DA Confirms Mamas and Papas singer says she was held against will with rifle
By Jeffrey Jolson
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 7/9/07 — Michelle Phillips of the famed 60s group Mamas and the Papas is the latest in a growing list of stars that say were held against their will at gunpoint by Phil Spector. Phillips sent a letter to Pat Dixon of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office offering testimony, but it arrived after the judge had already ruled on how many and who could testify at the trial.
Phillips joins a list of stars that have said Spector pulled a gun on them including Deborah Harry, Dee Dee Ramone, Leonard Cohen and the late John Lennon.
“We did consider it, but the letter came in very late and the judge had already ruled,” said DA spokesperson Sandy Gibbons about the letter describing how Spector kept Phillips and two other women from leaving his home, this time with a rifle. “If we feel it’s necessary in counter, we will consider calling her in.” The Mamas and Papas did such hits as “California Dreamin’ and “Monday Monday.”
The letter describes how Spector held the women in a room after a night of drinking when he lived in the ritzy Trrousdale area of Los Angeles.
The Bel-Air Patrol reportedly came in because another woman was wandering around outside the house, which gave Phillips the chance to leave. According to Phillips’ letter, the Bel-Air Patrol, a private security firm that handles many Beverly Hills and Bel Air homes, was familiar with Spector holding people hostage.
“The Bel Air patrolman came in and asked if anyone there was being held against their will. I raised my hand and was allowed to leave. The patrolman said to him ‘How many times do I have to say this? You can’t hold people against their will.’”
Phillips, reached at her home today, declined to say anything about the letter to the DA or on the possibility of being called to the stand. “I have no comment. I think you understand,” she said.
Deborah Harry of Blondie was not so shy about speaking of her encounter with Spector. “He did it – he pulled a gun, that notorious thing he does. He stuck it in my boot and went ‘bang’. I thought, ‘Get me outta here. I just wanna go home. Why would anyone be carrying a .45 automatic in their home? And now he’s finally gone and done it.”
Even a star as big as John Lennon was chased by a gun-toting Spector through the fabled Record Plant recording studio. Bill Hudson of the Hudson Brothers described the scene. “I was at the A&M studios with my brothers and everyone knew that Lennon was in the big studio with Phil Spector, and through the walls you could hear Spector just going off on John. One time, Spector pulled out a large gun and started chasing John through the hallways. John was trying to laugh it off, but it was horrible. I mean Spector’s reputation had preceded him. I was scared to death.”
Phillips encounter was about 1971, but a decade later, Spector was up to his old tricks. Spector’s last major album was a collaboration with the Ramones, 1980′s “End of the Century.” During the session, the late bassist Dee Dee Ramone said “Spector pulled a gun on the band.”
Gibson at the DAs office was careful to point out that they were not ignoring any potential testimony and that if needed they could appeal for more witnesses. “The judge allowed us to enter certain testimony of women and guns. Whether we need to re-visit that we will see after the defense case.”
However, its easy for an observer to see Phillips testimony isn’t as useful as the four female witnesses with far more recent encounters, in the same house as the death of Lana Clarkson, and in eerily similar circumstances.
Though trial-watchers should note, the judge allowed five female witnesses and only four have testified. So the prosecution has one slot it is allowed to fill if defense arguments warrant it.