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Hargo: Phil Spector's Final Hit Record?

“We were all there,” says Hargo, “waiting for Phil. The film crew was there. Everybody involved in the production was there.” The place was Phil Spector’s Alhambra mansion and the timing was tight. It was only three weeks before the start of the fated record producer’s re-trial for murder in 2009. Spector, out on bail, was knee-deep in preparing to defend against the accusation that he’d shot Lana Clarkson in that same house in 2003. Still, he agreed to tape an interview segment for a documentary about John Lennon.

And, he couldn’t have known it at the time, but in the next weeks he would also produce a tune for the soundtrack, Hargo’s “Crying for John Lennon,” likely the last record that Spector would ever work in this lifetime.

The crew waited. The great man was late. “Then, I saw this old lady walk in,” says Hargo. It turned out to be Spector. “He had this blond wig on, and a 1960s suit with an overcoat with these wide lapels. It was just a trip.”

Hargo is Hargobind Hari Singh Khalsa, 26, who lives in Cardiff and is a practicing Sikh. Hargo is also the name of his band, and their full length debut CD Out of Mankind is scheduled for release in January. “I don’t know of any other Sikh doing what I do. Most people are confused in the beginning. They say, look, he’s got a turban, he’s white, and he’s playing rock and roll.”

Phil Spector and John Lennon went way back both in and out of the studio. Spector had produced Let It Be and later, the post-Beatles Plastic Ono Band and 1975’s Rock and Roll (a session that included San Diegan Mike Wofford on piano.) There was history in Spector’s living room on that day, says Hargo. The baby grand piano that “Imagine” had been composed on was in there, along with some of John Lennon’s personal guitars. Spector, in wig and vintage costume granted a five hour interview.

Days later Spector asked Hargo to return to Alhambra to lay down the vocal tracks to “Crying for John Lennon.” Hargo was to come alone. “My dad drove me. Later, he said he was thinking I just dropped my son off at the house of a guy who is on trial for murder. Am I a good father?” Spector maintained that is was suicide, or an accident, that Clarkson had in truth shot herself. The second jury saw otherwise. Spector, 72, is now serving 19 years-to-life on a conviction of second degree murder. He will be eligible for parole when he turns 88.

Of that final session, Hargo, who bears more than passing vocal resemblance to John Lennon says that Spector was his usual trademark eccentric to the very end. “Phil never spoke to me directly during the session. He would say something to the engineer, and the engineer would relay it to me. Spector had his back to me the whole time.” Hargo the band have an ongoing residency at The Stage in the Gaslamp every Wednesday beginning October 19. Image

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“We were all there,” says Hargo, “waiting for Phil. The film crew was there. Everybody involved in the production was there.” The place was Phil Spector’s Alhambra mansion and the timing was tight. It was only three weeks before the start of the fated record producer’s re-trial for murder in 2009. Spector, out on bail, was knee-deep in preparing to defend against the accusation that he’d shot Lana Clarkson in that same house in 2003. Still, he agreed to tape an interview segment for a documentary about John Lennon.

And, he couldn’t have known it at the time, but in the next weeks he would also produce a tune for the soundtrack, Hargo’s “Crying for John Lennon,” likely the last record that Spector would ever work in this lifetime.

The crew waited. The great man was late. “Then, I saw this old lady walk in,” says Hargo. It turned out to be Spector. “He had this blond wig on, and a 1960s suit with an overcoat with these wide lapels. It was just a trip.”

Hargo is Hargobind Hari Singh Khalsa, 26, who lives in Cardiff and is a practicing Sikh. Hargo is also the name of his band, and their full length debut CD Out of Mankind is scheduled for release in January. “I don’t know of any other Sikh doing what I do. Most people are confused in the beginning. They say, look, he’s got a turban, he’s white, and he’s playing rock and roll.”

Phil Spector and John Lennon went way back both in and out of the studio. Spector had produced Let It Be and later, the post-Beatles Plastic Ono Band and 1975’s Rock and Roll (a session that included San Diegan Mike Wofford on piano.) There was history in Spector’s living room on that day, says Hargo. The baby grand piano that “Imagine” had been composed on was in there, along with some of John Lennon’s personal guitars. Spector, in wig and vintage costume granted a five hour interview.

Days later Spector asked Hargo to return to Alhambra to lay down the vocal tracks to “Crying for John Lennon.” Hargo was to come alone. “My dad drove me. Later, he said he was thinking I just dropped my son off at the house of a guy who is on trial for murder. Am I a good father?” Spector maintained that is was suicide, or an accident, that Clarkson had in truth shot herself. The second jury saw otherwise. Spector, 72, is now serving 19 years-to-life on a conviction of second degree murder. He will be eligible for parole when he turns 88.

Of that final session, Hargo, who bears more than passing vocal resemblance to John Lennon says that Spector was his usual trademark eccentric to the very end. “Phil never spoke to me directly during the session. He would say something to the engineer, and the engineer would relay it to me. Spector had his back to me the whole time.” Hargo the band have an ongoing residency at The Stage in the Gaslamp every Wednesday beginning October 19. Image

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