them into little echo chambers and layered the resulting sounds to get a particularly rich effect. When his songs aired, they lept out of the speakers.

Archival footage of The Crystals, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers, and others highlight the film. The narration is tied together by Rodney Bingenheimer driving the filmmaker around LA, showing the sights from Gold Star Recording Studios to roller disco girls in the park. Interviews with the likes of Barbara Alston (lead singer of The Crystals), Al Goldsmith, and the Ramones paint Spector as a brutal but brilliant man, willing and able to exploit his discoveries. Leiber and Stoller seem impressed, the Ramones seem scared, and Al Goldsmith declares Spector’s music “the worst possible schlock ever recorded.” No one actually says anything nice about him personally, not even his ex-wife, Ronnie Spector.

This grainy yet fascinating look at Spector’s life is as positive a summing up of his life as you’ll see – the kinescopes of “Da Doo Ron Ron” are still thrilling, his discussing of whether “I met him on Sunday” or “I met him on a Monday” works better shows his obsessive attention to detail, and the only thing missing is a rebuttal from Spector. This is rock and roll history, juicy with gossip and sleaze. You couldn’t ask for more.

Phil Spector: http://www.philspector.comhttp://www.TheConcertChannnel.euhttp://www.CharleyFilms


Recently on Ink 19...

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

Print Reviews

With his latest book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, celebrated stand-up Jedi Bill Maher “shocks” readers by doing the most outrageous, unthinkable, and socially unacceptable thing imaginable: he speaks rationally, logically, and objectively.

Gasoline Lollipops

Gasoline Lollipops

Features

Gasoline Lollipops’ newest single, “Freedom Don’t Come Easy,” is today’s mother lovin’ punk rock folk anthem.

Basket Case

Basket Case

Screen Reviews

Frank Henenlotter’s gory grindhouse classic Basket Case looks as grimy as the streets of Times Square, and that is one of the film’s greatest assets. Arrow Video gives this unlikely candidate a welcome fresh release.

Jimmy Failla

Jimmy Failla

Event Reviews

Despite the Mother’s Day factor, hundreds of fervent, faithful followers still flocked to Orlando’s famed Plaza Live to catch an earlybird set from Jimmy Failla — one of the hottest names on today’s national comedy scene.

Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker

Features

Ink 19 readers get an early listen and look at “Cool Sparkling Water,” a new single from Lonnie Walker.

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier has a bucket list day at a Los Lobos 50th Anniversary show in Davenport, Iowa.

Always… Patsy Cline

Always… Patsy Cline

Archikulture Digest

Carl F. Gauze reviews the not-quite one-woman show, Always… Patsy Cline, based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who met the star in l961 and corresponded with Cline until her death.