Spector, who has died aged 81, created a culture of cruelty that was seen by the music industry as a symptom of genius. It’s a scenario that has played out again and again
The list of abuses Phil Spector doled out to his ex-wife Ronnie Spector is horrifying. He threatened to display her dead body in a glass-lidded gold coffin if she ever left him; he wouldn’t let her wear shoes in the house in case she ran away, and he put barbed wire and guard dogs around his mansion to make sure that she couldn’t. On the rare occasion he allowed her out alone, she had to drive alongside a life-sized dummy of Spector, cigarette in its mouth. Thanks more to luck than mercy, she escaped barefoot through a broken window.