Monday, October 30, 2017

Something Happened To Me, Yesterday

Something happened to me yesterday
Something I can't speak of right away
Something happened to me
Something oh so groovy
Something happened to me yesterday


He don't know if it's right or wrong
Maybe he should tell someone
He's not sure just what it was
Or if it's against the law
Something


Something very strange I hear you say
You're talking in a most peculiar way
But something really threw me
Something oh so groovy
Something happened to me yesterday
(Yesterday)


He don't know just where it's gone
He don't really care at all
No one's sure just what it was
Or the meaning and the cause
Something
- Take your partners.


He don't know if it's right or wrong
Maybe he should tell someone
He's not sure just what it was
Or if it's against the law
Something


Someone says there's something more to pay
For sins that you committed yesterday
It's really rather drippy
But something oh so trippy
Something happened to me yesterday


He don't know just where it's gone
He don't really care at all
No one's sure just what it was
Or the meaning and the cause
Something


Someone's singing loud across the bay
Sittin on a mat about to pray
Isn't half as looney
As something oh so groovy
Something happened to me yesterday
(Right)


He don't know if it's right or wrong
Maybe he should tell someone
He's not sure just what it was
Or if it's against the law
Something


- Well, thank you very much, and now
I think it's time for us all to go.
So from all of us to all of you, not
Forgetting the boys in the band and
Our producer, Redge Thorpe, we'd like
To say "God Bless".
So, if you're out tonight, don't forget,
If you're on your bike, wear white.
Evening all.

[Aside: This song has been described as "one [of] the most accurate songs about LSD”.]
_____

The night I dropped my first tab, The Grateful Dead was playing at the Avalon Ballroom. Even without the acid, the performance would have blown my mind. All the strobe lights blinking and flashing in a variety of colors. The people in all their strange clothing looked like they were at a costume party. I flipped over the completely uninhibited routines of the musicians. And though I had never danced to that style of music, I saw that it was all motion and each person did their own thing. The music seemed without direction but created a frenzy in the listeners and dancers. Before I actually realized what I was doing, I was out there on the floor innovating to the beat of The Grateful Dead. I was wild and I was loose; I attracted attention and applause from the other dancers. The acid, the music and the loss of inhibitions opened up a new world for me. I was experiencing rebirth. Finally, in the middle of one of my dances, I collapsed on the floor.

(Attributed to Manson by Emmons, Nuel. Manson in His Own Words (p. 82). Grove/Atlantic, Inc. Kindle Edition.)

Ed Sanders in The Family also claims Manson’s first acid trip occurred in San Francisco at a Grateful Dead concert at the Avalon Ballroom in 1967.

“At a Grateful Dead concert at the Avalon Ballroom where he experienced the Crucifixional (sic) Stations, Manson curled up in the fetal position right on the dance floor while the strobe lights blinked him into a trance.” (Pp 14, 2002 Edition).

Manson left prison on supervised, mandatory release (not 'parole') at 8:15 a.m. on March 21, 1967. That same day he was granted permission to travel immediately to San Francisco and Seattle, Washington ‘to locate relatives and find employment’. By August 1967 Manson had relocated to 705 Bath Street in Santa Barbara, California.

If this tale is accurate the Grateful Dead concert at the Avalon, has to be sometime between March 21, 1967 and no later than late July 1967 and probably earlier than that.

The Grateful Dead played only three shows at the Avalon Ballroom in 1967: March 24-25-26. The poster from the concert (never a reliable source in those days) lists the other bands billed for that weekend as:

Quicksilver Messenger Service (Sunday only)
Johnny Hammond & His Screaming Nighthawks and
Robert Baker.


Eric Burdon and the Animals, who had a night off from their own 1967 U.S. tour, went to the Avalon the evening of March 26th. They ended up playing a short set using the Dead's equipment, one of only two times that the Dead gave up the stage to another band to perform with their gear (the other time being The Beach Boys on April 27, 1971).

I was not able to locate a set list from the Avalon Ballroom shows. However, the Dead were supporting their recently released first album and played both the Fillmore and Winterland the week prior so the set list was probably similar, although not identical, to the one below (most Dead fans could easily suggest substitute songs).

Set 1:
Me And My Uncle
Next Time You See Me
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Smokestack Lightning
Morning Dew
It Hurts Me Too
Beat It On Down The Line
Dancin' In The Streets

Set 2:
Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion
Cream Puff War
The Same Thing
Cold Rain And Snow
Viola Lee Blues
Death Don't Have No Mercy

(Set list from March 18, 1967 at Winterland)  

So sometime that evening, maybe around Smokestack Lightning or Golden Road, Manson saw God. Perhaps more accurately, Manson experienced the sense of being Christ, crucified. And far from just strobe lights, here is an indication of what he may have seen one of those nights.

"[Bill] Ham [who did the Avalon light shows at the time] like [Elias] Romero, came from  an abstract, expressionist background and liked working with jazz musicians so the lights and the music could be combined improvisation. For the dances he had to supplement the liquid projections, which needed one man's total attention, with slides and film to create a dance-hall-sized light environment covering two or three walls."
*****
[And as for the film:] "Aside from the shock of seeing oneself up on the wall dancing in the same place the week before, the films were disorienting because up to three images were superimposed, as if ghosts were dancing through each other in an arbitrary space." Charles Perry, A History of Haight Ashbury, Winner Books, pg. 66-7, 2005)

But there is what I believe is a key moment here that is more important to what would follow: March 26, 1967 was Easter Sunday and, of course, Friday the 24th would be Good Friday. Assuming Manson was present at one of these shows, these, calendared dates, combined with Manson's childhood exposure to 'Christianity' would have significantly impacted his first 'trip'. Put another way: the 'set and setting' was just right for a crucifixion and the idea he was or had become one with God. 

Acidheads



For this post I will use the term ‘acidhead’ in the same way it was used in the first study cited below: to describe a chronic LSD user. In that study a chronic LSD user was described as one who had used acid on average 65 times with the lowest number being 15 times and the high 300 during the previous two to three years. This range seems to generally fit the description of ‘the family’ members.



The research strongly suggests that acid, LSD, played a significant role in 'the family's' acceptance of fantasy: the fable of Helter Skelter. It also may provide an explanation for several of the 'evidentiary factors' used by Bugliosi to convict Manson. Finally, it perhaps sheds light on 'why' Bugliosi offered those evidentiary factors to the jury. 

Sameness



The studies researched concluded that acidheads were remarkably similar in appearance, speech patterns and what might be called their belief systems. Recurring descriptions appear in the studies reviewed, similar to those quoted, below. As you read them consider ‘the family’ and descriptions of them by Bugliosi.
_____

“I sensed something else. Each was, in her own way, a pretty girl. But there was a sameness about them that was much stronger than their individuality. I’d notice it again later that afternoon, in talking to other female members of the Family. Same expressions, same patterned responses, same tone of voice, same lack of distinct personality. The realization came with a shock: they reminded me less of human beings than Barbie dolls.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (p. 160). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
_____

Bugliosi uses this observation to highlight his belief that Manson was responsible for this ‘sameness’. Through his teaching, Bugliosi claimed, the ‘girls’ had become ‘Stepford Wife-like’ women both controlled by Manson and lacking any independent thought.

If the research studies are accurate [I am not an expert on LSD] their demeanor, speech patterns and ideation may have been no different than a typical acidhead.
_____

“They were a remarkably homogeneous group in their attitudes and showed only minor variations in their appearance.
*****
Four [of 21] complained about a particular type of memory disturbance. They said they were no longer able to pull out facts when they wanted to. Daily memory for details was difficult for them. They described lapses or blank spots in their stream of associations. Three had difficulty in organizing their thoughts and talking clearly. Each would begin a thought, pause often after a preposition, and begin another incomplete sentence. In this fashion they would wander about a particular point, but were unable to define or clarify issues. In addition to this wandering and pausing, their concepts seemed vague, and their placement and organization of words unusual.



*****
All of the subjects were very passive individuals, the men particularly so. All. in one form or another, stressed that anger was very bad and that they were peaceful. Several carefully avoided "stepping on insects." because it showed disrespect for life to do so. This attitude seemed to permeate every aspect of their lives. They did not play competitive games. Each individual was supposed to do his own "thing" and to gain his own inner satisfaction. There was a de-emphasis of any form of competition, a denial of any possible pecking order, and a purposeful negation of the possession of materials.
*****
Over half held naive, almost omnipotent beliefs. One believed that thoughts can set fires miles away. Others believed that one can read another's mind and that inanimate objects such as trees, tables, or books, for example, react to their emotional surroundings. Statements like the following were made frequently: "A cigarette will not go out if people are arguing." "A desk will react any kind of violence in the room."
*****
We found these chronic LSD users to be surprisingly similar in their backgrounds and to hold in common a number of unusual beliefs.
*****
The abstract "thou shalt not" of the superego is transformed into attacking monsters or swords. The infantile wishes of the id are transformed into magical powers capable of performing miracles, or moving mountains, or of enveloping everything into one world of love and warmth. Consequently, the resultant personality structures are more child-like, in a descriptive but not a pejorative sense.
*****
In the interviews these LSD users were found to hold unusual beliefs about aggression and magic. Before taking the drug they had been middle- and upper-middle-class youths apparently holding conventional beliefs. Passive, frustrated, angry with their parents and their own life situations, they began to use the drug, often in a conscious attempt to alter their unpleasant emotions. It is not completely clear what role the LSD experience played in their subsequent behavior and beliefs.
*****
We suggest that the repeated intense emotional experiences arising out of the use of LSD provided a special learning environment which may have given rise to their unusual beliefs.”

(K. H. Blacker, MD; Reese T. Jones, NID; George C. Stone, PHD; Dolf Pfefferbaum, Chronic Users of LSD: The "Acidheads”, American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 125, Sept 3, 1968)
_____

This remarkable similarity among acidheads is noted by more than one researcher. An acceptance of ‘magical’ and ‘fantastic’ or ‘mystical’ beliefs was generally shared by all acidheads. There was a certain consistency in those beliefs. Many attributed ‘magical’ properties to inanimate objects and the physical world. They spoke with similar speech patterns referencing 'blinking' or 'lighting' on ideas and denied aggressive beliefs or tendencies, espousing instead concepts related to softer emotions like ‘love’. (Chronic Users of LSD: The "Acidheads”, supra.)

Of course, some of this may be attributed to the times and counterculture ideas rather than acid. Regardless of the source, rather than being unique to 'the family' and an explanation for their 'robotic murdering', Bugliosi likely would have found this ‘sameness’ among any other group of acid using youth far removed from Manson’s influence. 

Acid Speak



Bugliosi in both Helter Skelter and the trial focused at times on Manson’s peculiar phrases and statements. During the trial he made a point of drawing out of witnesses Manson’s ‘catch phrases’, especially those that showed:

 (1.) Manson as a Christ figure or the Devil or, as usually articulated by the witness, both Christ and the Devil
(2.) Manson displaying a casual attitude towards Judeo-Christian or 'western' ethics and morality or
(3.) those that hinted at violence and particularly, his 'strange' views of death.

Here are a few examples.
_____

“Susan rapped on about a variety of subjects: Manson (he was both Jesus Christ and the Devil)***”

*****
Q. “Do you think Charlie is an evil person?”
A. “In your standards of evil, looking at him through your eyes, I would say yes. Looking at him through my eyes, he is as good as he is evil, he is as evil as he is good. You could not judge the man.”

*****
Q. “What did Manson say, if anything, about right and wrong?”
A. “He believed you could do no wrong, no bad. Everything was good. Whatever you do is what you are supposed to do; you are following your own karma.”

*****
Q. “Did he say it was wrong to kill a human being?”
A. “He said it was not.”
Q. “What was Manson’s philosophy re death?”
A. “There was no death, to Charlie’s way of thinking. Death was only a change. The soul or spirit can’t die… That’s what we used to argue all the time, the objective and the subjective and the marriage of the two. He believed it was all in the head, all subjective. He said that death was fear that was born in man’s head and can be taken out of man’s head, and then it would no longer exist…
_____

And Manson obliged Buglioli by using some of these concepts in court, although not in the presence of the jury.
_____

"So I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong…"

*****
"I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me… but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you."

(Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
_____

These ideas or concepts were offered by Bugliosi as circumstantial evidence of Manson’s guilt and his control of the killers, especially when they were repeated by his followers. But are they? 

Studies conducted regarding the effects of LSD suggest these types of statements may be nothing more than expressions of changes experienced by Manson (and 'the family') to his world view or ‘awareness’ as a result of LSD experiences. Those same studies also suggest his followers, very likely, shared the same experiences independent of any influence by Manson. Finally, the research even offers a possible explanation for Bugliosi’s negative reaction to what I will call Manson’s ‘acid speak’.
Manson’s views are out of touch with those who had never taken acid.  To the acidhead, however, ‘normal’ society just doesn’t get it.
_____

“The idea of mystical experiences resulting from drug use is not readily accepted in Western societies. Western culture has, historically, a particular fascination with the value and virtue of man as an individual, self-determining, responsible ego, controlling himself and his world by the power of conscious effort and will. Nothing, then, could be more repugnant to this cultural tradition than the notion of spiritual or psychological growth through the use of drugs. A "drugged" person is by definition dimmed in consciousness, fogged in judgment, and deprived of will.”

*****
“The first characteristic [of acid use] is a slowing down of time, a concentration in the present. One's normally compulsive concern for the future decreases, and one becomes aware of the enormous importance and interest of what is happening at the moment. Other people, going about their business on the streets, seem to be slightly crazy, failing to realize that the whole point of life is to be fully aware of it as it happens.”

[Aside: "An early Digger broadside observed that after getting stoned and walking in the woods, we have to return to the world of society and its competitive games- to the 'silent-crowded uptight sidewalks with our pockets full of absurdity and compromise between cowardice and illusion.'" (A History of Haight Ashbury, supra, pg. 87)]

*****
“The second characteristic I will call awareness of polarity. This is the vivid realization that states, things, and events which we ordinarily call opposite are interdependent, like back and front or the poles of a magnet. By polar awareness one sees that things which are explicitly different are implicity (sic) one: self and other, subject and object, left and right, male and female-and then, a little more surprisingly, solid and space, figure and background, pulse and interval, saints and sinners, and police and criminals, ingroups and outgroups.”

*****
The third characteristic, arising from the second, is awareness of relativity. I see that I am a link in an infinite hierarchy of processes and beings, ranging from molecules through bacteria and insects to human beings, and, maybe, to angels and gods-a hierarchy in which every level is in effect the same situation.

*****
The fourth characteristic is awareness of eternal energy, often in the form of intense white light, which seems to be both the current in your nerves and that mysterious e which equals mc2.

(Alan Watts, Psychedelics and the Religious Experience, California Law Review, Vol 56. No.1, 1968)
_____

Watts’ descriptions of what he called the psychedelic religious experience contains many of the same themes espoused by Manson or attributed to him. Watts’ research into LSD was largely conducted when it was legal and before the quoted article was written. This was years before Manson experienced God on the dance floor at the Avalon Ballroom. Yet much of what Watts writes is thematically consistent with what Manson is articulating. I am the devil and I am God or there is no wrong, everything is right may be nothing more then Manson's experience of what Watts calls 'polarity'. His acceptance of death as simply a stage is not significantly different from Watts' 'relativity'. Manson's 'disconnect from 'normal society' is reflected in Watts' first characteristic of acid use and a disconnect from 'normal' society. 

The acid soaked....

[Aside: Kesey and his 'Pranksters' coined the phrase 'acid' for LSD much to the annoyance of the Timothy Leary crowd.]

.....'dances' (concerts and acid tests) of the era are filled with Watts' concept of 'polarity'. Perhaps to Ken Kesey and the 'Pranksters it was a 'prank' but it was still part of the experience.

"[There were] dancing, strobes, ultraviolet lights that made Day-Glo paint fluoresce all the more brightly, strange things written on the overhead projector and flashed on the wall (Anybody who knows he is God go up on stage.) and announced over the loud speakers."
*****
"[There were four men [Allan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder] aware-even several times reminded- of their human limitations, each of whom saw no division between himself and God and who realized others felt the same."

(Charles Perry, A History of Haight Ashbury, supra, pg. 45-6, 155)

'Polarity' as Watts called it was a part of the acid experience. Being one with God and even going beyond that concept was a natural part of acid use and was articulated by acidheads as some sort of unity between the user and God. 


Moreover, Watts offers an explanation for Bugliosi’s response to Manson’s acid speak.
_____

“We have no appropriate word because our own Jewish and Christian theologies will not accept the idea that man's inmost self can be identical with the Godhead, even though Christians may insist that this was true in the unique instance of Jesus Christ. Jews and Christians think of God in political and monarchical terms, as the supreme governor of the universe, the ultimate boss. Obviously, it is both socially unacceptable and logically preposterous for a particular individual to claim that he, in person, is the omnipotent and omniscient ruler of the world-to be accorded suitable recognition and honor.”

*****
“If, however, in the context of Christian or Jewish tradition an individual declares himself to be one with God, he must be dubbed blasphemous (subversive) or insane.” [emphasis added]

*****
Unafraid of death and deficient in worldly ambition, those who have undergone
mystical experiences [on LSD] are impervious to -threats and promises. Moreover, their sense of the relativity of good and evil arouses the suspicion that they lack both conscience and respect for law.” [emphasis added]

(Psychedelics and the Religious Experience, supra)

****
“Likewise, when- in the context of a scientific article- the writer reports, ‘Subjects experienced religious exaltation, and some described sensations of being one with God," and leaves it at that, the implication is plainly that they went crazy. For in our own culture, to feel that you are God is insanity almost by definition. But, in Hindu culture, when someone says, "I have just found out that I am God," they say, "Congratulations! You at last got the point." Obviously, the word "God" does not mean the same thing in both cultures.”

(Alan Watts, A Psychedelic Experience - Fact or Fantasy? This essay appeared in ‘LSD, The Consciousness-Expanding Drug’ David Solomon, Editor, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York ©David Solomon 1964.)

Watts' explanation mirrors Bugliosi's comments: any person who thinks he is God is subversive (guilty). Any person who doesn't fear death but views it as a 'passage' lacks both conscience and respect for the law. He is a cold blooded being fixated on death. Yet literally thousands of acidheads in Haight Ashbury and elsewhere believed or felt exactly that and none were convicted of murder. 
_____

Manson’s Brainwashing



From the first moment that the killers were identified the idea followed that Manson had ‘hypnotized’ or ‘brainwashed’ his followers in part through LSD experiences. Atkins, Krenwinkel and Van Houten were, according to Bugliosi, murderous zombies.

_____

“Yes, Tex, Sadie, Katie, and Leslie were robots, zombies, automatons. No question about it. But only in the sense that they were totally subservient and obsequious and servile to Charles Manson.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (p. 482). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
_____

[Aside: Of course, at the same time Manson’s control, if taken too far, could easily provide ‘the girls’ with a defense. A defense subsequently used to secure a mistrial by Van Houten (7 for 1st degree murder, 5 for manslaughter): diminished capacity. To counteract this possible effect, Bugliosi had two weapons (1.) painting the 'girls' as blood thirsty vampires and (2.) the ‘girls’ defense counsel who were, at best, incompetent.

An attorney is bound by a code of ethics that requires him to ‘zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law’. “His client” is the key here. An attorney shouldn’t give two shits about what happens to any other defendant in a case unless it impacts his client.

It is an untenable argument to suggest their was a unity of defense in this case. That is 'bull'. 

And if the attorney believes his client is incapable of ‘aiding and assisting’ his defense he should act in the best interest of his client and approach the court for a psychological evaluation to determine his client's mental status.


It is utterly inexplicable why Fitzgerald, Shinn and Hughes never attempted any psychological defense on behalf of their clients, especially after Caballero and Part had already set the groundwork. Remember Marvin Part’s comment to Judge Dell: “She [Van Houten] is insane in a way that is almost science fiction”. There simply is no explanation for their failure to act.

That defense, it must be remembered, however, would have one significant ramification: it would throw Manson to the wolves....but Shin, Fitzgerald and Hughes shouldn't have cared.]

Studies confirm that those under the influence of LSD are extremely open to suggestion, especially repeated suggestions, and that suggestibility continues long after the effects of the drug wears off.
_____

“These results imply that the influence of suggestion is enhanced by LSD. Enhanced suggestibility under LSD may have implications for its use as an adjunct to psychotherapy, where suggestibility plays a major role. That cued imagery was unaffected by LSD implies that suggestions must be of a sufficient duration and level of detail to be enhanced by the drug. [Emphasis added]

*****
“This study demonstrated a robust enhancement of suggestibility with LSD even at moderate doses. Those most sensitive to this effect scored highest on trait conscientiousness at baseline, possibly supporting the inference that LSD facilitates suggestibility by temporarily suspending the (very human) drive to maintain control of one’s mind and environment.”

(R. L. Carhart-Harris et al, LSD Enhances Suggestibility in Healthy Volunteers, Psychopharmacology, Volume 232, Issue 4, February 2015)
______

Long term exposure to suggestion coupled with a willingness to accept the fantastic as real may, indeed, explain the common acceptance of the Helter Skelter fable by ‘the family’.

But could Manson control the environment sufficiently to accomplish a form of brainwashing as claimed by Bugliosi?

Maybe.

‘Set and setting’ are important to a successful acid trip. If either ‘goes badly’ the experience can be terrible. Manson’s own initial experience, as described above, illustrates the point. The description, if accurate, suggests his inexperience with the light show and blaring improvisational music of the Grateful Dead coupled with his understanding of the weekend as being 'Christ' related may have caused him to experience a crucifixion experience and then withdraw, curling up on the floor and eventually having no memory of subsequent events- not a 'good trip'.

It should be noted that the Timothy Leary 'style' of acid trip involved controling set and setting and that concept is what made its way into the research every since. "To the freewheeling people who took psychedelic drugs the way [Ken ]Kesey did, this sounded like exactly the wrong approach. If you were setting things up to avoid a freak-out, you were in a sense starting the trip with fear in your mind, so freak-out might well be in the cards. The right way to go about it was to court fear itself by courting the unexpected." (Charles Perry, A History of Haight Ashbury, supra, pg.13).

The 'Kesey approach' also explains Manson's first trip. In Leary's world and the world of serious research a Dead concert was not a controlled set and setting. In Kesey's world the shock was too much for Manson.

What is 'set and setting'?
_____

“Psychological set is here defined as factors within the subject, such as personality, life history, expectation, preparation, mood prior to the session and, perhaps most important of all, the ability to trust, to let go, to be open to whatever comes. The setting is here defined as factors outside the individual, such as the physical environment in which the drug is taken, the psychological and emotional atmosphere to which the subject is exposed, how he is treated by those around him and what the experimenter expects the drug reaction to be.”

(Walter N. Pahnke, LSD and Religious Experience, A paper presented to a public symposium at Wesleyan University, March 1967. From LSD, Man & Society Richard C. DeBold and Russell C. Leaf, editors ©Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut, 1967)
_____

If Manson controlled the set and setting, consciously, he could have ‘planted’ suggestions in the participants.

There are some indications this occurred.
_____

“As with the others, I questioned Watkins about Manson’s programming techniques. He told me something very interesting, which apparently the other Family members didn’t know. He said that when Manson passed out the LSD, he always took a smaller dose than the others. Though Manson never told him why he did so, Paul presumed that during the “trip” Manson wanted to retain control over his own mental faculties. It is said that LSD is a mind-altering drug which tends to make the person ingesting it a little more vulnerable and susceptible to the influence of third parties. Manson used LSD “trips,” Paul said, to instill his philosophies, exploit weaknesses and fears, and extract promises and agreements from his followers.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (p. 293). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
_____

Certainly, Bugliosi believed Manson was using the ‘trips’ to ‘brainwash’ his followers.

At the same time, it is also highly probable that the group’s chronic use of acid together with the repetitive discussions of Helter Skelter could easily lead to a ‘fantasy group think’ among family members without any conscious ‘encouragement’ by Manson.

Acidheads in the research were highly receptive to fantastic ideas, magic, the notion a "table feels emotions" and a host of other concepts that almost make a ‘bottomless pit’ in the desert sound ‘sane’. In fact, any review of the literature surrounding acid use in the period is replete with these fantastic concepts:

"I pulled out my magic stone and asked it if this was the right thing to do. I flipped my stone and it said that it was."

"A resident of 1020 Page Street decided he was an orange, and bitterly resented it when people cast doubt on his orangeness- for instance, by asking him why oranges ate hamburgers."

"There was this dude at the Dead concert in the Panhandle who walked around for a couple of hours in the crowd before somebody noticed that his face was blue- sky blue, man. When they asked him whether he was Krishna he disappeared into thin air."

"People who are stoned on acid are immune to radiation burns."
_____

All of this is 'insane'. Krishna was not at a Dead concert in the Panhandle and LSD does not make you immune to radiation any more then there is a magical kingdom below Death Valley containing the big rock candy mountain and yet someone at 1020 Page Street believed he was an orange.

It is probable this is how family members came to their shared view of Helter Skelter. The argument as an equation looks like this: LSD making the user more receptive to the fantastic + reinforced by repetitive sharing of the common fantasy + LSD enhancing the fantasy and suggestibility = Helter Skelter.

In fact, it is so obvious I can't believe someone could debate that point. How hard is it to convince yourself about Helter Skelter under the influence of LSD or, perhaps viewed another way what would have happened to the 'orange' if everyone around him agreed he was an orange. Nuts? Yes. But at the same time the occurrence of these beliefs does not seem that unusual among acidheads.
_____
  
“These studies seem to indicate that some people experience effects that last long after the initial psychedelic drug experience has concluded. As well as increased well-being, these effects include increased openness to unconventional ideas such as those of a spiritual and/or paranormal nature. According to a number of studies, there are many positive correlations between suggestibility, belief in the paranormal, mystical experience and the personality traits absorption and openness to experience (Atkinson, 1994; Braffman & Kirsch, 1999; Smith, Johnson, & Hathaway, 2009; Thalbourne, 2010). 
_____

"If it is true that psychedelic drug use can lead to long-term increases in openness to experience, as the MacLean et al. study suggests, then perhaps as a consequence people become more willing to entertain unusual ideas about the nature of reality, such as belief in paranormal and spiritual aspects of existence.”

(LSD Enhances Suggestibility in Healthy Volunteers, supra)
_____


To us, the stranger aspects of Helter Skelter sound insane (and this is why we reject the Helter Skelter motive) or as Marvin Part said the Helter Skelter fable is ‘science fiction’. But would the same person who rejects the possibility that ‘the family’ did believe Helter Skelter accept as ‘normal’ someone who reports: "I m an orange." or "A cigarette will not go out if people are arguing" or "A desk will react to any kind of violence in the room?" I think not.

When we suggest the concept of Helter Skelter is too bizarre to be believable we are imposing our sensibility and logic (straight people ideas) on people capable of believing in actual magical spells and ‘witchy’ things, Hobbits, Middle Earth and other dimensions. We are acting like those people described by Alan Watts above in rejecting the acidhead's mindset because 'he must be insane'.

[Aside: By ‘Helter Skelter’ I mean Helter Skelter the fable or philosophy not the motive.]

At the same time, arguing that Manson ‘brainwashed’ his followers may be misplaced.

The science suggests Van Houten may have reached where she was during the Melvin Part interview on her own but arrived there at the same time as many other members of ‘the family’ and did so because she was susceptible to accepting as real, fantastic ideas, especially those repeated over and over as truth. This may be because LSD  'dislodged' her foundation in reality.
_____

“Klee 89 has described the effect of LSD on ego functioning i.e., thought, motility and perception. Body image is disorganized, time sense is profoundly altered, and perceptions of others are distorted, resulting in the sense of "self"-perception being, by and large, lost. Therefore, distinctions between reality and fantasy suffer.”

(Rick J. Strassman M.D., Adverse Reactions to Psychedelic Drugs, A Review of the Literature, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol 172, No. 10, October 1984)
_____

Far from the interview being some staged event by Part, everything known about LSD and the acidhead suggests, instead, that she believed what she said on those tapes. In fact, the Manson apologists' argument that they are a set up deprives the apologist of his best argument: she believed it.

The unanswered question is: Did Manson consciously use his followers’ suggestibility while on acid to ‘brainwash’ them? Or adding less ‘motive’ to the question: Did Manson’s natural tendencies- the con man in him- intersect with the drug, forming the ‘perfect storm’ so to speak?

It is certainly possible Manson was aware of how LSD made his ‘family’ ‘robustly suggestible’. He may have taken full advantage of this. Certainly, the repetitive discussion of Helter Skelter on and off acid may have ‘sunk in’ due to LSD use. It did with Van Houten. But if he possessed this knowledge, and given the enhanced suggestibility associated with LSD, while under the influence of LSD, it seems we would then expect the killers to be high on acid at Manson’s direction, immediately before and perhaps during the violence. And that was not the case.

On the other hand, Manson’s protests that he didn’t tell anyone what to do may, in fact, be accurate. He didn’t need to do more than drop suggestions. In fact, he may have done nothing more then ‘preach’. He may have added nothing overtly suggestive of murder and the clan, under the effects of LSD, could have easily adopted a homogeneous viewpoint. They may have acted without direction assuming the Helter Skelter motive.

Another problem with the 'Manson as the brainwasher' theory is that  while LSD use may have made ‘the family’ susceptible to accepting the repetitive telling of Helter Skelter, the evidence says Helter Skelter as preached to the masses didn’t involve ‘the family’ killing anyone until August 8, 1969. Murder was not part of the fantasy until the end. There is no time for either repetitive suggestions or even an acid trip. 

[Aside: From Van Houten’s interview with Marvin Part it could be argued the discussions about killing were more common than is generally described. Watkins and others also were certainly afraid of where things were headed, which lends credence to this view. There are various quotes attributed to Manson before the murders that hint at violence and, of course, Bernard Crowe was shot and Gary Hinman was murdered. But it does not appear that family- initiated murder was part of the Helter Skelter fable.]

There is one other significant problem with the concept of the Manson-brainwashed acidhead zombie-murderer: acidheads simply don’t murder people.

The Peaceful Acidhead



One trait of the acidhead, uniformly reported by every study reviewed, is their extremely passive nature.
_____

“All of the subjects were very passive individuals, the men particularly so. All. in one form or another, stressed that anger was very bad and that they were peaceful. Several carefully avoided "stepping on insects." because it showed disrespect for life to do so. This attitude seemed to permeate every aspect of their lives. They did not play competitive games. Each individual was supposed to do his own "thing" and to gain his own inner satisfaction. There was a de-emphasis of any form of competition, a denial of any possible pecking order, and a purposeful negation of the possession of materials.” (Chronic Users of LSD: The "Acidheads”, supra)
_____
 
That is not to say efforts were not made to paint a different picture in the early and mid sixties. Several early studies concluded that those either under the influence of LSD or after recovering from its effects did commit violent criminal acts and those studies even suggested the acts were caused by the drug’s lasting effects.

[Aside: I noticed that several of these studies were also funded by various organizations who likely had an agenda, such as the Department of Justice.]

A subsequent review of those studies that originally concluded that LSD had been the cause of criminal violence established that there was absolutely no direct correlation between the drug and the violence and that each incident was easily explained by non-LSD factors. (Adverse Reactions to Psychedelic Drugs, A Review of the Literature, supra).

Acidheads simply don't engage in violence and the records of them doing so (except the odd bad trip: no fire, no sharp objects) are extremely rare.

"We hold these experiences to be self-evident, that all is equal, that the creation endows us with certain inalienable rights, that among these are: the freedom of body, the pursuit of joy, and the expansion of consciousness, and that to secure these rights, we the citizens of the earth declare our love and compassion for all conflicting hate-carrying men and women of the world." (Prophecy of A Declaration of Independence, attributed to Allen Cohen and Michael Bowen, 1966)

So, if the peaceful acidhead is the norm, what caused the violence? That answer, I believe, lies in the very nature of the Helter Skelter fable and Manson's first trip.
_____

Let me say at this point I’m not apologizing for Manson. I believe he is guilty but I do believe some of the evidence that convicted him originated in a fundamental misunderstanding of the 'mindset' or 'world view' resulting from acid experiences. Bugliosi and the jury did not and could not understand the acidhead's psychedelic experience.

I believe this had a prejudicial impact on the defendants' ability to receive a trial by a 'jury of their peers'-as Alan Watts noted [and I have edited]: “Moreover, their sense of the relativity of good and evil arouses the suspicion [in a middle-class jury and a DA] that they lack both conscience and respect for law.”

Frankly, that is not what a 'jury by your peers' means. It doesn't mean if you are an acidhead you should have acid heads on the jury. But here the jury was so far removed from the defendants' world that aspects of their lives that may have been innocent, were circumstantial evidence of their guilt.

Would the outcome have been different if this was not the case, if acidheads sat on that jury? No.

Why? Because as Ed Sanders [who doesn't footnote his book] has correctly noted: the trial ended when Linda Kasabian testified. He is correct.

There is a section of Sanders' book where he discusses Hughes asking Manson for questions to ask Kasabian [Aside: why is Hughes asking Manson? He doesn't represent Manson.]. He correctly notes that while all of the questions were 'interesting' none would change the outcome of the trial.

The trial ended for every defendant and every 'family' member ever, after, convicted the moment Kasabian described what she saw at about 12:30 a.m. August 9, 1969, 48 years ago.

For those who seek or argue for a different outcome or argue the verdict was 'wrong' or 'improper' or this or that defendant's right to this or that was denied  I offer this: Prove that what Kasabian said happened at 12:30 a.m., August 9, 1969 did not happen or give up the good fight. Any jury with any lawyer/pro se before it would have said 'guilty'.
_____

I am not an expert on LSD. My personal experience with this drug is limited and occurred several years after these events. Some of you may have far more knowledge on this subject then me and disagree with some/part/most/everything I wrote. If you do, I issue an invitation: feel free to have at it and add to our collective truth.  

Pax Vobiscum and from where I sit writing this, Mahalo

Dreath

One more note: this was written before Dianne Lake's book came out and lacking the energy to make major revisions I will add that if her recollection is accurate Manson did, indeed, control 'set and setting' consciously. He also used what she calls Manson's 'talk-tos' (while on acid) to repeat his philosophy- repetition. This became more intense at the Gresham Street house. It included repeated lectures on 'Helter Skelter' and included playing the Beatles' White Album over and over again. If her descriptions are accurate they strongly suggests an actual effort on Manson's part to 'modify' the beliefs of his listeners with acid. I have some issues with Ms. Lake's book. Either she is adding quite a bit to the Manson saga or her memory of events is clouded by the passing of time. I found many inconstancies both with other sources and the testimony/statements of witnesses at the time. 


41 comments:

brownrice said...

David said:
So sometime that evening, maybe around Smokestack Lightning or Golden Road, Manson saw God.

…and no doubt many others could tell the same tale :-)

Great post, David. I agree with much of the description and sociological overview… particularly dear ol’ Alan Watts… what a gem. They say he could spontaneously rave in the most free-ranging, articulate, insightful, enlightening & fascinating way for the better part of an hour and then wrap it all up in the most perfectly-formed verbal bow just in time for the end of his weekly radio show…. all the while stoking his spiritual fires with endless whiskey & cigarettes. Who says acid makes you weird?? :-)

I do think though that the similarities noted in acidheads at the time are probably more down to the cultural matrix of the 60s rather than the acid. There was a real tendency then to think that LSD was gonna instantly transform people into hippies. Sometimes it does of course… but only if you’re inclined that way to begin with.

For the same reason, not all acidheads are so suggestible. Gullible types will often become more so but there’s plenty of psychedelic cynics & realists. Same with the flattened “deer in the headlights” kinda look and the similar speech pattern noted in many a teenage runaway both then and now. That’s really more the provence of an unformed ego exposed to excessive habitual dosing rather than acid use per se. A well-formed ego on the other hand is a completely different thing and there’s plenty of animated, articulate, acid-heads… witness Alan Watts, Richard Alpert, Neal Cassady or indeed Charley on a good day.

Ultimately it seems to bring out what’s in a person (coloured of course by good ol’ set & setting).

I dunno maybe I'm stubborn but I just can’t imagine Charley, Bill Vance, Bruce Davis, Danny DeCarlo & Tex sitting round between scams going “Yeah… those chocolate trees in the hole in the desert are gonna be faaaaarrrr out, man.” :-)

Great post, David. Excellent research.

Peter said...

Great post. I can't wait to sit and really give it a good read. But my initial thoughts are that, if it was a solid Viola Lee, that could have done the trick. Although the idea that there were a bunch of heads standing in a circle applauding Charlie's moves is probably not how it went down.

If you listen to the recordings the DA had with the doctors available on Cielodrive.com, a big concern of theirs was whether Manson might be able to hypnotize one of the jurors. So the prosecution did take this issue seriously.

On the question of joint defense. I think it's a little more involved than you might make out. There were certainly benefits to putting up a joint defense. Remember, all three of the girls actually took part in the murders, Charlie wasn't even there. Also a lot depended on what the clients wanted to do. The girls were ready to confess to everything and would have if their attorneys didn't nix that by refusing to have anything to do with putting them on the stand. But, unfortunately, I'm sure that the attorneys were willing to allow their clients a certain amount of rope to hang themselves rather than risk being substituted on the biggest case of the century. As to competency, by the time of the trial, the defendants all had the limited capacity to assist in their representation necessary under the law, so I think that ship sailed pretty early on.

David said...

Peter said: "There were certainly benefits to putting up a joint defense."

I'm not sure what those are. At the time there was the defense of diminished capacity, which is not 'not guilty by reason of insanity' although Part seemed to be heading there with Van Houten. That defense, if successful, would have then caused the jury to convict on second degree murder or even, as 5 did with Van Houten, manslaughter. It may have mitigated the death penalty if nothing else. It wasn't tried and realistically it was the only defense available to 'the girls' because they did commit the murders or at least participated directly in them.

I've never been able to understand what benefit 'the girls' received from the joint defense. I would have tried to sever my client and raised diminished capacity and rode the DA's coattails: Manon controlled everything. No one acted independently. Manson was the 'author' of Helter Skelter, brainwashed my client while on acid so she believed it and thought she was doing the right thing.

Instead the transcript is replete with instances of defense counsel directly contradicting Manson's control. I see Kanarek doing that but how does the help Fitzgerald's client?

Peter said...

First, I agree with you 100% that it probably would have served the girls to go it alone, but they simply didn't want to. You can either do what your client wants, or you can withdraw, right? Likewise, the girls didn't want to offer a diminished capacity defense. In her recordings with Part, doesn't Leslie even say something to the effect of "They didn't listen to our music, but now everyone will have to pay attention to our message"? Well, nobody would take them seriously if they all copped to being insane. In the beginning, they all seemed pretty dead-set against raising an insanity defense - possibly because they were all bat-shit crazy.

I'm not a criminal attorney, but I would think the benefits of the joint defense would be things like sharing of confidential information (witness interviews, strategy, investigations, etc.) and more importantly - where, as here, there is little or no compensation - spreading the workload and expenses out among the various counsel. And wouldn't it also avoid them all potentially being called as witnesses against each other and the resulting free for all that would entail. If Leslie decided she was going to throw the family under the bus - what me or you would have done without batting an eye - she would have been alone, ALONE. And aside from the physiological implication of being ostracized from her "Family", what would stop them (assuming they are all going to react the way normal people trying to beat a rap would react) from trying to put the hat on her. I could easily see the remaining members rationalizing that. After all, it's basically what they did to Kasabian (who remember was technically a co-defendant until basically the end of the People's case), saying it was all her idea to get Bobby out of jail and that she selected the houses because Frykoswki burned her in a drug deal.

With respect to the diminished capacity defense. I 110% agree with you that this was the way for them to go, particularly Leslie. But, again, they didn't want to - personally, I think they all thought what they did was justified in the "can't make an omelet" sense. Where Kanarek attacks the Manson mind-control theory, my reading is that he's doing it to impeach Kasabian's credibility (Hughes also cross examines extensively on this in the transcripts that Cielo just made available, by the way). For instance, Kasabian couldn't recall with specificity even a half dozen conversations she had with Manson, which would be some phenomenal brainwashing skills on Charlie's part to accomplish the kind of control she sold the jury. A rising tide lifts all boats, and discrediting Kasabian benefited all the defendants. Without her, the prosecution would have been left with their dicks in their hands. So I could see the other counsel not wanting to get in the way of that line of cross examination, even if it carries with it the potential to increase their own clients mental culpability in the eyes of the jury. Particularly where none of the defendants were planning to testify in their defense, and taking everything else into consideration, the risk-reward analysis might have well supported this approach.

Again, it all comes down to what defense the defendants themselves chose to present.
"You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."

AstroCreep said...

I tend to think that if this crime/trial happened today, and the facts were identical, there’s no chance that any of them would be found guilty.

They’re all victims. LAPD was harassing them constantly. LASO deputy sexually assaulted some of the girls by watching them pee during a stakeout. Bloody clothes were probably planted by the same cop that put the glove behind OJ’s house. Dennis Wilson would be paying the family hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lawsuit won by the family for wrongful eviction. They would sue all of the grocery stores for not having quality food in their dumpsters. Charlie would sue the state of California for wrongful release from prison- and win. The family would sue the Beatles- if they hadn’t put these fucked up messages in their music none of this would have happened. Lotsapoppa, Charlie, and the Straight Satans would have an epic YouTube video war. Charlie would identify as a Beach Boy and earn royalties on all of their catalog.

Best of all- Charlie would have a field day with Instagram- #helterskelter #holeinthedesert #pigs #thebeatles #whitealbum #shitscomingdown

He’d have more followers than Justin Bieber.

Peter said...

As to Set and Setting. I remember reading, I think it was Paul Watkins, saying that when they took acid they all stayed together in the room for the entire trip and nobody was supposed to leave.

I can't imagine being locked inside a single room for an entire acid trip, no less being locked inside a room with Charlie yapping at me the whole the time. That alone would be enough to induce "a feverishness that touched the skirts of homicidal mania."

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum Mahalo said...

This song has been described as "one [of] the most accurate songs about LSD”

The Stones classic period {'65~'69} in my opinion. I don't think they were ever more inventive than this time and they were absorbing so many different influences, getting away from what had been their initial forte, blues. This song to me is an absolutely unique fusion of the Kinks '65~'68 output and Dylan's "Rainy day women #12 & 35" and is both evocative of tripping in that period when acid wasn't really known about much in England and prophetic in terms of the problems the Stones would encounter at the hands of the police, establishment, management and internally over the next few years. Almost nobody queried the lyrics in the song {nor with the Beatles or Donovan or the Pretty Things in their acidy songs of the time}.

Studies confirm that those under the influence of LSD are extremely open to suggestion, especially repeated suggestions, and that suggestibility continues long after the effects of the drug wears off

This could partly explain why so many of the Family members just couldn't keep their mouths closed about so many things, even the part they'd played in murder or what they might know about it.

So sometime that evening, maybe around Smokestack Lightning or Golden Road, Manson saw God. Perhaps more accurately, Manson experienced the sense of being Christ, crucified

In his book "Hungry for Heaven [Rock & Roll And The Search For Redemption]" Steve Turner makes a similar point: “this was the Damascus Road tablet. People started out on trips as hard nosed materialists after a bit of fun and emerged with their egos ripped & mauled, unsure at first whether they’d seen God or were God."
This happened to a large number of people. Perhaps the most celebrated was John Lennon. In the same way that it's interesting that Charlie's first trip, if at the Avalon, could only have happened around Easter and therefore the trip drew that perception into his being, Lennon's realization came in the aftermath of his "more popular than Jesus" statement when many people sent him stuff about Christianity which he read and digested and the Maharishi was also looming large on the horizon of his life at the time. He'd wanted to have Jesus as part of the audience depicted on the Sgt Pepper sleeve {along with Hitler} but was talked out of it as he was talked out of most things in that passive '66~'68 period.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum Mahalo said...

if her recollection is accurate Manson did, indeed, control 'set and setting' consciously. He also used what she calls Manson's 'talk-tos' (while on acid) to repeat his philosophy- repetition. This became more intense at the Gresham Street house. It included repeated lectures on 'Helter Skelter' and included playing the Beatles' White Album over and over again. If her descriptions are accurate they strongly suggests an actual effort on Manson's part to 'modify' the beliefs of his listeners with acid

When Robert H was with us, he once put forth the question, something to the effect of "how could an uneducated, barely literate man that wasn't deemed fit to represent himself in a court of law, have worked out how to control people through the use of LSD ?"
I'd say that "control" as we understand it is perhaps too strong a word. Interestingly enough, during his trial in his famous monologue to the court sans jury, Charlie gave an indication of how folk can be gotten to do things. He starts off by addressing his audience as those that think with their minds before stating "It is hard for you to conceive of a philosophy of someone that may not think." Later he adds "because when you take LSD enough times you reach a stage of nothing. You reach a stage of no thought.
An example of this: if you were to be standing in a room with someone and you were loaded on LSD and the guy says, 'Do you like my sports coat?' And you would probably not pay any attention to him. About two or three minutes later the guy loaded on LSD will turn around and say, 'My, you have a beautiful sports coat' because he is only reacting. He is only reacting to the individual terminology, the person that he has in the room."
He goes on to say that there was nothing more powerful than the power of suggestion and contrasts it with conspiracy: "And then you get to conspiracy. The power of suggestion is stronger than any conspiracy that you could ever enter into. The powers of the brain are so vast, it's beyond understanding. It's beyond thinking. It's beyond comprehension. So to offer a conspiracy might be to sit in your car and think bad thoughts about someone and watch them have an accident in front of you. Or would it be a conspiracy for your wife to mention to you twenty times a day, "You know, you're going blind, George, you know how your eyes are, you're just going blind; we pray to God and you're going blind, and you're going blind." And she keeps telling the old man he's going blind until he goes blind.
Is that a conspiracy?"

It's important to note that Charlie had 18 months of 'directing' the group before they moved to Gresham. As far back as April 1968 one of the papers, reporting on the Family's arrest in Ventura reported him as the leader of the group, as did David Smith's "Group marriage commune study", also in '68. He saw what could be achieved with and without acid. The way he later initiated Stephanie Schram {acid, sex, slaps} is eye opening because it was part of his MO with a number of the women, if what many have subsequently said is to be believed. He seems to have combined a rather mystical approach with a very down to earth one and that hopping between dimensions served to draw a very heavy contrast between the two.

David said...

Grim said: "The Stones classic period {'65~'69} in my opinion."

I will preface this by saying I have been a fan of the Stones since about 1969-70 due to an older brother. I personally believe Between the Buttons is a very good, overlooked, album. It has a few songs clearly left over from the more 'pop' sound of 65-early 66 and some pretty innovative stuff, not to mention Ruby Tuesday and Let's Spend the Night Together. Who's Been Sleeping Here is one of my favorites.

I can't give you a cite but I believe it may have been Keith Richards in his book saying how much effort they put into that album and how it was Brian Jones' last real contribution and how they thought they had something. Then he said something like- as was typical of us, we thought we had something, then like six month later Sgt. Pepper came out and no one remembers that one.

PS: I'd say 66-72.


And bornwrice: coming from you that means a lot. Thank you.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

I have been a fan of the Stones since about 1969-70

My earliest memory as a human being involves the Stones, back in '65, doing "Get off of my cloud." My younger sister and I used to jump around to that and my Mum told me a few times that if the Stones weren't on the TV when it was turned on in the evening, I used to get really upset as 2 year olds can over such trifles ! I think I'd seen them one evening on "Top of the pops" and thought that when my Mum was getting ready to go to work {she was a night nurse}, if the telly came on, it meant the Stones would be singing that song !

I personally believe Between the Buttons is a very good, overlooked, album. It has a few songs clearly left over from the more 'pop' sound of 65-early 66 and some pretty innovative stuff, not to mention Ruby Tuesday and Let's Spend the Night Together

I never regarded the Stones as one of the great albums bands of the 60s. But they did scores of great and innovative songs. They were easily the equal of the Beatles, it's just that where the Beatles had the edge {on everyone, actually} was in the number of quality songwriters and their ridiculously high output.
The English versions of LPs usually differed from the American versions which is partly why it's difficult to be on the same page regarding albums up until around '68. I love "Lets's spend..." and "Ruby Tuesday." The harmony vocal on the chorus of the latter is sumptuous. The Stones, like the Who, weren't great vocalists but their backing vocals in that mid to late 60s period, possibly because of their limitations, are for me so definitive and inventive. Stuff like "Dandelion" and "We love you" helped write the book on English backing vocals....


I can't give you a cite but I believe it may have been Keith Richards in his book saying how much effort they put into that album and how it was Brian Jones' last real contribution and how they thought they had something

Sometimes one can look at preceding albums or ones following to get a good sense of a particular work and I agree with you here; 'Buttons' seems to carry on from 'Aftermath' and lead into 'Satanic Majesties'. I remember a book that someone gave me on the Stones {by the infamous Charlie interviewer, David Dalton} when I was 16 carried a reprint of an interview Mick Jagger gave to Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone where he said he didn't like 'Buttons'.
I was surprised to find that Keith doesn't mention the album in his autobiography and in the group autobiography "According to..." that came out around 2003, the album isn't mentioned there either. But Bill Wyman talks a bit about it in his. He says it was a cohesive LP and that it was the first time they'd actually gone into the studio to record an actual album rather than recording when they got the chance, knocking off loads of tracks and then working out what would go where.


PS: I'd say 66-72

When I think of some of the songs on "Sticky Fingers" and the splash made with "Exile" I wouldn't argue with you on that.

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

I do think though that the similarities noted in acidheads at the time are probably more down to the cultural matrix of the 60s rather than the acid

I think actually that the two combined to achieve that, often in different strengths depending on so many variables. But it's interesting looking at people like George Clinton and Bootsy Collins or even John Coltrane that were of a somewhat different cultural matrix and the same expansion of mind and taking on of previously unreached planes can be seen. It affected their music but it also affected their expression and where they went thereafter.
Something I've noticed over 4 decades is that there are generally speaking two fairly entrenched sides on the acid debate. Those that almost absolutely will not consider that any good could have come from the drug and those who are determined to minimize acid's effect on people that came out of the experience 'badly'.
There's plenty of evidence, even if it's experiential or anecdotal, that acid played a huge part in messing some people up, some for lengthy periods of their lives, some almost permanently.
There's also much evidence, whether experiential or anecdotal that much good came out of the experience.
And in between all that are those that were looking to do genuine real good with LSD as well as those that sought to use it for nefarious purposes. And much ignorance masquerading as enthusiasm and/or enlightenment.
One thing's for sure, the world is a very different place than it was the day before Albert Hoffman took the stuff by accident in his lab.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I am not familiar with Tex's trial was there any attempt to plead diminished capacity for him? I agree the women had diminished capacity and were batshit crazy from drugs and Charlie's love but I think the same case could be made for Watson adding even more types and quantities of drugs

Matt said...

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Peter said...

Humph.

This is from the opening statements of Watson's trial available on Cielodrive.com. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the transcript with the jury charge is included in the archive, so it's not clear if the Judge ever charged the jury with a diminished capacity defense instruction. It may have been that the Defense attorney just wanted to put that out there into the minds of the jurors, without actually offering it as a defense.

"I believe the evidence will show that at this time his I.Q., intelligence quotient, was about 110, 120. The evidence will also show now, ladies and gentlemen, his I.Q. is 88 or 89, subnormal."

"Mr. Watson was no more than a zombie at this time, ladies and gentlemen, a mindless, automaton, simply carrying out blindly what Manson had instructed him to do."

David said...

Watson raised both diminished capacity and insanity. The first was rejected by a finding of guilty of 1st degree murder and the second in a 'sanity phase' of the trial.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks guys. Good post David. As an somewhat related aside my housemate the other day saw my Dianne Lake book and told me her friend said she saw (once?) or used to see Manson hanging out in front of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco when they had concerts there. She said he was a little scruffy guy and she didn't want to get anywhere near him. No idea if it was really Manson she saw, and I'd never heard of them holding concerts at that location in the sixties, so if anyone has any knowledge thanks.

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

I don't see it here.

http://rockandrollroadmap.com/places/where-they-played/san-francisco-area/

christopher butche said...

Hey kidz!

There's a new book out. Watch an interview with the author here (part 2 of 3)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2399s&v=utN97m1QX20

500+ pages. UK author. The programme is hosted by a conspiracy buff.

LH said...

Fun fact: Lennon & McCartney sang backups on "We Love You".

Peter said...

"There's a new book out"

Best theory yet: The prosecution introduced the Beatles motif in order to draw attention away from Manson's homosexual relationship with Dennis Wilson.

cielodrivecom said...

That guy is a blowhard

grimtraveller said...

LH said...

Lennon & McCartney sang backups on "We Love You"

At the very end, you can hear Lennon say "your health !"

Peter said...

Best theory yet: The prosecution introduced the Beatles motif in order to draw attention away from Manson's homosexual relationship with Dennis Wilson

Someone's going to have to explain how in the world this would make Manson guilty of murder.
I got nothing !

Peter said...

It's because the prosecution was in the pocket of the Mafia, who wanted to keep secret all the dirt on the A list Hollywood talent they also controlled.


He does make one observation that is interesting I thought. That Parent knew what was happening in the house and was trying to escape and that Linda, who was the look out, stabbed Parent. And then Tex shot him later.

David said...

Peter,

That’s been around awhile. It is intriguing because of the broken fence combined with the fact Watson didn’t have a knife.when they crossed the fence. Add the ‘l won’t tell anyone’ and the odd picture of someone pointing at blood? Perhaps Granado in the garage.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Although the studies say acid doesn't lead to violence they were not testing people who purposely been instilled with fear and target practice and stabbing practice. I guess the fear part was sometimes part of the acid trips, but I'm assuming the violent activities were not conducted during tripping.

Peter said...

1 of 2

At the original trial, it appears the defense did seek a jury instruction on Diminished Capacity that was denied. A discussion of this is in the August 13, 1976 Appellate Decision (see below). It is possible that the defense counsel did not affirmatively make a case for diminished capacity because it would likely have required that the defendant take the stand.

JURY INSTRUCTION

Diminished Capacity

Appellants requested a jury instruction on diminished capacity. The court refused.

A record revealing a sufficient factual showing that, by reason of mental defect, mental illness, intoxication or otherwise, appellants or any of them could not form the necessary specific intent to commit murder would require appropriate instructions on diminished capacity. (People v. Nichols (1970) 3 Cal.3d 150, 165, 89 Cal.Rptr. 721, 474 P.2d 673, cert. den., 402 U.S. 910, 91 S.Ct. 1388, 28 L.Ed.2d 652; People v. Mosher (1969) 1 Cal.3d 379, 82 Cal.Rptr. 379, 461 P.2d 659; People v. Conley (1966) 64 Cal.2d 310, 49 Cal.Rptr. 815, 411 P.2d 911.) Here, however, the trial court found no such evidence.

Although Manson and Krenwinkel now argue that the record supports giving diminished capacity instructions, they do not rely on the rule just stated. We understand Manson's argument to be as follows: since there is no direct evidence that he made an agreement with Watson, respondent has failed to establish the specific intent necessary to a charge of conspiracy. The argument continues with Manson's contention that his absence at the time of the homicides establishes a lack of the requisite specific intents to premeditate, deliberate and harbor malice with respect to the substantive crimes. These arguments have nothing to do with the doctrine of diminished capacity.

Van Houten's claim of error pivots on two other factors: (1) the established availability and use of hallucinogenic drugs by members of the Family; and (2) the prosecutor's depiction of the Family as devoted and fearful followers of Manson.

No evidence suggests that anyone ingested any drugs at any time proximate to the Tate or La Bianca murders. Consequently, there is no showing that anyone's mental capacity was affected by a foreign chemical. If we interpret this as an argument that by prolonged usage diminished mental capacity is presumed, the contention is not supported by evidence. Admittedly there is a great deal of testimony that drugs were commonly used by Family members. However, it does not necessarily follow that all members used drugs and nothing indicates with particularity the kind, quantity, or regularity of use by anyone. In short, this common circumstance is no more than a generalization without specific application to any one appellant. (People v. Harris (1970) 7 Cal.App.3d 922, 926, 87 Cal.Rptr. 46.) Moreover, no evidence was produced concerning the effect of such drugs on a particular defendant. (Cf. People v. Rocha (1971) 3 Cal.3d 893, 901, 92 Cal.Rptr. 172, 479 P.2d 372.)

The defense of diminished capacity is generally tendered by testimony of the defendant or a psychiatrist or both. That is the orthodox method of raising the issue and it was the method employed in virtually every case cited by appellants.103

Peter said...

2 of 2

Manson points to the fact that two psychiatrists testified concerning the use of LSD and marijuana by Lake. Their opinions of Lake, however, have no bearing on appellants' mental capacity and no evidence of Lake's use of drugs could responsibly be applied to any appellant. Absent specific evidence pertaining to the use of drugs, and absent expert testimony as to the effect of such use on appellants, a diminished capacity instruction on that ground was not required. (Cf. People v. Smith (1973) 4 Cal.App.3d 403, 412, 84 Cal.Rptr. 412.)

The prosecutor's argument characterizing Manson's co-indictees as ‘slaves' ‘robots' and ‘automatons' is not evidence, nor do his hyperbolic descriptions affect the evidence bearing on the mental capacity of appellants. The evidence is persuasive that Van Houten, Krenwinkel, Atkins and Watson were Manson's followers. There is no doubt they were subjected to his influence. That some people are followers is an ordinary circumstance of any concerted activity. In nearly every conspiracy there is a leader.

Krenwinkel asks us to determine that the specific intent requisite to the crimes charged was negated by the showing of peer pressure alone. The evidence that a party is a follower does not, however, translate itself into a prima facie showing of diminished capacity. We find no evidence in the record and know of no authority to support that proposition. The trial court's rejection of the tendered instruction was proper. (People v. Carr (1972) 8 Cal.3d 287, 294—295, 104 Cal.Rptr. 705, 502 P.2d 513.)

The record is devoid of any evidence that any appellant suffered from undisputed mental illness or from incapacity to maturely and meaningfully reflect upon the gravity of contemplated acts. (People v. Wolff (1964) 61 Cal.2d 795, 821, 40 Cal.Rptr. 271, 394 P.2d 959.) No medical or other expert testimony was offered as to a mental disease or defect of any appellant (People v. Henderson (1963) 60 Cal.2d 482, 488—489, 35 Cal.Rptr. 77, 386 P.2d 677.) Plainly put, appellants cannot point to any evidence compelling a diminished capacity instruction.

Emphasis of life style in the commune only shows its members embraced bizarre concepts, accepted depraved standards and followed a warped philosophy. ‘It is not enough, to relieve from criminal liability, that the prisoner is morally depraved. (Citation.) It is not enough that he has views of right and wrong at variance with those that find expression in the law. The variance must have its origin in some disease of the mind. (Citation.) The anarchist is not at liberty to break the law because he reasons that all government is wrong. The devotee of a religious cult that enjoins polygamy or human sacrifice as a duty is not thereby relieved from responsibility before the law. (Citations.)’ (People v. Schmidt (1915) 216 N.Y. 324, 110 N.E. 945, 949—950.)

Accordingly, evidence of bizarre, depraved or weird conduct standing alone does not compel an instruction on diminished capacity. Such circumstances are not subject to common interpretation. Had appellants gone forward in the classical tradition of Wells-Gorshen, the trial court in all probability would have instructed on diminished capacity. (People v. Wells (1949) 33 Cal.2d 330, 202 P.2d 53, cert. den., 338 U.S. 836, 70 S.Ct. 43, 94 L.Ed. 510; People v. Gorshen (1959) 51 Cal.2d 716, 336 P.2d 492, and see Witkin & Leavitt, California Crimes, 1975 Supp., s 147a (Rev.) Diminished Capacity, p. 98.) Failure to proceed in that manner resulted in a record too shadowy to expose the presence of diminished capacity. The trial court's refusal to instruct on this subject was not error.

David said...

Peter said (quoted): "Had appellants gone forward in the classical tradition of Wells-Gorshen, the trial court in all probability would have instructed on diminished capacity."


I think you just made my point. Fitzgerald, Hughes and Shinn spent the trial undermining 'Manson's control' and by the time they woke up to the fact he wasn't their client it was too late. Both Caballero and Part were going down the right road until they were fired.

Peter said...

I think that Caballero was waiting because he was working on the immunity deal for Atkins. Then he was probably fired. He also testified that Atkins didn't want to see a psychologist. Again, it is ultimately up to the defendant herself.

Also this defense has to be made early. By the time the trial started it was already too late. And I'm not sure it's accurate to say Fitzgerald, Shinn and Hughes spent the trial undermining the Manson control theory. I've only seen in it in relation to Kasabian's testimony, which had a purpose, impeachment.

In the penalty phase Van Houten’s new attorney Maxwell Keith and Paul Fitzgerald, put on an expert Dr. Keith Ditman a UCLA psychiatrist and expert in psychotropic drugs. His testimony appears in Vol. 193 of the official court transcripts. His direct testimony was offered over the repeated objections of Manson’s attorney Irving Kanarek that the testimony was prejudicial to his client. Because Keith never examined Van Houten, his testimony was based on a lengthy hypothetical question based on Van Houten’s personal experiences from childhood through the commission of the crimes. Based on this hypothetical, Keith testified that Van Houten’s chronic use of LSD would have had an effect on her personality producing an “alteration in values and judgments and way of life ...” He further testified that the effects of mind altering drugs were more damaging to a person of Leslie’s age, immaturity, and environment. That “Manson’s assumed influence, together with the usage of LSD, could be a significant factor in causing Leslie’s participation in the two homicides.”

Fitzgerald elicited testimony on the potential for street LSD to cause anxiety, fear and panic while under the influence, as well as bizarre ideation. He also questioned him on the “prolonged psychotic reaction from LSD” and the potential for the impairment of judgment and rejection of moral beliefs to persist into the non-drug state as the result of prolonged use. They also have a lengthy discussion on dosage.

Shinn crossed him on the issue of being unknowingly dosed in a hypothetical hamburger could be lethal, which was obviously directed at the Barbara Hoyt episode.

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

Although the studies say acid doesn't lead to violence they were not testing people who purposely been instilled with fear and target practice and stabbing practice

Great point. LSD never stopped Charlie knocking about Mary, Dianne and Gypsy among others. It possibly helped emphasize his tender side, which, despite his reputation, he undoubtedly had, but it didn't eradicate those violent aspects of his being which, even if they aren't naturally there, are soon learned when your guardian Uncle sends you to school in a dress or when you spend more than half your life in violent institutions where some of the people in authority meant to be taking care of you and showing you a better way are complicit in, and in some cases instigators of, the violence.
LSD didn't stop John Lennon and Brian Jones from indulging in violence against their women. It didn't stop Charles Watson butchering 8 people.
Besides which, there's a world of difference between saying "people under the influence of acid tend not to be violent" and concluding that LSD usage definitively eradicates the desire to enact any violence.
I don't think it's unfair to say that most people that took acid were not violent. But then, most people that don't take acid are not violent.

David said...

Grim said: "people under the influence of acid tend not to be violent".

I hope that is how you read what I wrote.

grimtraveller said...

Peter said...

The anarchist is not at liberty to break the law because he reasons that all government is wrong. The devotee of a religious cult that enjoins....human sacrifice as a duty is not thereby relieved from responsibility before the law

I'm glad to hear it !

David said...

Grim said: "people under the influence of acid tend not to be violent".

I hope that is how you read what I wrote


Yeah.
I also believe it to be true.

brownrice said...

There was a real tendency then to think that LSD was gonna instantly transform people into hippies. Sometimes it does of course… but only if you’re inclined that way to begin with

I think the acid experience overall was much deeper than that. It brought out reactions and changes in people that were completely unpredictable. Some that you'd think would have remained strong minded and articulate didn't while others that seemed to previously be hiding under the table came to the fore and became different people making lots of sense. Some, like George Harrison, were completely turned off hippiedom because of acid, even though they embraced the mores of the counterculture.
It's such a fascinating and wide encompassing topic !

Chris Till said...

David.
I usually enjoy your posts and find ample food for thought. Though this one is very ambitious, with respect, I found it quite hard to follow. And, as I’m knee deep in Dianne Lake’s stunning memoirs, I have not yet really finished it.

That said, rock critic Robert Christgau's quote about the Stones song indicates to me that Christgau never tripped. Or doesn’t know much about it anyway. As is said, those who've never tripped writing about it is like one who's never eaten chocolate writing about chocolate.

Second, though you wrote, "The Grateful Dead played only three shows at the Avalon Ballroom in 1967: March 24-25-26," it is generally recognized that the Grateful Dead played at least six shows at the Avalon in 1967: three in January 1967 and three in March 1967. Certainly, the January 1967 shows were before CM's final release, but, like you, I grow suspicious when dates are played with loosely. Regardless, good job narrowing down the date when CM had his Avalon epiphany. I’d meant to do so, but never got around to it.

Finally, regarding the debate about LSD, violence and non-violence, LSD is morally neutral. It can make a person temporarily incompetent, but, on its own, neither encourages nor discourages violence. In my opinion.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Regarding the sameness of acidheads, I have been curious about the Manson clan's use of the word "changes" as in "the mother wants to put all her changes on her boy" or when Susan Atkins said Sharon Tate went through many "changes" when Jay Sebring was shot and beaten. Does anyone have any idea if that kind of use of the word existed beyond the scope of the Manson group" Does anyone think some specific phrases came from Manson?

brownrice said...

"Oh my mind is going through them changes" from the song Changes written by Buddy Miles, performed by Hendrix' Band Of Gypsies. The family's use of the word "changes" wasn't specific to them. It was a fairly widely used expression within freak/youth culture at the time. Charley gets the credit for a few phrases he didn't invent. "Zuzus" is a good case in point. Everyone from Bugliosi to Dianne Lake (in her new book) credit Charley with inventing the word "zuzus" for "candy". In fact, it's old prison slang.

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

Charley gets the credit for a few phrases he didn't invent. "Zuzus" is a good case in point

Is it credit for inventing phrases as opposed to using words and/or phrases in a way that many of his hearers had not heard before and were probably impressed/intrigued by his use of them, "helter Skelter" being an interesting example ? It had its own definition, connected with the youth & counterculture via the Beatles and had its own Charlie inspired meaning.


"Oh my mind is going through them changes" from the song Changes written by Buddy Miles, performed by Hendrix' Band Of Gypsies. The family's use of the word "changes" wasn't specific to them. It was a fairly widely used expression within freak/youth culture at the time

Although the Family's use of the word "changes" wasn't specific to them and there was overlap of meaning with the way others may have used it, there is a confusion about exactly what the Family did mean by 'changes'. In her interview with Caballero and Caruso, Susan Atkins early on says "Charlie had such a way of communicating with us we were just all together in the bus going through our changes, getting to know each other, getting uninhibited so we could make love each other freely. And he put me through a few changes with Lynn and he would make love with Lynn and I’d feel jealous and so would everybody else in the bus for the simple reason he always picked her."

but then a little while later:

SUSAN ATKINS: He, Jay Sebring, came into the living room and said “What’s going on” and Tex said, “Go over and sit down”. Jay Sebring proceeded to advance on Tex and Tex shot him. And he fell on the floor. I think he fell on his side because I saw him laying on his side. And Sharon went through a few changes (laugh), quite a few changes.

PAUL CARUSO: What do you mean by changes?

SA: Oh, her facial expressions – she said “Oh my God, no.” Miss Folger didn’t say anything, she just stood there.


which kind of indicates a different usage altogether from the way it was used in the first bit. But a few days later at the Grand Jury ;

BUGLIOSI: Spahn Ranch is somewhat secluded?

ATKINS: Somewhat secluded but we never walked around in the nude. We used to gather...in other words, we would all go through our changes during the day and do what we were doing that day.

Q: What do you mean by changes?

A: Oh, changes.

Q: When you say "changes," you mean doing different things during the day?

A: I mean like if I didn't like what one of the girls was doing, you know, I'd go over and I'd move about and say, "You're stupid for doing that." That is what a change is, and what she did she did because that is what she did and what I thought about it was irrelevant to what she actually did, it didn't matter..


Etymologists roll over !

grimtraveller said...

Chris Till said...

rock critic Robert Christgau's quote about the Stones song indicates to me that Christgau never tripped

I've seen that quote credited to some guy called Matthew Greenwald. His actual review says "One the most accurate songs about LSD, 'Something Happened to Me Yesterday' closed out the Rolling Stones' Between the Buttons album with a combination of social commentary, personal insight, and a strong sense of comedy, something that the band had been exploring. The lyrics do not recount the LSD experience necessarily but focus on what happens after the trip and how it relates to the subjects dealings with society. Although this sounds rather heavy, it is dealt with with a sense of whimsy, which is wholly refreshing, especially considering the time in which it was written. Mirroring this is the music, which is a combination of trad jazz and folk-country - almost like Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie writing about acid."

I've long been fascinated by the fact that many of the British pop and rock writers that wrote songs in the aftermath of their initial acid experiences in the 60s were so very young. Mick Jagger had just turned 23 when the song was recorded and may have been younger when he wrote those lyrics. John Lennon at 24~27 was among the oldest of the British writers in the early outpouring of the acid discovery. The British ones seemed behind the curve compared to many of the Americans yet LSD affected the British artists in a wonderful {almost literally wonder~full} way, and many of the artists were quick to find ways to inject their experiences into their songs, especially once they'd absorbed Dylan's lyrical lead. LSD and Dylan was the 60s deadliest and most significant musical meeting in my opinion. Musically, there is a tremendous range of styles that found their way into British rock and pop from 1965 on, classical, music hall, Indian, jazzy, heavy, raucous, whimsical {to name but a few} and on top of that, the range of musical instruments that began to turn up on records by everyone from the Pretty Things to Pink Floyd to David Bowie to the Stones to King Crimson was breathtaking, not to mention time lengths of songs broke out of the 3 minute mould forever and got somewhat esoteric....and long. The lyrical reactions to tripping contained in songs weren't always obvious, nor was acid well known to the public at large which is why the Pretties could get away with songs called "£sd" {a double meaning that was rather elitist at the time but which now seems so corny} and "Tripping" or the Who with "I can see for miles" or the Beatles with all of Lennon's 1966 compositions {the only giveaway being "Tomorrow never knows" which still seems timeless to me}. Although the likes of the Incredible String Band and others did throw in the odd description of parts of a trip or what one might go through during one, it was the realizations that came with the experience that couldn't quite be put into words that made ordinary sense that helped make so many of the songs of the period so special and which also gave so many younger people an interest in finding out more as stories began to leak about what was happening in various quarters.
At first I thought the quote about "one of the most accurate songs about LSD" was kind of over the top but on reflection, it can't really be anything other, given that it's one of the songs that came about as a result of acid in the life of a young person. Naturally, there's tons of songs that I'd also have to say that about too.
It's a very English reaction, dare I say it. But then, Mick Jagger was very English. And musically, no British group would have have gotten away with such a song just a year previous in '65. LSD was a herald that really did alter the way songs were composed, recorded and listened to.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum Mahalo said...

But could Manson control the environment sufficiently to accomplish a form of brainwashing as claimed by Bugliosi?

Maybe.


There was something incredible about his presence. People can scorn all they like and they will, but for me, it's undeniable. When Tex was acting mentally ill at Atascadero Hospital, Charlie told Bugliosi "give me 20 minutes with Tex. I'm sure I can cure him" or words to that effect. That's a man that knows what he's doing....
He says he wasn't directing traffic. What I suspect he means is that he wasn't directing traffic as we understand it.

grimtraveller said...

christopher butche said...

There's a new book out. Watch an interview with the author here (part 2 of 3)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2399s&v=utN97m1QX20
500+ pages. UK author


I think Neil Sanders is a Shreckie. {In Nichloas Shreck's near 1000 page tome he gets 'down and dirty' about the supposed relationship between Charlie and Dennis and Dennis' tortured dark secret life as a bisexual man whose activities were covered up by the Beach Boy machine.
Shreck also claims that Charlie met Dennis at Gary Hinman's house and a lot more besides. Anyone with the book or that gets hold of it can find it all between pages 388 and 404}. He also throws some doubt on some of George's book though he's obviously read it and leans on bits of it in the interview.
Personally I think he talks with fork tongue and I won't be buying "Now's the only thing that's real."
What do these English know ??!!😉

Chris Till said...

Grimtraveler wrote:

"I've seen that quote credited to some guy called Matthew Greenwald."

Granted, it's a very minor point. My Christgau citation comes his Rolling Stones essay in the 1980 first edition of "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock," p. 197. Jagger ". . . wrote the most accurate LSD song ever, 'Something Happened to Me Yesterday.'" My understanding, though limited, is that Greenwald started doing rock criticism in the 1990s. No?

grimtraveller said...

Maybe Matt lifted it from Robert !