R.I.P. Phil Spector

January 17, 2021

It is, of course, hard to separate Phil Spector, the murderer, from the tragedy that was his last thirty years. However, for me, he was one of the three greatest music producers of my generation (along with Brian Wilson and George Martin) and that’s how I choose to remember him on the day of his death at age 81.

The first album I ever purchased with my own money was the Phil Spector A Christmas Gift For You from 1963, and I still consider it one of the greatest pieces of vinyl ever produced.

His writing and producing credits stretch on and on; he worked with everyone from the Teddy Bears, the Crystals, the Ronettes, Ike & Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers, the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and the Ramones, often providing them with their biggest hits. He was the co-producer of John Lennon’s Imagine and Rock ‘n’ Roll albums, and produced the Beatles’ Let It Be.

It is reported that Spector has been unable to speak since about 2014. His life ended in sadness, but he gave so many of us so much joy before cracking up.

Image: A Cool Drink

January 17, 2021

More On The Safeway Site

January 17, 2021

Since my post about the new group opposing the appallingly large towers at the Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial, the usual YIMBY crowd has suggested that community groups don’t know what they’re talking about, and that developers/planners know what’s best for us.

For their edification, here is Scot Hein who was head of the design group for CoV Planning and is currently professor in the Masters of Urban Design program at UBC talking about this site:

“We imagined, he wrote, a series of related, modestly scaled low and mid-rise buildings in this scenario …  Otherwise, we believed that the appropriate approach to intensifying an already relatively high density community, of what must be seen as “special urban fabric”, was in transitional mid to low rise form. 

We absolutely did not support towers outside the focused “Safeway Precinct”.  We were instructed to put this plan (in our view based on thoughtful urban design best practice) in the drawer never to see the light of day.

We were then “told” by senior management to prepare a maximum tower scheme which we produced under protest as we declared we did not support such an uninformed approach for the GW neighbourhood.”

Source: “Battleground: Grandview” (p.67-68), quoting comment by Scott Hein at Price Tags, Vision: The end of the residential highrise? 2014 Nov 10

Update: Scot has asked me to clarify that he was supporting two modestly scaled towers for the Safeway site, with lower tower buildings for nearby transitional sites on 10th, which I am happy to do.