LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) It's like an episode of MTV Cribs only the music legend in this case isn't 50 Cent or Lil' Wayne, it's convicted killer Phil Spector. And instead of 100-inch plasma screens and remote-controlled swimming pool robots, Spector's flashy new digs will look a lot like his current digs: steely grey with lots of cement touches. At least we know the security system will be good.
Spector, who complained recently about his prison quarters but later said he wanted to stay put, is being moved to make room for inmates requiring outpatient mental health treatment, a corrections spokeswoman said Tuesday.
"It's not about Spector. It's about getting services to other inmates," said California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.
Spector, in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, and other prisoners will be going to Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, where the other most notorious prisoner is Erik Menendez, convicted with his brother Lyle of murdering their millionaire parents in 1993. Spector's transfer will occur this week.
Spector, 69, has been at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran.
Thornton said Spector will be in a "sensitive needs yard" comparable to the one where he has been in Corcoran due to his notoriety.
Spector had complained about being in a prison that houses "gangsters and Manson types" and said he was trying to get to a better prison.
But when authorities questioned him about his complaints, they said he had decided he wanted to stay at the institution.
Spector has been writing letters about his life behind bars. He wrote to his friend Steve Escobar, a musician and music journalist, of his chagrin at being in the same prison as notorious murderers.
In the letter, he said he is working with his attorneys "to get a better prison with people more like myself in it during the appeal process instead of all these lowlife scumbags, gangsters and Manson types....They'd kill you here for a 39-cent bag of soup!"
Spector, the difficult genius whose "Wall of Sound" production technique turned pop songs into mini-symphonies in the 1960s, was sentenced to a term of 19 years to life.
Clarkson, 40, was found shot through the mouth at Spector's Alhambra mansion in February, 2003.
Spector's lawyers spent two trials arguing that Clarkson killed herself while battling depression. Prosecutors called witnesses to show that Clarkson was the last in a long line of women whom Spector threatened with guns.
In his heyday in the early and mid-1960s, Spector produced dozens of hits, including The Ronette's "Be My Baby," The Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" and The Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'." Spector also worked on the Beatles album "Let It Be" and John Lennon's album, "Imagine."
PREVIOUSLY ON CRIMESIDER
August 01, 2009 - Phil Spector Whines Behind Bars: "They'd Kill You Here for a 39-Cent Bag of Soup"
June 24, 2009 - New Barber, Prison Cell, For Convicted Killer Phil Spector
June 11, 2009 - Mugged! Phil Spector Gets Celebrity Jail Makeover
May 29, 2009 - Spector Gets 19 To Life
May 29, 2009 - Day Of Reckoning For Phil Spector