He didn't know it at the time, but when 22-year-old songwriter Hargo sent his music to fellow admirer of John Lennon's catalog, it set off a string of events that earned him production contributions f
He didn't know it at the time, but when 22-year-old songwriter Hargo sent his music to fellow admirer of John Lennon's catalog, it set off a string of events that earned him production contributions from none other than Phil Spector.
It all started with a conversation with Mark Elsis, the director of Lennon documentary "Strawberry Fields: Keeping the Spirit of John Lennon Alive" and founder of John-Lennon.com. Hargo, whose given name is Hargobind Hari, had sent Elsis a demo version of his song "Crying for John Lennon"; the filmmaker decided to add the track to the ending credits of his film. In the midst of production, the director got a letter from Spector's estate expressing interest in contributing an interview to the film.
The crew was invited to the reclusive producer's California castle in February for a six-hour interview -- and Hargo was invited along. "At the end of filming, Mark says to Phil, 'Hey, you should hear this beautiful song that's at the end, I think you'd enjoy it,'" Hargo tells Billboard.com. "We listen to start to finish in his [billiard] room and Phil says, 'That's a wonderful song' and 'That's something John would've written.' I hardly knew how to respond to that. It was so awesome."
Hargo asked if the famed Beatles collaborator would produce a final version of the song for the movie and, a few weeks later, Spector agreed. It would be Spector's first production credit since engineering Starsailor's 2004 effort "Silence Is Easy" -- and his last before going to trial for murdering actress Lana Clarkson.
Hargo entered the studio with Spector (and producer Graham Ward) in March for "Crying for John Lennon"; he described Spector as "clearly focused," though he was "very shaken up about" the impending trial. However, Hargo was "beyond pleased" with what came out of the recording sessions. "After I heard the final version ... it was just surreal, like hearing my own song for the first time. It sounded unbelievable. The Wall of Sound [technique] was unmistakeable."
Listeners will have to wait for the movie's release to hear Spector's handiwork, as the song will not be available as a commercial single. The film was originally scheduled for an August release, though no new release date has been announced as the makers shop it to various film festivals. Curious fans can check out the demo version of the track via Hargo's Web site. The young artist is currently working on tracks for his third album.