Phil Spector-produced classics like He’s a Rebel and Da Do Ron Ron are reprised when this famous all-girl band touches down in Tweed
Dee Dee Kenniebrew wishes she had a nickel for every time she was asked what it was like to work with legendary producer Phil Spector.
An original member of the all-girl singing sensations The Crystals, Kenniebrew recalls meeting Spector when he had no money and lived in a oneroom studio. “He was a little bit kooky at the time,” she says. But Kenniebrew also recalls that as his fame and fortune grew, Spector became more arrogant.
“He was never abusive (to The Crystals) ... but the more money he got, the crazier he got.”
The Crystals struck gold with the famous Wall of Sound recordings, produced by Spector, including And Then He Kissed Me, Da Do Ron Ron, He’s a Rebel, and more.
While The Crystals went from strength to strength, Spector spiralled out of control and is currently in prison for the 2003 killing of actor Lana Clarkson.
Kenniebrew says The Crystals’ hits have stood the test of time, particularly because of their resonance with audiences.
“It takes them back to their childhood and what they were doing at the time,” she says.
The Crystals are headlining the And Then He Kissed Me tour, which also features guests The Allstars and Australian singer Ray Burgess.
Kenniebrew says The Crystals’ repertoire includes their hits along with a tribute to the Andrews Sisters and numbers by The Shirelles and The Ronettes.
In her decades performing, Kenniebrew can’t help but marvel how much the music industry has changed.
For one thing, eight-track studios have grown to 64 tracks. “It has gone from being a baby to an adult,” she says of the industry.
The Crystals, Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, tomorrow night
The Crystals, with Dee Dee Kenniebrew (centre), remember the Phil Spector years.