Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry, episode 17: Phil Spector and the murder of Lana Clarkson

At 5:02 on the morning of February 3, 2003, a chauffeur named Adriano de Souza made a frantic 911 call.

Within minutes, two officers pulled up to a 33-room mansion at 1700 Grand Avenue in Alhambra, east of Los Angeles. It was a large home known as the Pyrenees Castle, “The Castle,” for short, because of its many turrets.

They walked up the 88 stairs to the front door. Looking through the windows, they see a man with strange straggly hair pacing back and forth. The door was open, so they pushed it and went in.

The man came to meet the officers, speaking weirdly and not making a lot of sense. He did say “Hey, you gotta come in a see this.”

Inside was a blonde woman slouched in a chair. The man continued to babble and got so agitated that he gets tasered. But he didn’t go down. The cops had to wrestle him to the floor.

With the man under control, one of the cops checks on the woman. There’s a small revolver lying on the floor next to her. There’s an open drawer on a nearby table with an empty holster…and on the floor, a bunch of teeth.

The woman—whose name turned out to be Lana Clarkson—was dead. The crazy man on the floor was the famous producer Phil Spector. Had he shot Lana? Or was it (as he would claim) a suicide?

This was the beginning of one of the most spectacular and weird music business murder trials in history. This is Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music industry. Do I have a story for you…

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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