In the wake of his second-degree murder conviction, Phil Spector collectibles (the ones that haven’t been bagged as evidence) are popping up on Ebay like potato chips shaped like Jesus.
The girl group gold rush really took place last week, but if you’re in the market for Spector’s 1958 award for selling one million copies of his first hit with the Teddy Bears, ”To Know Him is To Love Him,” all you need is $90,000 and a PayPal account. How about a promo 7” of The Crystals’ “The Screw”? 20 bidders have the price up to $3,650, but the reserve isn’t even met.
This all reminds me of Augusten Burroughs’ essay “Killing John Updike,” where he buys up all the John Updike first editions for an inevitable posthumous windfall. When Updike died earlier this year, however, Burroughs didn’t sell his first edition Updikes. He blogged about it a bit here.
Spector didn’t die though; he’s just a convicted murderer. That’s why this engraved Apple Records wristwatch given to session musician Nino Tempo by his longtime producer/collaborator is a bit sad. You could say its inscription captures a key time in Spector’s life, when the musical genius who wrote and produced brilliant odes to love started falling from grace: “To Nino My Disgruntled And Only Friend Love Phil Spector Xmas ‘72.”