A Legend In His Own Mind?!?

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Wed Feb 5 01:09:44 MST 2003


February 4, 2003 -- IT WAS late in the summer, and I was hot - not because
of the weather, but because I hadn't made Phil Spector's head a bowling ball.

Aug. 26, 1993, and I'm at Elaine's with a jolly crew, and Spector, with his
bizarre hair piece, walks in. I wouldn't have known him from Herbie Schlotz
who plays the banjo in Brooklyn.

But young Shannah Goldner, who was working with all of us at "A Current
Affair," did. She had known him since childhood because her late father,
George, was big in the music business.

To make a long story short - which might be too late - I went to see
Shannah, who had joined Phil's table.

This was because I knew she had been paid, and I was broke. She was a young
kid, but I am an equal-opportunity borrower.

"F- - - off!" Phil said, without knowing my whispered mission. I left but
remembered I had not completed my extortion.

I returned. Phil had gone to the john. When he returned, he charged at me:
"I've got a gun and I do karate, and I will kick your ass."

Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Maple was there, and he stood between us. I
got a little testy with that beautiful guy, Jack, because he was preventing
me from avenging lost respect.

OK, I threw a light punch over Jack's shoulder and hit Phil the dill on the
nose. To read about it the next day, you would have thought I took a chain
saw to him.

That night, Shannah got calls that she recorded on her answering machine
from a guy with a Darth Vader voice.

"We've got your f- - -ing number. You're dead f- - -ing meat. I'll break
your f- - -ing legs, your fingers and your f- - -ing mother's legs. And
tell that gray-haired f- - - he's dead."

I guess he was speaking about moi.

When Shannah called me the next day, I was a little disinterested, since I
was doing a story on the Roy Demeo mob, which had killed 78 guys. I told
Shannah if the press asks her, just play them the tape. I was busy with
some really bad guys, not a wannabe punk.

That same day, Nancy Barry, who had known Spector for 40 years, got calls.
Threats, obscenities, the old routine.

"Ninety percent of the time Phil was charming, incredibly generous. But
that other 10 percent, you just ran under a table and waited for the storm
to pass," Nancy told me from Los Angeles.

"His bad-boy mojo was real bad. He was a diabetic who wouldn't take his
medication, and a few drinks would make him go nuts. Yes, he was always
flashing around guns and wanted to be a macho guy.

"In those moods, he would love to humiliate people. But not kill."

I have two problems. One, he should have been put in an asylum many years
ago, despite his genius. And two, I wish I had actually made his head a
bowling ball.

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