Recorded half a century ago – and it still knocks the socks off most of the stuff being pumped out today. Phil Spector might not be the person you would want to spend the night with but he was a musical genius – as for the Ronettes – wow – they…smouldered…..
Ronnie was the lead, backed by her older sister Estelle and her cousin Nedra….the beehives, the dark eye shadow, the tight dresses – they weren’t the girls you would take home to your mum (well, that was the image)
DP: The Ronettes have been described as the first bad girls of rock. How did you get that reputation?
NTR: It wasn’t that we were bad, it was just that we were the ones with the big beehives. We developed our hairstyle, the beehive, the dark eye makeup … We set the mode for the big hair, we set the mode for the dark eye makeup. Then, we were dancers, too. So we wore a lot of dresses that had a slit on the side. In the ’60s, a lot of the dresses were very tapered down at the leg. We had to have a slit for dancing. We were the first to do the shaking, with the fringe. We had the outfits that had the fringe. Also, our songs sang to boys, where other girl groups sang about boys.
Fame didn’t bring happiness to Estelle or, initially, to Ronnie. Nedra was more fortunate and looks back on those days with perspective. In 2007 the girls were reunited on stage for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame though Estelle was too fragile to sing and only came on afterwards to thank the audience. Just two years later she died in tragic circumstances.
But, whatever the highs and lows of life we can still lock into our memories that magical moment in 1963 when the world was ours….