Separated at birth?


Phil Spector and…



The above is presented for an audience of one; she knows who she is.

OK, it’s my sister, and maybe by now, others can get the joke. Our parents — our mother, actually — used to terrorize us with occasional readings of “Struwwelpeter,” an old German children’s book that, to borrow a punchline from Jim Harrison, explains a lot about why we’ve had so much trouble from those people in the 20th century. I believe I’ve written about it before, but not since “Shockheaded Peter,” the musical based on it (which closes this weekend, coincidentally). It’s a creepy collection of rhymes about misbehaving children, and the horrible fates that befall them. Really. Suck your thumb, and a giant bearing a huge pair of scissors will run into your room and CUT THEM OFF. (I guess this story laid the groundwork for the masturbation talk that came later.)

Anyway, Phil Spector must have seen the show recently.

Posted at 5:12 pm in Uncategorized |

5 responses to “Separated at birth?”

  1. mary said on May 25, 2005 at 7:18 pm

    What’s really strange about Phil’s hairstyle is that it’s a wig. He actually bought hair that looks like that.

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  2. alex said on May 25, 2005 at 7:45 pm

    I confess to actually reading Veronica Spector’s paperback tell-all some years ago while overniting stranded in an airport lounge. (That’s Ronnie of the Ronnettes, by the way, whose multilayered percussion and horn tracks revolutionized recording in the early ’60s. “Locomotion” was one such hit.)

    Phil sure does kind of look like the freak she made him out to be, and the murder of a woman seems rather consonant with her description of the marriage, in which she claims to have been held prisoner against her will for a period of years. During this time she says she commiserated with Cher, who she says was held prisoner in like fashion by Sonny Bono.

    It was also at an airport that I digested the same kind of book on Dianna Ross by a very vindictive Supreme.

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  3. Carolyn said on May 26, 2005 at 10:49 am

    Nancy, you’re the first person I know who had that book in her house.

    When we were 8 or 9, my sister and I found it in my parents’ bookshelf and were fascinated by the vivid pictures – little girls on fire, the gravesite of the lad who wouldn’t eat his dinner. We didn’t understand the German-language stories – but who needed the words when the illustrations were so vivid?

    We forgot about it until we were adults traveling on the west coast and came across it an a used book store in San Francisco. We were amazed it existed anywhere and then were told by the bored bookstore clerk that it was actually a common book.

    Of course, we snapped up our own copy, which now resides at my brother’s house. He has a son. Unclear whether he’s found it yet.

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  4. Nance said on May 26, 2005 at 12:40 pm

    Stuwwelpeter is, indeed, as common as Winnie the Pooh — in Germany. We had an English translation, and my brother later brought hom a German edition from his Army service there. My personal fave was Hans Guck-in-die-Luft, or Johnny Head-in-the-Air who, for the crime of daydreaming on a walk home, steps off the end of a dock and is carried out to sea. For having an imagination! Harsh.

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  5. Pam said on May 28, 2005 at 10:10 am

    I haven’t been reading this week because we’re doing the yard chores. Finally have some decent weather, until today (rain). Now that you mention him, I don’t remember being afraid of the Struwwelpeter stories. My recollection is more like, “oh, so that’s what happens when you…., but since I don’t do any of those things, I guess I’m OK.” But Nana read it to us, not Mom, and she laughed through the whole thing so maybe I thought it was all a joke. Occasionally, she would say “remember what happened to Strubelpeter!” and Mom would chime in her 2nd that emotion. But that was it. Basically, good memories so I don’t know what all the hype is about the violence. Maybe I’m not imaginative enough or I just saw it as a fairy tale.

    Phil Spector is the spitting image of Struwwelpeter!! What an odd man! In his case the stories may just come true. He’s in deep deep doo doo on this one.

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