Lana Clarkson & Phil Spector both victims of American gun culture

Watching the coverage of the Phil Spector murder trial as it came in on BBC News 24 last night, really rammed home the celebrity agenda behind most reporting. There was lots about the famous people Spector worked with, and while it is always a pleasure to see footage of Tina Turner in her sixties prime, it didn’t surprise me that The Ramones weren’t among the famous acts the Beeb mentioned the record producer having worked with. There was little of Clarkson beyond one brief clip, which I didn’t see repeated.
I always thought Lana was a great ‘scream queen’ even if the films she appeared in weren’t so wonderful. Below I’ll reproduce an old review of her in the movie Barbarian Queen, originally written and posted when this Mister Trippy blog was hosted on MySpace.  We need a more even balance between the coverage accorded to murder victims and their killers. Returning to the BBC news, they didn’t even make the obvious point that in a culture that sees it as normal to have guns lying around, it isn’t surprising that murders like this take place. Not just Lana Clarkson, but Phil Spector too is a victim of a sick society. That said, it’s good that Spector was found guilty because all too often rich men like him are able to buy their way out of trouble. But while Spector is a misogynist twerp and has to take personal responsibility for that, he was also the product of a social system that places profits above human community, and ultimately it was this that made him into the “demonic maniac” denounced by the prosecution in his murder trial.
Barbarian Queen directed by Hector Olivera (1985)
This starts with a rape before the credits – which is mainly an excuse to rip off an actress’s top and expose her tits. Marauding Romans proceed to ruin Barbarian Queen Anethea’s wedding day by attacking her village and after a few more rapes and some murders, nearly everyone else is captured and sent off to slavery. Fortunately Anethea (Lana Clarkson) and a couple of other women escape. They decide to head on down to the nearest Roman city to exact revenge for the disruption of Anethea’s nuptials and the enslavement of her husband. Along the way there are far too many lame sword fighting scenes.
Director Hector Olivera was a serious Argentinean film-maker who’d been enticed into concocting schlock by the lure of producer Roger Corman’s yankee dollar; and yes, this movie was ‘shot in south American where life is cheap’ (to use the tag line from the film Snuff). Lana steals the show, partly because she is far fitter than the other actresses (she is 6ft tall so she towers over them), and partly because her eighties haircut is very slightly better than the abominations sported by her co-stars.
Despite Barbarian Queen being mercifully short at 71 minutes, my attention began to wander pretty early on because the cast can’t act and the ‘action’ scenes are so poorly choreographed, however once Lana and her friends are captured by the Romans we are rewarded with some orgy and torture scenes (and these are the only reason for watching this flick). The highlight of Barbarian Queen is Lana’s all too brief tenure in a Roman torture chamber, where she’s stretched out on a rack so that her lithe and very tall frame is displayed to stunning effect… call me perverse but I also kinda got off on the fact that her skin looks pretty rough and you can see spots under her make-up; but then its not Lana’s face that I really go for, it’s that fabulous scream queen body with those impossibly long legs.
Of course, the torture is unconvincing but who cares when you can look at Lana fully stretched out with her legs spread… Eventually the extremely ugly man interrogating Lana in the hope of finding out where the other rebels are hiding, decides to rape her. Sexually assaulting the Barbarian Queen is a fatal mistake on the part of this torturer, because after he penetrates Lana he discovers that her cunt muscles are so well toned she can hold his prick in an agonisingly painful grip. He begs her to let go, Lana agrees to do this if he unties her, which he does and she then shoves him into a bath of acid… rock and roll! After this there isn’t really any reason to watch the rest of the film, but for those who need to know, Lana succeeds in defeating the Romans and freeing her people. Barbarian Queen is fun but is most definitely something to watch with your finger on the fast forward button, since aside from the orgies there isn’t a scene without Lana which is worth watching.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Lana Clarkson on 2009-04-14 12:21:37 +0000

You like my spots? Then head down to the famous West Hollywood House of Blues on Sunset Strip, and for the right consideration you can squeeze my zits!

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-14 12:59:16 +0000

I like Spector’s sound, and without detracting from the man’s obvious sound engineering talent, it may well be that his solid wall of ambience “technique” is another case of discovering new praxis by chance —
It is on record that Man Ray’s solarisation techniques were, in part, the result of accident, discovered when Man Ray dropped his negative porcessing drum on the darkroom floor — the result being, as anyone who understands dark room process will tell you, a reversal in tonal quality, and bizarre emphasis on harsh brightness and garish exagerration of silver tones.
Spector too, some have said, came across his technique when trying to cut corners in the studio to save money. King Tubby’s is also said to have come accross elements of his deconstruction by chance when channels cut out, and when systems short circuited.

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-14 13:04:22 +0000

I wasn’t keen on Spector’s work for the Ramones — a good opportunity wasted in my view. Joey Ramone understood Spector so very well — but I don’t think Spector understood the true beauty of what The Ramones were, the beauty and natural intelligence of punk rock. It was a sanitised record in every way. I saw the Ramones on a regular basis in the 70’s — they managed to sound so beautifully “Phil Spector-ish” in every way — until, that is, they hired him as a producer, when ironically,in a weird case of upside down dialectics, they didn’t sound anything like Phil Spector.

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-14 13:22:19 +0000

Some of records were good — but what was he thinking?
The following is difficult to imagine —

Comment by The Blue Angel on 2009-04-14 13:41:52 +0000

Spector should rot in hell, or jail at least!

Comment by Joe Meek on 2009-04-14 14:52:40 +0000

The last time Spector called me I told him I knew he was stealing all my ideas and then hung up on him. I murdered my landlady Violet Shenton with a shotgun and when Spector blew off Lana Clarkson’s head with his gun he was just copying me. But Spector didn’t have the guts to do what I did after killing Violet Shenton, I turned the gun myself. Spector is just a loser who hasn’t got the guts to commit suicide.

Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-04-14 17:36:17 +0000

Joe, you are a true hero! God, Guts, Guns and Glory!

Comment by Maxwell Davis on 2009-04-14 19:28:40 +0000

Spector did some interesting productions but blew all his credibility with his stupid public/private life. Much better to be a legend like me than a loser like Spector. Check what Mike Stoller had to say about me: “Maxwell Davis is an unsung hero of early rhythm and blues. He produced, in effect, all of the record sessions for Aladdin records, Modern records, all the local independent rhythm and blues companies in the early ’50s, late ’40s in Los Angeles.”

Comment by Joe Jones on 2009-04-14 20:47:56 +0000

Well that sure as hell wasn’t what I meant when I sang “we’ll be out there having fun in the warm California sun…” And if you don’t know it, do check my original cut of this out… The Rivieras and The Ramones got it all from me….

Comment by Neal Hefti on 2009-04-15 00:12:23 +0000

Holy hostess clubs, that Phil Spector has brought the entire west coast music industry into disrepute!

Comment by The Unreal David Gates on 2009-04-15 01:38:53 +0000

Listen man, like my namesake Bill I was only in it for the bread, except Bill went into computers and I went into music… but murder is bad for business. Spector is an amateur man, a rank amateur!

Comment by Arthur Donut on 2009-04-15 11:16:55 +0000

Phil Spector might be rich but he’s got nothing in his heart or mind.

Comment by Charlie Foxx on 2009-04-15 12:24:27 +0000

I’m undecided about Phil Spector baby, was he a victim of a sick society or is he just sick? Whatever way you look at it he still needs to be locked up!

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-15 12:44:24 +0000

I agree about Spector’s work for The Ramones, it wasn’t good. I said that when I was blogging about Lana Clarkson and the first Spector trial on the Mister Trippy blog when it was hosted on MySpace. I think stopping that and moving here was the right thing to do. I could have reposted all those old blogs too, but so much was in the comments that it would have been an enormous amount of work to do it all. Even just reposting the blogs with the right datings on here would have been a huge effort. So I haven’t… Some of it I’ve put up on this site in various places. But a certain amount I guess is sorta lost, which is fine by me….

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-15 15:08:25 +0000

It has long been a banality among ‘radical economists’ that choice within the ‘free market system’ is already and always ideological; that rather than being ‘value free,’ choice (which is inevitably preconditioned) is an arbitrary a priori value — But while Spector is a misogynist twerp and has to take personal responsibility for that, he was also the product of a social system that places profits above human community, and ultimately it was this that made him into the “demonic maniac” denounced by the prosecution in his murder trial. After all, it’s fair to assert that ‘ ‘art’ had by Debord’s day come to replace revealed religion, the Situationists were forced to skip this particular Hegelian inversion, and instead jump forward to philosophy which represents the highest achievement of ‘absolute mind’ in Hegel’s system — Indeed,I agree about Spector’s work for The Ramones, it wasn’t good.After all, just as the Afro Celt religion ceased to be a viable vehicle for social contestation in the eighteenth-century, the political party as an engine of social change is now utterly exhausted.But a certain amount I guess is sorta lost, which is fine by me….

Comment by jhkhk on 2009-04-15 16:16:18 +0000

..and if you don’t believe in lead you’re already dead…

Comment by K Mail on 2009-04-16 01:30:05 +0000

Look at my restraint! I haven’t commented on this blog, not once, or at least not once under this name! Wow, I’m really impressed with myself!

Comment by fdjkd on 2009-04-18 17:34:14 +0000

Them people, law enforcement, if you want to call them that
were here and they were shaking in their shoes. They were physically
shaking, scared to death. Because certain people, said I’m a radical
I’m a wild man, I got a gun under every arm, if you say anything
I’ll shoot you. If the people find out how they’ve been
ripped off, and enslaved, they will revolt with the blood
running in the streets.
Yo, Ticket to ride, the white crime, highway
Bring all the guns, the funds will come my way
Whether we deliverin’ high grade
To the people in the pit of the tri-state
Or dabble in the hood like fly weights
Lock and load in the range with rock the globe
Made any aim possible
Til the leadbelly lost control
In the hold of the paper that fold
At one time was related to gold
Made many men lose their soul
To the price of the dice that roll
How can a light so bright make a man so cold?
So another man’s plans unfold
Can you really see the truth til it happens to you
Its so severe what the hopeless will do
Ain’t no pickin’ your position to beginning your life
Not every man want to stand by his kids and his wife
Too many lost kids in the night
Hand on heat, grippin’ it tight
Any man want beef could get it right
Followed by enough flame to put a permanent end
To the learning of men
Class session, too many the blast the last lesson
Often taught like the wars that are often fought
As old as mankind
Now outta his damn mind
Stand on the gunpowder landmine
Ready to blow at any second
I’m checking for the signs of the end
Of all-time, I figure its on time, my last thoughts forming the rhyme
Got me running through the streets
That reek of the dead, its more food to the wealthy
My niggaz on welfare, nobody givin’ up healthcare
Nothing but heat, how you gonna tell me it ain’t hell here?
George Bush having a swell year
Swingin’ the gat, ready to clap, anything on the map
You done seen what they bring to Iraq
Now bring it back to the source, land of the physical force
Land of the gun, land of the gun, land of the gun, land of the gun!
This is the place where the cops rush in the building
Paramilitary death squads murder your children
Empty shell of a man rippin’ shots in the air
Soldiers dying out there, but nobody cares
Prepare for the future but make note of the past
Or be condemned to live it again and get blast
Class warfare kept outta the news
Replaced by a corporation’s political views
Cause this is where the guns are manufactured and sold
The land that was stolen stripped of all of its gold
Old timers on the death bed speakin’ the wisdom
Immigrants crucified by conservative Christians
Now we all got freedom to die in the street
But the difference is more of us die in a week
Than they die in a year I made it clear
Where I stand when the line is drawn
But now the line is gone
And nigga anything goes
The land where the guns don’t let anything grow
And what the fuck you niggaz know about living in hell
You not built like me you never lived in a cell
You never gambled with your soul
Fuck the ice on your hand, gun in your palm
But you got a niggaz life in your hand
Young man, just remember that slicing a gram
Is a bloody game, like throwin’ mice in a fan
My words flow like the rivers thats west of Iran
The fertile crescent moon, with the star in the middle
I reveal the depth of history’s scars when I scribble
I gave you the world, and I ain’t even charged you a little
The martyr is crippled
The prophets are dead and buried, but the message is simple
And its not written down in holy books as a riddle
Now we running through the streets, starvin’
On that guerilla warfare
My people stuck in a guerilla warfare
Innocent children screamin’ in tears
You actin’ like the army ain’t put hell here
Military industry havin’ a swell year
Swinging a gat while lying in heaven
Living off a blank check after 9/11
But I’m have the truth brought back to the source
Fight for my land with physical force
Speak through music, the subliminal course
I need a tech and a clip, fuck a jag and a Porsche
Land of the gun, land of the gun, land of the gun, land of the gun

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