Sunday, March 27, 2016

Simple Man Bobby Beausoleil and the Freedom Orchestra

Bobby's rendition of  Lynryd Skynyrd's Simple Man recorded at the California State Prison in Tracy.  It was recorded in 1978, the stage was the boxing ring at the prison and much of the equipment was built in the prison handicraft shop.

Is that Clem on the guitar in the foreground?









82 comments:

chatsworth charlie said...

Bobby @4:08 "I wish I'd listened"

Don't sing Bobby......don't sing

chatsworth charlie said...

Good playin' though

r shep said...

Wow, Looks like he's paying back his debt to society. Doing something he loves. What a punishment.

Suze said...

LOL Chats, yeah he's a little off-key isn't he?

grimtraveller said...

The actual note hitting of the vocal is the only thing that lets this piece down. Everything else about it is lovely. It's a shame about the vocal because otherwise he had a really likeable voice. His voice had just the right amount of gruff and hoarseness, he had a great sense of diction, rhythm and timing which sits in beautiful counterpoint to the bass and drums and sonically, his voice was just right, as was the band overall.
I enjoyed the piece. The bass and drums kept things flowing without being stodgy, the Clem look alike on guitar jumped neatly in and out of arpeggios, rhythm guitar and harmony leads and the guy on keyboard shimmered and skated mystically and almost steam like over a pretty muscular backing.

r shep said...

Wow, Looks like he's paying back his debt to society. Doing something he loves. What a punishment

Playing someone else's songs in a jailhouse gig to people who may not have wanted to be there and were only there because they had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do and may not have even liked the music isn't exactly what I'd describe as doing something you love. Not when you put it in the context of not being able to eat what you want, when you want, have a shag when you want and with who you want, have a beer or a coke or a smoke or a drive or go for a country or city walk or call your Mum or go and see your friends or go watch a ball game or play some sport or read a book of your choice or play with your kids or bring them up or help them with their homework, all the time being under manners to the wardens, regardless of the whims of their moods on the day and constantly looking over your shoulder for some stronger fellow con that may be feeling somewhat amorous or a gang member who may just be in the frame of mind that day to slice your gizzards.....
Yep, I'd say he was paying for his crime. Learning to play instruments, make and maintain instruments and play the odd gig hardly qualifies as having a whale of a time.

r shep said...

I bet the Hinman family would be glad to hear that.

grimtraveller said...

All these years later one has to wonder.

ziggyosterberg said...


It was a little pitchy, dawg, but I liked how you showed us that you can't play guitar and sing at the same time. Burying the other musicians in the mix and pushing your guitar and vocals up front was a bold move, dawg. I also liked your complete lack of microphone technique - dats old school, dawg. But I'm gonna have to say NO, dawg.


AustinAnn74 said...

I will reiterate what a parole board deputy commissioner said:

Mr. Beausoleil, I find that your parole plans are unrealistic and almost completely insufficient. Several places in your materials you describe yourself as an artist, and you've told the Board today, and in the materials that you've submitted that you're a videographer, a composer of music, an artist. This member of the Board doesn't think those are the sort of solid, reliable skills that you can bank on. I noted that you almost dismiss your skills and training in electronics, printing and sheet metal. Those aren't the things you want to do, it sounds like to me. Well, sir, it's likely that your life after prison will not be about performing and glamour. It will take effort and thoughtful strategy for you to survive, and I don't believe you've made enough planning in those regards. Your past public figure status, your pursuits with music, those memories you have of playing with certain bands, that's not going to serve you in the future, and it's not realistic to think that it will.

Charlie Higgins said...

Quite ironic when he sings " I wish I'd listened "

penny lane said...

I just stuck a pencil in my ear...:)

penny lane said...

Ann that just says it all doesnt it...? pathetic deluded moron and creepy

Mr. Humphrat said...

Clem's Wikipedia entry says he was part of that band yo.
Maybe he should have done the vocals.

Robert Hendrickson said...

As I read ANN's "comment" I realize the 'commissioner' has got it RIGHT, but that could apply to most ALL of us. Of course, Bobby B. lives in a "dream" BUT doesn't most of the contestants who sing on "the Voice" and "American Idol" ?

Maybe there is 'something' in music that reduces the human mind to la-la ville. Maybe THAT explains the MANSON mystique.

I remember when I was a kid and "Little Richard" would sing: "Up in the morning and out to school..." I was hooked ! Imagine IF we never had to get up early in the morning and go to school. What a dream. I also remember my female cousin being totally 'GONE to heaven' when Elvis would com on the radio.

AND then I remember the man who grew-up in East Germany and he told me the story of how "Rock n' Roll" music brought the Berlin Wall down.

Maybe the parole "commissioner" was really THINKING: "Yeah Bobby Butt-head, we'll let YOU out - so you can 'brainwash' the young'ins to tear down Donald Trump's beautiful WALL.

orwhut said...

Mr. Humphrat said... Clem's Wikipedia entry says he was part of that band yo. Maybe he should have done the vocals.

An excellent idea, Humph. If Clem's voice is the one I think it is, in Robert's films, it's very pleasing.

George Stimson said...

"Is that Clem on the guitar in the foreground?" Yes.

Still Grooving said...

Well, I, for one, was not impressed with his guitar work, and much less impressed with his off-pitch singing. Of course, the sound stage was probably lacking, considering the location, so I'll give him a little slack on the vocals. He doesn't seem to be able to sing and play at the same time, as he just held onto his instrument most of the time when his mouth was open, no pun intended. And his final guitar riffs were elementary. He's had a lot of time to practice, however, so he has probably improved his work.

I like the parole board deputy commissioner's quote Ann posted. He was basically told, "don't quit your day job"

JC said...

I dig the fact that he is using a "Mississippi Marshall" Peavey amp like Skynyrd did back in the glory days.
I think this is a quite credible cover of the song. Did they also tackle "Saturday Night Special"?

DebS said...

Thanks George for the confirmation, I was pretty sure it was Clem!

I do consider Clem to be a good guitar player. Since his release from prison he has made somewhat of a success out of himself by being picked up by some top named people in the blues genre to perform with their bands. But, he has done it using a stage name and it also appears that once the different bands figure out his true name and background he gets dropped from the band.

Abilities aside, I can't see Bobby using anything but his own name to perform. I don't think he would ever play anonymously, he's much too pleased with himself to do that. The parole board commissioner is right, Bobby is unrealistic and would have a hard time supporting himself with his music.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Upon further investigation, I find that the "commissioner's" JOB / employment assessment RE: Bobby. B. is NOW an obsolete American DREAM. Electronics, sheet metal worker, blue collar jobs, etc. are STILL moving to Mexico and China. SEE NAFTA trade agreement by G. Bush & B.
Clinton. This is exactly what D. TRUMP is talking about.

SO the only thing we KNOW for sure is: this Manson Story will NEVER end.

BTW: there is NOW a very REAL "new" housing crisis. First time home buyers are NOT buying as many new homes and consequently NEW homes are NOT being built for them - only for the "upper" middle income bracket and ABOVE.

Oh, and the new "tiny" houses are becoming popular, as are SUVs and the "station wagon" is coming back. Thank GOD for creating "parking lots."

Shorty's pistols said...

Nice arrangement, but done mainly in a cover version of the Skynyrd tune. The drummer was half timed in parts. Clem with some tasty guitar fills, you can see the guy learned his craft in prison.

BB? a talented musician, but a terrible singer. He murdered the vocal like he murdered Gary Hinman. Is that a Mosrite Bummer is playing or is that the famed Syntar?

chatsworth charlie said...

Robert Hendrickson said...
I remember when I was a kid and "Little Richard" would sing: "Up in the morning and out to school..." I was hooked !

I think you mean "Chuck Berry"

christopher butche said...

When I first saw it I was surprised that his performance seemed so awkward. Like most of us I expect, we know him from still photographs and the printed word, with the exception of a few minutes trial footage in corridors and prison buses.

I guess I was expecting a bit more star-potential, having read about Love, Zappa and getting Orkestra together at such a young age, with a couple of movie roles thrown in.

Good to see footage of him though. I'm not knocking the singing as I regularly practise with a group and if you can't hear yourself sing it all becomes guesswork.

Massively dull choice of song, I didnt realise it was a cover. Again, I am so used to reading about his psychedelia and improvisation that I was expecting a wow-factor.

Overall for me surprisingly pedestrian. There is another performance on youtube, more recent with keyboard and bass, check it out kids.

grimtraveller said...

r shep said...

I bet the Hinman family would be glad to hear that

I wonder, outside of parole hearings exactly how family members of the victims 47 years later actually are affected on a day to day basis. I wonder how it would compare to people who lost their loved ones in a war or accident the same length of time ago.

DebS said...

The parole board commissioner is right, Bobby is unrealistic and would have a hard time supporting himself with his music

Perhaps. But realistically, coming out of prison at almost age 70 {or even at 63 or so when the board commissioner told him that} would present problems for pretty much anyone. But not necessarily insurmountable ones.
In his last parole hearing he did say that he didn't want to be a touring performing musician or make it in the music biz that way. He also mentioned that if he were paroled he was told he'd continue to have some contract work with a company he was involved with in the jail.
This was 2010 though.
Point is though, are any of us really in a position to say what he would or would not be able to do if he was out ?
Life is sometimes funny.

St Circumstance said...

Bobby is a self serving scumbag. But to deny what he was able to accomplish behind bars is just not being honest. We can debate if he should have had the opportunities he had or not, but it's hard to deny what that guy did with the opportunity he was given.

DebS said...

You bring up a good point, Grim. Anyone getting out of prison at age 70 would have a hard time making ends meet no matter what field they choose. I suppose that Bobby could collect on his wife's social security, they were married more than ten years, the minimum time to be able to collect on your spouse's earnings.

Does anyone recall if Bobby was ever required to make restitution to Hinman's family?

orwhut said...

Dispite being a notorious convicted murderer and a few other faults, Bobby is still a good looking man. I imagine he could have a well off woman ready to pick him up at the prison gate within a week. I wish I was as handsome.

orwhut said...

This plan probably wouldn't go over too well with the parole board.

Charlie Higgins said...

Hi ... Sorry to go off topic, but looking for a bit of info. I'm currently re reading the Jeff Guinn book "Manson" ... When he is writing about the Bernard Crowe drug burn, he names Watsons girlfriend as Luella ... In other books she is named Rosina Kroner. Was Luella a nickname or is this just conflicting information ?

ziggyosterberg said...


@Charlie Higgins - Rosina is her real name. Luella is the pseudonym that Tex used in his book. There's a recent picture of her on the right hand side of the page of this blog in the "Manson Family Today" photos (just above Colleen Sinclair).

ziggyosterberg said...


@St Circumstance - "Hey, Bobby. How you doing, buddy? Cell looks great. I mean really terrific. You're really keeping it up wonderfully."

Robert Hendrickson said...

OMG Chats Char: And that was the first or second 45 record I bought.

I do remember playing it BEFORE going to school - just to let my parents know how I felt.

BUT hey, as a 7 year old, I remember sitting on a my grandmother's neighbor's fence listening to Herb Albert. I always thought HE was Mexican and only recently found out he was Jewish.

When I was a teenager I knew a disc jockey and he would give me all the music he rejected.

When he gave me a copy of "I wanna hold your hand" I agreed it was a loser and even played it for other kids at Bob's Big Boy Drive-in in Van Nuys. They all thought it was no good also. That was a couple of years before a "promoter" in England got hold of it.''

ziggyosterberg said...


@Robert Hendrickson - That's a very believable story, Robert. I think you might need a little more sleep, Peepaw.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Robert that's an interesting story about I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I can imagine not everyone liked it, but it was recorded in October, 1963 which was 1 month before it was high on the charts in England and one month more until it was released in America and was very quickly a huge hit. Is it possible you are mixing it together with some other memory??

Matt said...

THEN:

Oh please, say to me
You'll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You'll let me hold your hand

NOW:

Make him call his wife and say he never coming home
Kim got him in a zone beating they dicks
Even got some of these straight chicks rubbing their tits
What? I'm loving this shit

Shorty's pistols said...

Robert, I would think the Beatles record you got from the DJ was "Love Me Do". That was released in '62 and received very limited airplay in the States and didn't get a US release until '64, when anything with Beatles on the label went to #1. "I Want To Hold Your hand" was released in Dec '63 in both countries.

I heard "Love Me Do" on WLS out of Chicago in late '62 or '63. It sounded weird to me and seemed like a Everly Brothers knock-off.

On Beausoliel, the guy is very talented. The "Lucifer Rising" soundtrack is a brilliant piece of music. Bobby can write music, arrange songs, and is a very talented guitarist. But he has huge blind spots. That is true in life and his musical efforts. He ruined the version of "Simple Man" seen in the video by inserting himself in the vocals. The guy is a talent, but he can't sing for shit. He has recorded other songs in which he has done the vocals and they are all terrible from the vocal aspect.

It's easy to see how he got the name Bummer, he's always getting in his own way.

Robert Hendrickson said...

WOW - do I stand corrected ! I think "I wanna hold your hand" stands out because it makes NO sense. Young boys DON'T wanna HOLD your hand (at least in America) - they wanna do yah.

BTW: What happens IF you take Bobby B. out of the "Murdering Equation".

Mr. Humphrat said...

LOL Matt
Shorty good point on Love Me Do that would fit Robert's scenario and would've sounded weird to American ears. Wasn't that Skiffle?
I also agree on Beausoleil's talent, but lack in vocals and can picture him being the ego in the group saying "it's my group" "I'm the hunk" etc. and poor guys like Clem who sang pretty well keeping their mouths shut and wincing every time Bobby sang.

Matt said...

Patty Duke has passed away. Farewell, Neely O'Hara.


Robert Hendrickson said...

Of course, in the music business, as in the movie business, YOU can't always believe what you read, UNLESS you just want to believe. The perfect example is the Beach Boys "Never Learn NOT to Love."

Sometimes "B" sides of records were used to TEST a song for possible success.

Col Scott is another perfect example of "believe it or NOT." He may be a complete asshole, BUT he is also a genius in developing potential movie properties.

When Nancy Sinatra recorded "These Boots are Made for Walking" her father bought-up all the copies in LA record stores to make it a "HIT."

For the "Exorcist" the filmmaker hired collage students to VOMIT at a specific time in the Westwood theaters and bingo we got another "hit."

Some folks actually THINK the filmmaker's lawyer seduced the Federal government into "Banning" "MANSON" 1973. Now, who with ALL there marbles, would even imagine such a thing could be done ?

It's kind'a like rabbits don't lay eggs, so WHY do they go together for Easter?


grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

Does anyone recall if Bobby was ever required to make restitution to Hinman's family?

Maybe it's just me but I find the idea of restitution where a murder has been committed to be a strange concept and an almost insulting one. I can see where restitution would make sense if a person has been robbed or even where the main provider has been murdered. But in general ? I wouldn't want the money of the murderer of one of my kinfolk.

orwhut said...

This plan probably wouldn't go over too well with the parole board

Jokes aside though, if it was a viable proposition that ensured that Bobby would be well taken care of and no burden on the state and the rich lady in question guaranteed the deal, who knows ? What if his late wife had said that she would fully support him financially and thusly wouldn't need a job ? One has to ask sometimes exactly what the parole board are actually asking for and what do they actually want.

Robert Hendrickson said...

BUT hey, as a 7 year old, I remember sitting on a my grandmother's neighbor's fence listening to Herb Albert. I always thought HE was Mexican and only recently found out he was Jewish

Hey, don't feel bad. Many people are not aware that Alice Cooper was the name of the band. The Alice we know is called Vince. He didn't become "Alice" until well down the line.

Mr. Humphrat said...

that's an interesting story about I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I can imagine not everyone liked it, but it was recorded in October, 1963 which was 1 month before it was high on the charts in England and one month more until it was released in America

That's true. It was recorded on the 17th during the same sessions that produced the first Beatles christmas record, one of the earliest ever Motown covers {You really got a hold on me} and it was the first day they ever used a four track recorder. It must have been a fairly new~ish song because it was written at Jane Asher's house and McCartney had only just moved in there, in and around the times of the latter "With the Beatles" sessions {from which "I want to hold your hand came"}.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I think "I wanna hold your hand" stands out because it makes NO sense. Young boys DON'T wanna HOLD your hand (at least in America) - they wanna do yah

They did in England too {John got his girlfriend pregnant and years later Paul was done in a paternity suit from around that time and Brian Jones of the Stones had two kids when he was 16}. The single "I want to hold your hand" was released on Nov 29 and exactly a week earlier, the "With the Beatles" LP had been released. On that LP is a song they wrote called "Hold me tight" which contains the line "making love to only you...." which was rather daring for four young Englishmen in 1963. But all the more interesting, that song was a reworked version of the song that they had originally recorded back in early Feb '63 during the marathon session for the "Please please me" LP. As a whole song & sound, it wasn't deemed good enough then.
The Beatles were writing, recording and releasing songs about sex a good year before the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Pretty Things and the Animals.
I still find it really funny that when he first heard "I want to hold your hand" Bob Dylan thought they were openly singing about drug use !

grimtraveller said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

BTW: What happens IF you take Bobby B. out of the "Murdering Equation"

For one thing, it lessens Charlie's summer '69 paranoia. There again are you including Charlie's sword strike of Gary Hinman's face in that because regardless of Helter Skelter or anything else, that sword strike alone, with an ME's assertion that it was "possibly fatal" lands Charlie in the soup for that one.

Mr. Humphrat said...

good point on Love Me Do that would fit Robert's scenario and would've sounded weird to American ears. Wasn't that Skiffle?

Not specifically, though it's simplicity has British skiffle's fingerprints all over it. It's a strange, original and unique song that doesn't really fit anything that was flying at the time. That was one thing about the Beatles that really made them stand out ¬> they would attempt to be copying various artists/genres but they were so idiosyncratic in the way their stuff came out as to sound utterly original and unique. That went on to define much Britpop of the time. When we call half of these guys blues copyists, they rarely sound like real blues but the British musical head fused with blues to give, as Pete Townshend put it, "English White boys a new way to write songs."
An interesting example of the skiffle kind of sound is Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Poorboy shuffle." Skiffle was a hugely important stepping stone for pretty much all of the British rockers that emerged in the 60s and it would come up from time to time in much of their music.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Sometimes "B" sides of records were used to TEST a song for possible success

I'm not sure how that would work. What was the logic behind that ?
I'm glad I grew up in the era where singles and albums were equally important. I'm an albums man but I loved singles and one of my favourite activities after listening to the A side was having a listen to the B side. Often the B side was the far better song. Some of my favourite songs by the Stones {like "Dandelion", "You can't always get what you want"} and the Beatles {"Ps, I love you", "I'll get you", "I'm down", "Rain", "I am the walrus", "The Inner light", "Old brown shoe"} were B sides. One of the only downsides about the single song download era for me has been the absence of B sides.

When Nancy Sinatra recorded "These Boots are Made for Walking" her father bought-up all the copies in LA record stores to make it a "HIT."

It's strongly rumoured that the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein did that with "Love me do" to get it on the chart. Apparently, it wasn't an uncommon practice.
One of the first things I remember reading of Robert's when I first came upon this blog was him cussing out "These boots are made for walking." Along with "Get off of my cloud" by the Stones, it's the one of the earliest songs I remember. I always loved it as a song, still do, woe is me !

As I read ANN's "comment" I realize the 'commissioner' has got it RIGHT, but that could apply to most ALL of us. Of course, Bobby B. lives in a "dream" BUT doesn't most of the contestants who sing on "the Voice" and "American Idol" ?
Upon further investigation, I find that the "commissioner's" JOB / employment assessment RE: Bobby. B. is NOW an obsolete American DREAM. Electronics, sheet metal worker, blue collar jobs, etc. are STILL moving to Mexico and China


I thought this was a really good point. Going into the music biz has rarely been taken seriously as a viable career option....except by those that were prepared to work hard to pursue it. And many of the supposedly respectable professions ceased to be guarantors of continued future employment a long time ago.

stoner van houten said...

BOBBY to me is just OK,...BUT LISTEN TO CLEM ...the little filler stuff he plays sounds better then bobbys guitar playing ...bobby might look like a rock star,but CLEM is the real musician .....just my opinion...and bobby cant sing,sorry...he cant...

orwhut said...

Robert Hendrickson said... WOW - do I stand corrected !

Don't feel alone, Robert. My memories occasionally get switched around too. We codgers have to stick together.

orwhut said...

Matt said... Patty Duke has passed away. Farewell, Neely O'Hara.

First Annette and now Patty. My old crushes are an endangered species.

Shorty's pistols said...

Hump, "Love Me Do" is a straight up Rock song with some blues harp and dual lead vocal in harmony by Lennon and McCartney. Skiffel had all but died by '62. John Lennon's first band (the Quarreymen sp?) was a skiffel group, but to my knowledge the Beatles never cut a skiffel song.

RH, no sense makes sense, ya know? Capitol records did circulate some Beatle sides to US DJ's in an attempt to figure out if they should distribute the Beatles UK recordings in the US. In their infinite wisdom, they declined (temporarily). Hope you held onto that copy of Love Me Do, it's worth more than a nickel by now.

SVH, you can say that again. Clem can PLAY. I'm amazed at the instrumentation that Clem and BB had. A double necked Mosrite for BB and a Fender Stratocaster for SG. Those axes cost some money. My college roommate worked for a year to get enough saved to get a Strat. These two come up with those guitars while they are in prison??

More Manson Family mystery there.

Max Frost said...

WOW!!!

Where did this AMAZING piece of footage emerge from?

Who the hell is Rhea Lang?

Is that Richard Pryor on drums?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Aawww, Annette Funichelo: My young friends would have been satisfied just to "Hold HER Hand." That's when I realized I may be different, cause I would have been happy just to do her.

GRIM: I think you got ME mixed-up with someone else. "These Boots are made for walking" is one of MY all time favorites and when the F.B.I. played it over the loud speaker at night to un-rest the Branch Davidians at WACO, I was mesmerized. AND the "Stones" were/are my favorite R&R band of all time. Altamond is MY favorite film of all time and when the thousands are walking to the music scene with the pounding Stones music over, I became really inspired to try and make MANSON a rockumentary.

My 45 collection from 55 to 65 was not like any other and eventually I let it ALL go at a garage sale for $15. I even had Elvis on the Sun label.

BTW: When Mark 1st played "Eyes of a Dreamer" for me (before I knew anything about the Manson Family) I detected something special. I'm sure the Prosecution "heard" something more sinister and scary, which brings ME to question: Which Manson song, prior to the Tate/LaBianca massacre, relates to a Black and White RACE war (Helter Skelter) ?

Mr. Humphrat said...

SVH said: "I'm amazed at the instrumentation that Clem and BB had. A double necked Mosrite for BB and a Fender Stratocaster for SG. Those axes cost some money."

On Grogan's wikipedia page it says Bobby said he made a guitar for Steve to play. Could he have made both those guitars?

Mr. Humphrat said...

Sad to hear Patty Duke died and sounds like the kind of cause where maybe she could have lived a lot longer. Just bad luck? There sure have been a lot of entertainers dying in the past few months. I started paying attention around Scott Weiland's death and they seemed to just keep coming since then.
Patty Duke must've still been in her teens in Valley of the Dolls but she seems much older to me. One of the craziest scenes ever, unintentionally hilarious, was when she was singing in the hospital and her old friend comes out in a wheel chair and sings along with her! Classic.
But she was amazing in The Miracle Worker.

Sam Smith said...

Charlie was the only musical genius in the family.

ziggyosterberg said...

"Max Frost said...

Is that Richard Pryor on drums?"

LOL. It took me a second to get that.

ziggyosterberg said...


Interesting thread developing here : Why were the Labiancas killed?. Robert, you should post in this. It might open up a whole new audience to your movies.

joseph esposito said...

Excellent find Deb! Beausoleil may be everything everybody here says he is, but as a guitarist myself, I can tell you that he absolutely possesses a very distinctively unique vibrato, which is all his own, the mark of potentially great guitarist for sure! Clem is also an intelligent & tasteful guitar player & had a wonderful singing voice on family jams! Not to mention Charlie had a handsome voice & complex lyrical style...it's too bad.

St Circumstance said...

Bobbys website used to have interviews and corespondences on it which explained in detail how he raised funds and built/acquired his equipment.

I have seen Clem in post incarceration photos playing with the likes of Steve Miller and Bob Weir

I am not a fan of either but am amazed at what both have been able to accomplish.

Robert Hendrickson said...

"Why Were the LaBiancas Killed ? Well, as the famous Prosecutor privately said: "Nobody knows the answer to WHY the LaBiancas were selected." THUS, the TRUTH in that specific situation would likely, at least, open the door to understanding the Manson Family's business.

So IF the Prosecutor didn't know WHY, but HE specifically TOLD the Jury it was because of "Helter Skelter," then what does that say about A PROSECUTOR / Lawyer's TRUTHFULNESS. Or what does that say about a Jury member's level of intelligence ? OR, why even have a JUDGE on duty if HE doesn't even KNOW the difference between Shit and Shineola ?


Shorty's pistols said...

Hump, Bobby didn't build either guitar. The guitar he's playing is a Mosrite, probably the last guitar anybody would want to build from scratch or from a kit. Clem's guitar is a fender Stratocaster and is either a production Fender or an excellent knock-off ((with a classy finish and maple neck).

No, these axes weren't built in a prison workshop or from a kit. Bobby may have built some guitars and instruments at Tracy and/or Oregon, but not those two.

I must say, wherever those two got those instruments, they can both play 'em at a very high level.

RH I agree. "The Eyes of a Dreamer" is a dynamite record. When I first heard Manson's records, I was struck by how poor they were. His guitar playing is weak and the vocals are all over the place. But "Eyes" is different. Charlie can make a very strong vocal as evidenced in that song. The lyrics are a little trite, but he gives an excellent singing performance all the way thru it. This song shows the "Frankie Laine" quality that Phil Kaufman said he heard from Charlie show CM sang in prison.

Charlie is an unpredictable little bugger in everything he does. His music is no exception.


Jenn said...

In my humble opinion, BB is an average garage band singer, and about an average garage band improviser, no better. Grogan, at least as shown here, is a better guitarist, showing some skill in the 3rds and 6ths used so much in bluesy country rock. He knows his way around the instrument. Now, these opinions are based on this sample alone, and by average, I don't mean it as a put down. We need more casual players in the world, I think. It's just not a professional level. I'm glad that BB has a hobby.

HellzBellz said...

I think that BB was well aware of the fact Clemm has better musical talents than himself, and tries to ,,Overpower,, him with Volume/Loudness but if you listen through that you can clearly hear that there is much more ,Heart/Soul/Feeling, in Clems playin.
Owhhh and BTW , notice the Bandlogo at the beginning of this Vid. The Grass-Leafs,the Joint,the Smoke ,the Mushroom, and finally a Long Bearded Man.... I only miss the Tattoo between the eyes....

Sam Smith said...

The only instrument Bobby should be allowed to play is the skin flute.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I've always been curious - if Charlie was such an egomaniac, WHY did he let Clem do so much of the Family's music ? Especially when music was such a big thing in Charlie's world. It's as if HE was helping to promote Clem's special talent. Just listen to "Where the Eagle Flies." That recording still gives me goose bumps.

PS: I was told by the Producer of the Ron Reagan Show that Clem was making a decent living selling his music, like on the Family Jams, AFTER he got out of prison. Anyone have a copy that Clem was peddling then ?

Shorty's pistols said...

I was under the impression that Charlie let Clem do the singing and playing because he (Charlie) was in jail. Clem was the logical candidate for the job because of his good voice and playing prowess.

Charlie's music as played and sung by Charlie isn't that impressive. The lyrics are often very trite, as evidenced by "Eyes of a Dreamer". "Look at Your Game, Girl" is just Charlie's pimp rap set to music, with a rough vocal. "Cease to Exist" isn't much of a tune, again some CM philosophy with a weak vocal.

I've been curious, Danny DeCarlo and other family people always rave about another Manson tune that he sang around the campfire. The people that heard it call it Manson's best song, but I can't figure out which one it is. Anyone know what tune DDD is referring to? Anyone?

Robert Hendrickson said...

AND then there is Paul Watkins (Guitar-singer), who LEFT the Family and then came back when Charlie got put in jail. AND Mark Ross (guitar-singer-songwriter). SO. IF others were "allowed" to play and CLEM was even allowed to be the "Lead" singer on the 1970 Family Jams "record," seems to ME the Melcher / Manson "recording contract" theory was just another made-up STORY, which in the eyes of a reasonable thinking person conflicts with ANY "race WAR" motive.

BUT I can just hear Melcher telling Bugliosi: "I'm this Mr.Big music producer in Hollywood, so of course, Charlie Manson would be kissing MY ass for a recording contract. I never had to fuck HIS women, because I had hundreds of women at my feet, cause you see - I'm this BIG music man."

Funny, I had never made a full length motion picture when I started filming "MANSON."
BUT on the eve of the first day I did contact American International Pictures to see if they wanted in. Answer: "NO." BUT back then, not like now, it wasn't like "Crying for Mommy" every time YOU were rejected.

AFTER all these years, the more I nit-pick at the Prosecution's story, the more I SEE Swiss Cheese.

Unless, YOU buy into the "multi-combo" MOTIVE theory. At least LBJ gave us a reasonable excuse for igniting the Vietnam WAR. "WE got to stop the Communists from taking over the world."

HellzBellz said...
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HellzBellz said...

@ Shortys Pistols... Ido agree with much of yo sayin here, But wether you like Charlies Composing skills... Talent or not, thats a matter of taste Iguess, I mean, I feel songwriting is something different then playing it itself... Look at it this way, Guns N"Roses werent actually a lttle Garage Band annymore by the time they covered Look At your Game Girl. You can like or hate them...But there is no way you can get around that !!!

HellzBellz said...

And owhh I do not think BB plays a Mosrite Double Neck, I actually doubt Mosrite ever builded Bass4string/6string Double Neck... I more think off Rickenbacker 4050 and BB did sand the Body and chanched it a bit...make it ,,Rounder,, scrape round the edges instead of the Flat/Sharp Square Rickenbacker Body. IF it is a VINTAGE MOSRITE it must be Ultra rare and worth a fortune !?

Robert Hendrickson said...

ANYONE here get tickets to the Guns and Roses Reunion tonight on the Sunset Strip where they started out ?

Shorty's pistols said...

Good lookin' out, Bellz. You must have a better screen than I do, missed the 4 strings on the top neck you spotted. I can't imagine the guy making a Rickenbacher into a double neck with 4 and 6 strings. Where did he get the shaping equipment, routers, and sanders, let alone the money, to do a custom job like that?

On CM, yeah I do have respect for his songwriting ability. He ain't Bob Dylan or anything, but he can create tunes and he is prolific if nothing else.

RH, I thought you were ribbing us, but yup, G&R doing their first re-union show tonite on the Strip. 10 bucks a head, one to a customer. That one has the makings of a classic blow-out.

Fiddy 8 said...

I wonder if Charlie ever wears an Axl Rose T-shirt.

Fiddy 8 said...

I always understood these guys have way more time to jam than I do, but dang! - I didn't realize they have better gear too.

HellzBellz said...

@@@@ R.H. You sure that isnt a ,,April Fools Day Joke,, Here in Holland(NetherLands) where the First April Fools Day is commin from (Check out the Spanish War in the 1500 century, Alva lost a verry important little Town called Den Brielle in South of Netherlandsthe in Brielle)We always have Jokes like that.......

@ Shortys Pistols No I mean he took the Rickenbacker as a Base for that completely, and changed it bij remodel it... I do have a Pic of that particulair Rickenbacker, but cannot get it on here straight away,but if we need to be realy sure ...I can remember some Bloggreader here is comunicating with BB in prison...I do not excactly know who that was. But He/She can ask BB straight for it. Not that it is THAT important But Hey , I am curious here....

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Bellz: G&R played last night, which makes me think what a BIG deal music is:

Imagine the Prosecutor Bugliosi's delight when HE put two and two together. "Healter Skelter" written in blood at LaBianca CRIME scene. Manson Family plays music and THEIR lead musician LOVES the song "Helter Skelter." The ONLY thing missing was a motive. BINGO - "Helter Skelter" was the secret code word for the final "Battle of Armageddon," invented for the Bible, which is always the END dream of every "Evil Mastermind." NOW, it ALL makes sense !

ziggyosterberg said...


Robert Hendrickson said...

"the "Stones" were/are my favorite R&R band of all time."


This is a good performance HERE, as far as Stones performances go.

I always thought that Mick was saying "Charlie" - Yeah, you got to mix it Charlie, you got to fix it, must be love, it's a bitch - but the lyrics say "child", so I guess I was wrong.

Bobby Keys on sax as well. He was also in Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" documentary, which is worth a watch, for anyone who hasn't seen it.


TomG said...
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Shorty's pistols said...

Zig, thx for posting that bit re: The Stones.

I saw that tour in Albuquerque. To me, it's the best of the dozen or so times I've seen 'em. Jagger, still a young pup in full throat with all his dance moves intact. The ever stoned Keith proving you can play when you are fully loaded. Mick Taylor as the other lead/rhythm guitar player, back when we didn't realize how great he was. Jim Price on trumpet forming a horn section with mega player Bobby Keys. Nicky Hopkins on piano, with Watts and Wyman holding the beat and keeping 'em all in the pocket.

What could be better than that? How 'bout Stevie Wonder as the opening act and joining the Stones on a couple encores?

A tour de force for sure.

Bellz, if you can figure out what BB's axe was, bring it on.

Now back to TLB?

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Ziggy: and most folks don't know it was Jagger who actually gave birth to extreme "movement" on stage.

BTW: Gypsy told me to go SEE "Sympathy for the DeviL" the movie.

AND WOODSTOCK with Joe Cocker and Richie Havens, etc. and of course (Jimi Hendrix - Laural Canyon) set the world on fire with something truly unique. Unfortunately, these "greats" are finally dying-off.

Isn't it strange where any kind of "new" music scene is always met with distain and even hatred by the older established generation. This of course, always creates a great divide, but I think the Manson Family music caused confusion because it was a blend of older "establishment" with "young" stuff.'

Mr. Humphrat said...

That is an African American man on drums, right? Was it easier in the seventies for the races to interact in prison?

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

That is an African American man on drums, right? Was it easier in the seventies for the races to interact in prison?

Well, Charlie told Bugliosi that he may have put a clog in Helter Skelter happening ! That part in the book has got to be the entire book's supremely ironic moment.

Robert Hendrickson said...

GRIM: I think you got ME mixed-up with someone else. "These Boots are made for walking" is one of MY all time favorites

You could well be right. When I discovered this blog around a year or so ago, I also found a few other TLB blogs and someone, somewhere, made the same sort of point that you did and had the same criticism of Father Frank. I think they also made the point about Nancy not having a particularly good voice and they were somewhat critical of the song. For some reason I thought it was you and have done all these months. It was before I had any kind of handle on who was who on the various blogs though.


AND the "Stones" were/are my favorite R&R band of all time

If you were in London right now I'd treat you to a viewing of this exhibition I noticed on my rounds today of photos by Gered Mankowitz of the Stones. In the absence of my time machine, you can view some of the pictures hopefully, here.
I've always dug his "Between the buttons" and 1965 era shots.

"Why Were the LaBiancas Killed ? Well, as the famous Prosecutor privately said: "Nobody knows the answer to WHY the LaBiancas were selected." THUS, the TRUTH in that specific situation would likely, at least, open the door to understanding the Manson Family's business.

So IF the Prosecutor didn't know WHY, but HE specifically TOLD the Jury it was because of "Helter Skelter," then what does that say about A PROSECUTOR / Lawyer's TRUTHFULNESS


My theory on this is that the original Waverley targets were Harold True's former housemates that had nixed Charlie's attempts to move into the house next door to the LaBiancas. It actually fits squarely into the helter skelter motive as well as the resentment one.

grimtraveller said...

grimtraveller said...

My theory on this is that the original Waverley targets were Harold True's former housemates that had nixed Charlie's attempts to move into the house next door to the LaBiancas. It actually fits squarely into the helter skelter motive as well as the resentment one

Mind you, the problem with that theory comes into play if one takes on board Linda Kasabian's testimony in which she states that when she pulled up close to the former True house, she asked Charlie if he was going to do that house to which he supposedly replied that the one next door was the target.
Unless he supposedly said this after he'd taken his walk to the True house but before he and Tex went in to tie up the LaBiancas.
Ha ha, I try to cover all the bases !

Robert Hendrickson said...

most folks don't know it was Jagger who actually gave birth to extreme "movement" on stage

I thought it was the likes of Little Richard, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Screaming Lord Sutch.

BTW: Gypsy told me to go SEE "Sympathy for the DeviL" the movie

The overall movie itself is one of the most boring wastes of electricity ever committed to film. As a Black revolutionary treatise, I'd not be surprised if many people thought to themselves "no wonder the revolution never happened !"
But the segments with the Stones are possibly the single most energizing pieces of film of a band laid down during the 60s. The evolution of the song "Sympathy for the Devil" is shown and it is a totally fascinating spectacle, seeing how the song evolved from an acoustic guitar/drums thingy to the samba spectacular that graced the "Beggars banquet" album.
Gypsy had good taste although I'd hazard a guess that it wasn't the Stones she was recommending you watch !

And Justice for All said...

Seeing Debra Tate receiving some "live" sassy bottom treatment would be far more entertaining than this rubbish Bobby. Deb would need to role play as a juvenile so as to assist authenticity. Wouldnt be too difficult for Deb. Great to see Bobs and Debs having a shared interest in pedophilia. What talented people! Reward them both with half an hour in the electric chair!!!

joseph esposito said...

@And justice for all...why is it that people's Usernames...are the exact antithesis..

of who they are? Did you know that Thomas Edison & and AC Gilbert...

invented the Electric chair around the same time...and were in completion...

with each other...In fact Thomas Edison & Nicola Telsa were in competition...

with each other over the virtues of DC...(direct current)...

vs. AC...(alternating current)...and tried to prove their points by...

electrocuting cows/ horses / and Elephants...as well as humans?...

Troll...leave Deb S alone...she is a fair minded wo=MAN, as well as...

a very capable researcher...just because she's willing to look at the other side...

doesn't mean she buys in to it...this is an old post...and you're a...

bigger troll than I am...

joseph esposito said...

@And Justice for All...

why is it that people's user names are the exact antithesis of who they are...

Did you know that Thomas Edison & AC Gilbert invented the electric chair...

around the same time and were in completion with each other...Thomas Edison...

was also in competition with Nikola Telsa to prove the merit of DC..(direct current)

vs. AC...(alternating current)and they electrocuted cows / horses / and Elephants...

as well as humans? Deb S is a fair minded wo=MAN, and a very capable researcher...

Just because she listens to the other side...doesn't mean she buys into it...