Crime Music

Phil Spector and Leonard Cohen

I don’t know if you’ve been following this Phil Spector thing. Have you?

I’m struggling to find a politically correct way of expressing this, and in fact I’ve been trying for a while without success. Therefore, I’ve come to a conclusion: fuck political correctness.

He’s bonkers. Would that be a fair assessment?


Mad as a bag of spanners.

Crazy as a box of frogs.


That seems to me like a fair assessment of Phil Spector. Utterly insane.

I was reminded of Leonard Cohen’s assessment when they recorded Death of a Ladies’ Man, arguably the worst album Lenny ever made. I’m listening to it now as I write, and I have to tell you, it’s a strange album for Leonard. Lenny spoke to Dave Fanning on Irish radio a few years ago, and Dave asked him several pertinent questions. For example, he asked him about the guns thing during the recording and the conversation went along these lines:

Well, we were in Phil’s apartment, and they all had had guns.


Yeah. And to make it worse, everyone was drunk.

There were guns in Spector’s apartment?

We were slippin’ on bullets.


Phil pulled a gun on the bass player, but he was a country boy, so he just packed up his stuff and left.

How did that make you feel?

Well, one time, Phil put his arm around my neck, and he was holding a gun, and he stroked my cheek with it, and he said, you know Lenny, I really love you.

What did you say?

I said, Phil, I sure hope you love me.

So, do you think it might have been a better album without Phil Spector?

It might have been a better album without Leonard Cohen.

As Lenny put it later, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Phil couldn’t resist annihilating me. I don’t think he can tolerate any other shadows in his darkness.


PS Death of a Ladies’ Man is the album with the immortal track Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On.

6 replies on “Phil Spector and Leonard Cohen”

Morning Mr Bock…

Found you old chap!

I’ll search for Hendrix now!


He should be incarcerated for his hairstyles alone. But Death Of A Ladies Man should earn him another 15 years. It’s very jangly and over-produced and it’s the Lenny album I play the least. I suspect I’m not alone in that.

Bonkers, no doubt about it….but there’s that gun thing again, the power, the menace, the glint of steel, many are drawn to it. But why?

W-B: Good morning.

Sassy: He is.

Sam: It kinda grows on you after a while.

Dick: Maybe it’s a nutcase thing?

Mairéad: Great interviewee.

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