Late Night: If a Beaver Falls in Los Angeles, Does She Make a Wall of Sound?

Here’s the sweet story: Once upon a time there was a little blond girl named Rachelle growing up in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Her daddy left when Rachelle was two and she had no real relationship and little contact with him; he died when she was 12 (or 15 depending on the story).

So naturally when she moved to Los Angeles with stars in her eyes to become a singing success, it made total sense for her pose for Playboy and then hook up with legendary record producer Phil Spector, 40 years her senior, at Dan Tana’s restaurant. According to Rachelle’s bio:

Introduced by a mutual friend, the 23-year-old small town girl and hopeful singer spent the next several hours in deep conversation with one of music’s most renowned producers. She had no idea who he was or that he would soon be indicted for a murder that dominated the headlines for the next few years.

Wow. Um, really? Kinda hard to be interested in show business in Los Angeles circa 2003 and not know that on February 3, 2003 actress Lana Clarkson died from a gun shot wound at Spector’s mansion; those news reports also contained lots of details about the Wall of Sound originator’s life, including his penchant for guns. Add to this from her bio:

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I remember my mom playing her music on my dad’s juke box and I would sing along to Tina Turner, Chubby Checker, Madonna, Billy Joel, and others. I knew from early on that I wanted to be a singer

and this small town girl seems really ignorant. Or really cagey.

Though they sat up talking all night and Phil said he was in love with her, Rachelle wouldn’t kiss him (smart move on so many levels), and well, they started dating.  Rachelle’s love for the eccentric indicted murderer grew…

We talked about religion, politics, he told jokes, stories about his past, growing up, normal getting-to-know-you questions. But the most important thing was a comment he made: ‘Timing is everything.’ That has stuck with me till this day…I like the way he looks. He’s boyish and cute, witty, smart and we are so much alike even though we are generations apart. We share common interests, a love of music, people, life, old films, a strong work ethic, even certain mannerisms.

Phil gave Rachelle a 9-carat diamond engagement ring. The couple were married in September 2006, and immediately began working on Rachelle’s CD as Spector geared up for his defense. His first trial for Clarkson’s murder ended in a hung jury in April 2007. The second trial for murder in the second degree began in October 2008 and six months later ended with a guilty verdict. During that time:

Rachelle stood determinedly by her husband’s side. The recording clearly served as an emotional outlet for the producer and a special time for the couple to enjoy the creative process together.

And guess what! In June, Rachelle Spector’s debut CD will be released (don’t gag on the title Out of My Chelle). The single “Here In My Heart” about which she says

It has special meaning for me. Like the lyric says, ‘No matter where you are, you’re here in my heart.’ For the time being, of course, Philip is actually far away. But he’s still the shining light in my life, and I can always feel him here with me.

Though she’s also said

I’m not even 30. I am young. This is a stage in my life but that’s not to say I don’t love Phillip. I do. But I know I could start all over again. At the moment, I want to get my own music career off the ground.

But just so you don’t think she’s gold-digging Madonna-be, Rachelle points out that she

stays focused on the other key missions in her life: working on the continued legal proceedings on behalf of her husband including the filing of an appeal (she obtained an investigator’s license to aid in those efforts) [and] she serves as VP and CFO of all of Phil’s music companies and manages his estate.

Part of managing his estate includes selling off the antiques she doesn’t like and throwing out the blood stained carpet where Clarkson died. How is she doing? According to the  Daily Mail UK

She claims the mansion is mortgaged to the hilt. Certainly, the driveway is covered in weeds and the creaking metal gate swings from only one hinge as it opens. She estimates Spector spent at least £2million on his legal costs and says she now survives on fast food while she tries to sort out his estate.

And she drives a Smart Car

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.