LOS ANGELES — A mug shot of Phil Spector released Wednesday reveals that prison has been a hair-raising experience for the legendary music producer.
Spector, known for his many elaborate hairstyles over the years, had to abandon his wigs after being sentenced last month to 19 years to life for killing actress Lana Clarkson.
The mug shot, which shows a bald-pated Spector with long stringy hair on the sides, was taken on June 5 as part of the routine intake process in the prison system.
“They took my husband’s freedom and dignity. So why not his hair?” said Spector’s wife Rachelle, who had previously suggested that her husband’s thick mane of hair was his own.
“This is a personal matter,” she said. “But in case you don’t know, they don’t allow for much accessorizing while in prison.”
Spector, 69, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2003 death of Clarkson at his castle-like home in Alhambra. Spector had two trials with essentially the same evidence. The first ended in a jury deadlock.
He is being processed and evaluated at North Kern State Prison in Delano before being sent to his final prison destination. Regulations forbid wigs and hairpieces unless they are deemed medically necessary.
Gordon Hinkle, deputy press secretary for the Department of Corrections, said the photo was distributed to the media and social networking sites including Twitter because of a department policy aimed at transparency in public information.
Hal Lifson, Spector’s publicist, said his client is wearing a Jewish yarmulke — or skull cap — in his cell and is conferring regularly with a prison rabbi and receives kosher food at mealtimes.
In his heyday in the early and mid-1960s, Spector produced dozens of hits, including The Ronette’s “Be My Baby,” The Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” and The Righteous Brothers’ classic, “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin.”’ Spector also worked on the Beatles album “Let It Be” and John Lennon’s album, “Imagine.”
His “Wall of Sound” used orchestrations and sometimes dozens of microphones to produce a dense, echoing sound that influenced everyone from The Beach Boys to Bruce Springsteen.