Get Back To Mono
The True Story of Let It Be Naked
2003 was no day at the beach for legendary record producer Phil Spector. Compared to Phil, Saddam Hussein had a good year.
First, an attractive B movie actress, Lana Clarkson, was shot dead in Spectors mansion. Phil was indicted for her murder. His ex wife, Ronnie, former lead singer with The Ronettes, doesnt believe he did it. Thats interesting because in 1998 she testified that Spector had threatened to kill her, but as she explained, Not personally, that was with a hit man.
Next, Bobby Hatfield, the shorter half of The Righteous Brothers who sang on the epic Spector production, Youve Lost That Lovin Feeling, died. Phil was not implicated in that one. He wasnt even in the same town that night and can prove it.
Then near the end of the year, whats left of The Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney, and plain ol Ringo Starr, took a major shot at Spectors ego by attacking the core of his being his art. The aging mop tops removed all of Spectors production, the overdubs, chorus, and orchestra, from their 1970 album Let It Be, and re-released it as a stripped down CD called Let It Be Naked.
Short version of a long and winding story: At the end of the 60s Paul decided that the lads would get back to basics and record a live, raw and rockin record. The problem was the band wasnt up to it. They were toast or, at least, very burnt English muffins, exhausted from the decade of Beatlemania, and addicted to heavy drugs. When Yoko moved her bed into the studio, long-time producer George Martin bailed. Even though it would have probably made a good Electric Light Orchestra album, they decided that the LP wasnt up to Beatles standards and it was shelved.
After awhile they managed to pull themselves together to produce Abbey Road, but somewhere in there John and George got the Let It Be tapes to Spector. He added his legendary Wall Of Sound and thats the record that was released. Lennon said, He was given a load of badly recorded crap& and he made something of it, or something like that. The future Sir Paul hated it.
Last fall the Spector-less, back to the roots, version was released. How did this come about after over 30 years? Since Spector is unavailable we can only speculate:
Somewhere in England Ringo Starr answers the phone, Hello.
Ringo, its Paul. You remember the cute one.
You should have used me in Wings.
Again with Wings! You know that was Linda. Anyway listen, do you remember our LP, Let It Be?
Of course, the one Phil produced.
Right, and thats exactly why I called. You know I was never particularly fond of his production.
You bloody hated it!
Well, he ruined it didnt he?
I wouldnt say that.
Of course not, he left your work untouched.
I was brilliant.
The greatest, the point is I want to take all the Spector stuff off and re-release it so the fans can hear it the way it was intended to be heard, but I need your permission.
I dont know, George and John hired Phil, and well, like the title says maybe we should just let it be.
All right then, you know wed probably net 40 or 50 million pounds each, not that I need the money.
You know Paul, maybe we do owe it to the fans.
You think so?
To be honest, I never really liked the stuff Spector did. That was all John and Georges idea, rest their souls.
So you think we should re-release it?
I think weve let it be long enough, lets make some money!
Great! There is one small problem.
Well, we also need Yokos permission, and she and I dont really get along.
Ill call the old girl. We get on great.
Would you do that?
Ill ring her up right now. Leave it to me.
All right then. Cheers
Great idea Paul. Cheers
Somewhere in New York Yokos private cell phone rang. She answered with, Yes?
Yoko, its Ringo. Listen Luv, need your permission to put out a stripped down version of Let It Be. Paul says were all good for 40, 50 million each.
Green Light! Its a go! When do I get the money?
Note to Yoko, Ringo, and Sir Paul: Maybe it didnt really happen that way. So before you call your lawyers may I remind you that nothing is real and nothing to get hung about, and Phil, I hope your situation proves to be nothing to get hung about as well.