The fascinating tweets of a murderer? Um, no
A prankster plays the role of music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector using Twitter to communicate with the public, and some of us fell for it.
Correction, June 3 at 8:57 a.m. PDT: This story was originally written on a mistaken assumption that Phil Spector was tweeting from jail. We subsequently learned that we had been taken in by a hoax, by a Twitter user who was posing as Spector. Thanks to our readers for pointing out the error.
In the interests of full disclosure, we are leaving the original post below, but as you read, bear in mind that the quotes (tweets) attributed to Spector are not trustworthy. As the person behind the hoax wrote earlier this morning, "I copied many of Phil's quotes and I made up half of them. I even fooled many media outlets. It was fun but I feel it has ran it's course."
The original post starts here:
I've never been incarcerated in Los Angeles County Jail, so I wasn't aware that the headmaster, or whatever you call the harsh-looking chap who's always in charge of these places, gives inmates certain technological privileges.
Music producer Phil Spector, he of the Wall of Sound, rather than the Sound of Found, is currently a resident of LA County's prisoner palace, having been found guilty of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
However, because he is able to keep his laptop (as well as his iPod), Spector has taken to Twitter to express so many things about his time in jail, his feelings about music, and his disappearing wig. Oh, yes, and about his pet cockroach.
His Twitter feed makes for such extraordinary reading that you almost regret Norman Mailer's passing, as he surely would have written a book about it. However, let me at least offer you some of the more interesting tweetlets to whet your appetite.
Here's one, from May 28, to tickle your existential palate: "If the average man is made in God's image, then Mozart was plainly superior to God."
Or this, from the same day: "The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married."
These were posted before he knew that his stay was to be extended by 19 years. That sentencing seems to have gone to his head, in a very cold and brutal way: "As if it wasn't bad enough I got locked up for 19 years, the bastards even confiscated my wig."
He begins to meditate on the subject of belief: "If you talk to God, you're praying. If God talks back, it's schizophrenia."
Many of us are not exactly fond of murderers, but we do seem to rather enjoy reading about them. So I have to say that the more I began to read, the more I became engrossed by what might, or might not, be contained beneath this man's wig.
Again, from May 29: "It's comforting to know that mental health doesn't always mean being happy. If it did, nobody would qualify."
A few minutes later, Spector finds a friend: "Have befriended a cockroach. I'm naming him Wilson."
He finds more friends on Twitter. In reply to someone called MILE, Spector tweets: "One positive thing about old age is that you can remember everything that happened, even if it didn't happen."
Now, I'm not suggesting this is Voltaire quite yet, but few Twitter feeds seem to have such literary potential.
After all, this man was responsible for some truly great music. So here's a recent tweet on the subject: "Most producers don't create, they interpret. When I went into the studio I created a sound that I wanted to hear."
But perhaps not everyone appreciated how great he was. Especially colleges: "I'm concerned with the fact that I have not been made a doctor at any college and Bill Cosby has, even Dylan has."
Spector even tweets about his own potential insanity: "To all intents and purposes I would say I'm probably relatively insane, to an extent." And he suggests a reason: "My mother and father were first cousins. I don't know genetically whether or not that has something to do with who I am and what I became."
What he became, if even his recent Twittering is anything to go by, is a fascinating case, one that is strangely worth following.
In case you wondered, he is about to write an angry letter to try to get his wig back, he's listening to both Engelbert Humperdinck and Lily Allen on his iPod and he thinks "American Idol" is an insult to music.
Oh, and he's currently following only one person: Yoko Ono.