Spector Trial Watch: Producer's History With Guns

May 10, 2007 4:00 PM ET

When we last checked in on the Phil Spector murder trial, the producer had been called "demonic" by a former assistant, who also said the defendant chased her with an Uzi and threatened to shoot her if she didn't have sex with him. Today we learned that "If you leave me, I'll shoot you" is the pick-up line of choice for Spector, at least according to two witnesses who testified Wednesday. Melissa Grosvenor, an ex-girlfriend, said that Spector refused to let her leave his faux-castle one night after dinner in the early 1990s. She said Spector paced, gun in hand, while "cursing and talking crazy." Grosvenor escaped the next morning, but Spector later left this message: "I've got machine guns and I know where you live." The next witness, music industry photographer Stephanie Jennings, told the court about a wild night in New York after the 1994 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Spector allegedly barricaded Jennings in her hotel room, and with gun in hand, said she "wasn't going anywhere." Team Spector countered by pointing out via cross-examination that Jennings continued dating Spector after the events in question. We'll keep you updated as the trial continues.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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