Meeting the real Phil Spector


One of the most delightful things about my role as a Cruise Lecturer is that I never know who might be sitting in my audience, and on one voyage, I had quite a surprise.

It was in September 2014 whilst guest speaking on Celebrity’s Infinity cruise ship around the British Isles that I was to meet a very famous name.

I had just completed my famous biographical lecture ‘Elvis Presley: The Rise and Fall of The King’, and headed up to the bistro buffet for a wind-down coffee (that’s a bit of a contradiction?!). Delivering this lecture is always a very emotional experience for both me and the audience, particularly as this cruise consisted of predominantly American passengers.

I was stopped in the corridor by a very dapper and tall man, who held out his hand to make contact. Struck by his deep voice, he simply said:

Lina, that was a damned good lecture on Elvis. I really appreciated what you did – it was excellent and I learned so much

Thanking him for his feedback, I asked him his name to which he replied  “Phil Spector”

My facial reaction said it all before I could cognitively curb my shock, and with a quivering questioning reply asked … “Phil Spector?

‘Man, I’m the real Phil Spector – you’re thinking about my cousin Harvey who used my name…”

By this time, my hand started shaking coupled with my eyes widening with a child-like curiosity. Don’t ask me why and or how I managed to maintain my respectful engagement . . . so many questions and yet felt totally inappropriate to ask him in that moment.

We simply embraced and never to see one another again.

Elvis had once again enabled a fascinating connection to happen.




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