Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Phil Spector: The 'Mad Genius' of Rock'n'Roll

'Yes, I Do'

Prosecutors then turned their attention to the night of Lana Clarkson's death and the events that led up to her meeting Spector. Rommie Davis was Spector's first date that night. They are old friends and former classmates at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, class of 1957. He had taken her to dinner that evening at the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills, during which time he'd ordered two daiquiris.

Rommie Davis
Rommie Davis

On the stand, Davis would not say for certain that her old friend was drunk that night. "I am not an expert on alcoholism and what constitutes being drunk," she testified. She explained, "I've never been drunk in my life." But she did say that Spector "was not his usual self."

During a lunch break in the trial, Davis greeted Spector after the jury was out of the courtroom. They spoke for a minute or so, and it appeared to be a friendly exchange.

Trader Vic's Lounge
Trader Vic's Lounge

Spector's next date on the night in question was Kathy Sullivan, a friend of Spector's and a waitress at the Grill on the Alley. She was not working that night but was at the Grill having dinner with a friend. According to Sullivan's testimony, Spector sent a message to her table, asking her if she'd like to go out for a drink. Together they went to nearby Trader Vic's, where he ordered two Navy grogs, a cocktail that contains fruit juices and three ounces of different kinds of rum, then to Dan Tana's, where he ordered two daiquiris and a salad that he didn't finish. Their last stop was the House of Blues in West Hollywood, where he ordered straight rum.

House of Blues
House of Blues

Sullivan testified that Spector didn't seem drunk and was well behaved while she was with him. She also testified that he had tipped generously that night—$150 on a $44 tab at Trader Vic's and $450 on a $13 bill at the House of Blues.

Sullivan told the jury that Spector encountered Lana Clarkson at the House of Blues where she worked as a hostess. Spector, who is 5' 4," twice tried to enter the Foundation Room, the club's VIP area, and both times Clarkson, who was 5' 11," stopped him because a private party was taking place there. "' You can't come in here,'" she told him.

"'Do you know who I am?'" Spector said.

Phil Spector
Phil Spector

When she learned that he was the famed producer who had worked with many of the great artists of rock and roll, including the Beatles, "She said, 'Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Spector, come on in. My name is Lana,' blah, blah, blah," Sullivan testified.

As reported on CourtTV.com, when Sullivan asked for water at the House of Blues instead of an alcoholic drink, Spector "ordered her to leave the club and had Clarkson walk her to the Mercedes."

Sullivan testified that she felt humiliated, and as she walked with Clarkson to Spector's car, she told the actress, "'You don't have to do this?'"

Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson

According to Sullivan, Clarkson replied, "'Yes, I do.'"

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson asked Sullivan, "Did she appear to be following orders that were given by Mr. Spector?"

"That's what I thought," Sullivan answered.

Sullivan later testified that Spector had never pointed a gun at her or tried to hold her against her will, but on one occasion he had escorted her from his home to her car with a rifle or a shotgun—she wasn't sure which—to ensure her safety. He was wearing a plaid jacket at the time. "He looked like Elmer Fudd," Sullivan testified, eliciting laughter from the jury.

She told the jury that she had seen him handle a gun on another occasion at his mansion but didn't feel threatened. She characterized her relationship with him as being more like that of a father and daughter.

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