Ronnie Spector remembered her ex-husband and the Ronettes’ producer Phil Spector following his death Saturday at the age of 81.
“It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me,” Ronnie wrote on Instagram Sunday. “When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days. Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale.”
She continued, “The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.”
Phil and Ronnie Spector were married in 1968. However, as Ronnie wrote in her memoir Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette, Phil was an abusive husband prone to eccentric behavior; as Ronnie wrote in her memoir, Phil had a coffin in the basement of their mansion, a threat that he would kill her if she ever left him. In 1972, she escaped Phil’s mansion barefoot with the help of her mother, she wrote in her memoir.
“[Phil] took singing away from me and it was devastating because I had no idea that I would never record,” Ronnie Spector told Rolling Stone in 2016. “I had no idea I would never perform again, which was my life. I was in shock with that because here’s a person who wrote your records and produced them. … And then, you’re never gonna sing again. … I never knew ‘What goes around, comes around,’ until he went to prison. Then I knew what it meant. Because I was in prison in the mansion and I couldn’t even get out. For seven years, I didn’t go anywhere.”
Despite being in what she alleges was a physically and psychologically abusive marriage, Ronnie shared a forgiving tone in her remembrance of Phil following his death.
“As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband,” Ronnie wrote. “Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged.”
Ronnie added, “I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.”