Phil Spector startles in newly released prison photos

Two newly released photos of Phil Spector show the toll of age and prison on the once flamboyant music legend.

Corrections won't reveal Spector's health condition due to privacy laws

This Oct. 28, 2013 photo is one of two photos provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that show an aged and skinny Phil Spector at the Health Care Facility in Stockton, Calif. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/The Associated Press)

Two newly released photos of Phil Spector show the toll of age and prison on the once flamboyant music legend.

The most recent photo shows a bald, sombre-looking 73-year-old Spector staring straight into the camera on Oct. 28, 2013. An earlier photo of a smiling Spector is dated July 24, 2013.

California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Tuesday that the October photo was taken when Spector was moved to the prison system's huge California Heath Care Facility in Stockton. The facility provides medical and mental health care to the state's sickest inmates, including those with chronic conditions.

Back in May 2005, during his trial in Los Angeles, the flamboyant music producer Phil Spector was looking much healthier. ( Damian Dovarganes/ File/The Associated Press)

Thornton said she couldn't reveal details of Spector's health because of state medical privacy regulations. He is serving 19 years to life for the 2003 killing of actress Lana Clarkson.

The legendary music producer revolutionized rock music with his "Wall of Sound" before his genius was eclipsed by decades of bizarre behaviour that culminated in his conviction for murder. He claimed he was innocent and his defence team argued that Clarkson, despondent over a fading acting career, killed herself at his castle-like home.

His appearance in bizarre wigs at his trials and testimony about violent behaviour tarnished his reputation as a musical genius who created the "Wall of Sound" that merged beautiful vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop hits as Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby and He's a Rebel. His production of the Righteous Brothers' version of You've Lost that Loving Feeling remains a classic.

His first jury deadlocked, but a second one found him guilty of second-degree murder in 2009 six years after Clarkson's death. By then, he had married his much-younger wife, Rachelle, who was at his side throughout the trials and continues to live at the mansion and visits him in prison.

A second photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitarion, dated July 24, 2013, shows a very gaunt Phil Spector at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, in Corcoran. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Associated Press)


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