CRYS­TAL GAZ­ING

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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - CHRIS­TIAN TAT­MAN

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.

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