Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
That out of the way, over the weekend I saw HBO's Phil Spector movie, which as you may know was written and directed by David Mamet -- a horrible horrible person who has gone, apparently irrevocably, over to the Dark Side of the Force, but Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of melba toast, can that evil SOB ever do dialog.
Short version: Al Pacino's great, Helen Mirren is even better (seriously -- she's completely unrecognizable in the part of one of Spector's lawyers), and the whole thing is terrific fun, even if it plays, shall we say, somewhat fast and loose with the facts of Spector's actual murder trial. If you have HBO, I highly recommend you check it out, and if you don't, I'm sure it's streaming somewhere.
That said, this bit, from the L.A. Times review of the film, written by one of the paper's legal reporters...
"Our culture's relationship with fame is ripe for comment, but it's unclear why Mamet chose Spector as his vehicle. When his case first went to trial in 2007, Spector wasn't exactly Kim Kardashian. He hadn't produced a hit in decades and was less a celebrity than a tricky "Jeopardy!" question."...and which was echoed by just about every other piece I read about Phil Spector, kind of took me aback.
Because it's just plain wrong.
First of all, the Spector-Kardashian comparison is really stupid; Spector is a major figure in post-war pop music history. It's like saying Elvis Presley is the equivalent of Honey Boo Boo.
Secondly, in point of fact in late 2003, just before the murder, Spector had charted with a new song -- specifically, this characteristic production of Starsailor's "Silence is Easy" (Spector's daughter is apparently a big fan of Starsailor).
Which went Top 10 in England.
Okay, it's not "Be My Baby," but it's actually a pretty nice record if you like crappy earnest post-Coldplay Brit bands.
In any event, a hit is a hit. Just saying.