Monday, April 9, 2018

Charles Manson's music was a macabre sidenote

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

20 November 2017

Manson's music was not especially well-received
Charles Manson, the cult leader of the Manson Family, who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders in 1969, was one of the most reviled figures in American culture.

A grifter who'd spent most of his adult life in jail, he orchestrated a killing spree with the intention of sparking a race war.

But his original intention when he arrived in California was to become a musician.

A macabre fascination with his music has persisted ever since. Bands like Guns N' Roses, The Lemonheads and Marilyn Manson have covered his songs; while bootleg recordings of his demos, which began circulating during his trial, are now widely available.

Manson's psychedelic brand of folk music was not, it has to be said, very good.

His guitar playing was basic, his lyrics disorganised, and his stylistic debt to The Beatles thinly disguised (sitar sounds are strewn across his recordings with wilful disregard).

Still, he made enough of an impression on his contemporaries to come close to securing a recording contract.

Manson, who learned guitar in prison, first arrived in California in 1967 and soon met prominent musicians including Neil Young, Dennis Wilson, and Doris Day's son, the record producer Terry Melcher.

Manson's demos were released during his trial in 1970
Young, in particular, was impressed by what he heard.

"He had this kind of music that nobody else was doing," he told rock writer Bill Flanagan.

"He would sit down with the guitar and start playing and make up stuff, different every time.

"Musically I thought he was very unique. I thought he really had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet."

John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas was less enthusiastic. Asked on several occasions to record with Manson, the singer recalled: "I'd just shudder every time. I'd say, 'no, I think I'll pass'."

Manson's closest brush with musical fame came after Gary Hinman, a music teacher who would later be one of the family's victims, introduced him to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Wilson took one of Manson's songs, Cease To Exist, and turned it into the Beach Boys' song Never Learn Not To Love - taking a full writing credit for himself, after changing some of the lyrics and adding the band's famous harmonies.

Manson reportedly received a one-off payment and a motorcycle in exchange for the rights to the song, but he came to resent Wilson's "theft".

In a sinister preface to his later crimes, he left a bullet on the drummer's bed.

"I gave Dennis Wilson a bullet, didn't I? I gave him a bullet because he changed the words to my song," Manson later told US TV presenter Diane Sawyer in an interview.

The Beach Boys released Never Learn Not To Love on their 1969 album 20/20
Manson perhaps restrained himself from taking further action because Wilson, as well as letting the Family stay at his house, had promised to introduce Manson to Melcher, who had assisted The Beach Boys on their Pet Sounds album.

The producer agreed to watch him perform at Spahn Ranch in May 1969 - but left unimpressed, declining to work with him.

After that, things quickly turned dark.

Manson became convinced that Armageddon was coming. He believed that the race riots of 1968 and the Black Panther movement were the start of a race war.

Increasingly paranoid, he gleaned what he believed were clues in the Biblical book of Revelation and the Beatles' White Album, in songs such as Piggies, Blackbirds and Helter Skelter.

He staged his killings to make it look like they had been committed by black militants, naming his plan Helter Skelter after Lennon and McCartney's song.

The first killing took place on 25 July 1969, when Manson sent three members of the Family to Hinman's house. After being held hostage for two days, Hinman was stabbed to death.

On 8 August, Manson sent four people to Melcher's house, with instructions to kill everyone they found. However, the producer had moved out, and film director Roman Polanski now had possession of the property.

The gang burst in and killed four people, including Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate.

Despite the horror of his crimes, Manson somehow became a celebrity. While on trial, he carved an X on his forehead and relished his role as an anti-hero, ranting for the cameras, making crazy demands and threats.

Marilyn Manson chose his stage name to reflect Charles Manson, while Kasabian are named after a member of the cult
While in custody, he asked Phil Kaufman, who he had met in a previous prison incident, to see that his music was released.

Unsurprisingly, no record label would touch the recordings - but Kaufman raised the money to get an LP pressed up, and it was distributed by Awareness Records, the same label that put out Bob Dylan's The Great White Wonder, widely considered to be rock's first bootleg.

The album was titled Lie: The Love and Terror Cult - a play on the Life Magazine cover of the same title from December 1969. In the 1970s and 80s, it became a collector's item in the punk and metal scenes - and it is now widely available on streaming services.

There's a morbid fascination with the recordings, and people search for clues to Manson's horrific crimes in the lyrics.


Such clues are few and far between - but his language paints an eerily accurate picture of the methods he used to manipulate the members of his cult.

"Think you're loving baby, but all you're doing is crying... Are those feelings real?" he sings on Look At Your Game Girl, which "embodies Manson's fundamental approach to influencing young women by targeting their socially imposed hang-ups and implying that his way is better and more liberating", wrote music critic Theodore Grenier.

The ominously-titled People Say I'm No Good, meanwhile, is little more than a rant about society's double standards, a theme that is echoed on Mechanical Man and Garbage Dump (which criticises food waste and advocates dumpster diving, years before it became a cause celebre).

So in the end, Manson's musical ambitions amounted to nothing more than a footnote.

And while the likes of Marilyn Manson (who named himself after the criminal) sought to associate themselves with his evil acts, others came to regret it.

Axl Rose, who wore a "Charlie Don't Surf" t-shirt featuring Manson's face on Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion tour, later sought to distance himself from the cult leader, donating profits from a cover of Look at Your Game, Girl to charity.

"I wore the t-shirt because a lot of people enjoy playing me as the bad guy and the crazy," he said in a statement. "Sorry, I'm not that guy. I'm nothing like him. There's a real difference in morals, values and ethics between Manson and myself ... He's a sick individual."

But perhaps the best response to Manson's musical aspirations came from Bono.

"This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles," he said, while introducing a live version of Helter Skelter on U2's Rattle and Hum.

"We're stealing it back."


125 comments:

Robert C said...

Manson's music was like his life -- edgy.

J Pinnacle said...

Kind of a bizarre article with little in the way of new information. There's a couple of rather obvious errors: the John Phillips quote had nothing to do with recording with Manson (he was talking about being invited over to Dennis's house to party with Charlie and the girls), and the famous bullet was not placed on Wilson's bed.

I know there's been various stories regarding how Dennis and Charlie met, but I've never heard that Gary Hinman put them in contact. Has this ever been mentioned elsewhere?

Also, Manson was a decent guitar player when he wanted to be. He was capable of using some sophisticated jazz guitar voicings as the "Contigo en la Distancia/ Shadow of Your Smile/ Girl from Iponema" medley on Psychedelic Sounds proves.

grimtraveller said...

J Pinnacle said...

I know there's been various stories regarding how Dennis and Charlie met, but I've never heard that Gary Hinman put them in contact. Has this ever been mentioned elsewhere?

Yeah, in Shreck's marathon tome, he writes that Manson and Wilson met at Gary Hinman's and then kind of implies that drugs may not have been the connection, but connections of a different kind.....

J Pinnacle said...

Ahh, okay. I've never been able to track down a copy of either edition of Shreck's book. The price tags I've seen are pretty steep.

grimtraveller said...

Steep but worth every penny/cent/kobo.

starviego said...



Here's another version of how Wilson and Manson first met:

"Manson In His Own Words" by Nuel Emmons
pg145
It was on one of those impromptu trips that I first met Dennis Wilson, the drummer for the Beach Boys. I had stopped by a friend's house in San Francisco to replenish my supply of grass. ...When I left I had Dennis' address and an invitation to stop by when I was in L.A.

starviego said...



Some other versions:


Steven Kay at Manson's 1992 parole hearing:
"Well, he met Gary Hinman, who was a rock musician. He met him at Dennis Wilson's house, the same place he met Tex Watson."


"Now Is The Only Thing That's Real" by Neil Sanders
Wilson first met Charlie at Gary Hinman's house, Wilson was buying drugs from Hinman.

starviego said...


Dianne Lake's version:

www.blogtalkradio.com/dan-zupansky1/2017/11/10/member-of-the-family-dianne-lake
39:10
Dennis Wilson picked up two Family girls hitchhiking and they took him to Spahn to meet Charlie.

Peter said...

Let's see ...

Neil Young says "Musically I thought he was very unique. I thought he really had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet."

But then again, some unknown music critic I’ve never heard of and who's LinkedIn profile picture looks like he's about 5 years removed from a child’s car safety seat says. "His guitar playing was basic, his lyrics disorganised, and his stylistic debt to The Beatles thinly disguised.”

Hmmm. Fucking superstar guitar hero rock legend …. Unknown twenty-something critic at some British rag. Mmmhmmm … mmmmyes …. I think I’m going to go with Neil this one time.

AstroCreep said...

His music sucked.

Had it not been for the girls, Dennis wouldn’t have ever let dirty little Charlie step foot in his house.

ColScott said...

The hitchhiking story is the accurate one

Astro Creep- the music is unexpectedly good. NOT great but good.

The irony is IF he had gotten a deal he would be a minor foot note today

joseph esposito said...

Bono sucks, and the writers of this article sound like they're [penis envious). Peter right! Astro creep wrong! Charlie wrote GREAT songs, and had a good voice. That's why people like Neil Young thought he had something. His guitar was weak, but his voice & songwriting was strong. I believe Paul Watkins actually said this.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

The irony is IF he had gotten a deal he would be a minor foot note today

I agree. Like many of his time and ilk, he "was only waiting for this moment to arise...."
One of the great things about the internet is that loads of obscure artists who, for a variety of reasons, weren't signed or didn't make it or were let go early by their label {or "label"} and/or were forced to make vanity/private pressings of their stuff have ended up sidestepping critics that could go a long way towards making or breaking an act with a complimentary or desultory review and the usual channels and have had their stuff preserved by someone. So there's lots of fantastic music out there to be had. Much of it is free so one doesn't have to worry about feeling guilty at acquiring old music and the artist losing out since most of the stuff was deleted 3-4 decades ago.
The critic that said "His guitar playing was basic, his lyrics disorganised, and his stylistic debt to The Beatles thinly disguised” rather misses the point if they're using that as a negative. Some of the best songs recorded over an 80 year period have basic guitar playing. Disorganized lyrics are a blessing to those that like stream of consciousness and improvisation and as for some measure of stylistic debt to the Beatles, that could apply to more artists {whether popular, well known, utterly obscure or forgotten} than many compilers of encyclopedias could include in an exhaustive volume.
If you like it, those aren't things to denigrate, they're simply elements that go some way towards making up the music. And truth be told, in '67/'68, Manson's way of making music was pretty unique. It actually was ahead of the curve in some respects. While it's true to say that he couldn't adapt to studio procedure, it's equally true to say that studio producers and some engineers hadn't yet developed the smarts to be able to record artists like him.
But, they were 'a coming....

Peter said...

And if you've ever listened to mid-1980s Grateful Dead, you have an idea of the power of LSD to make even the most gawdawful noodling seem amazing.

Matt said...

I attended hundreds of dead shows spanning decades. I enjoyed drums and space much more when I was stone cold sober.


Peter said...

Much more than zero. Nobody really "enjoyed" drums and space. Didn't somebody once describe it as sounding like "sneakers in the drier".

If the Dead could get thousands of middle class kids to follow them around the country to hear another version of Victim or the Crime, then what's two measly nights of grisly murder by comparison?

AstroCreep said...

There’s a difference between respecting someone’s ability to write a great song and liking the song. I respect Michael Jackson’s song writing ability but I don’t like his music. I respect and appreciate he’s connected sonically with so many people.

Similarly, I can’t stand Neil Young. He sounds whiney and annoying but I respect his ability to write music.

I don’t like Charlie’s music. It’s horrible. And more importantly, it was never good enough to be commercialized. Had he not been infamous for the murders, nobody would even know of or have heard of his music.

Matt said...

AstroCreep said...

Had he not been infamous for the murders, nobody would even know of or have heard of his music.


And the LIE album still never caught on...


ColScott said...

AstroCreep - you don't like Neil Young, so you should probably withhold your other foolish musical opinions. Just trying to help you out here.

AstroCreep said...

And despise the Grateful Dead which I’m sure is taboo here-

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

There’s a difference between respecting someone’s ability to write a great song and liking the song

Totally agree but I'd leave out the word 'great'. Many songs that are historically mooted as being great are a load of tosh to me ! And the vice is also versa.

I don’t like Charlie’s music. It’s horrible. And more importantly, it was never good enough to be commercialized

One could say that about the Velvet Underground.
However, whether or not any music sells in "respectable" quantities is down to so many different factors. "Good" is so subjective. Much of my music collection is made up of albums and singles by obscure artists that virtually no one I've come across has heard of but in my opinion, much of that stuff is every bit as good as the stuff by well known peoples.
I'm not a fan of Charlie's music but the bits of it I've heard are fair for the most part. My issue with the article is that the author's disdain for Charles Manson the paranoid, apocalyptic criminal gets in the way of any fair hearing of Manson the musician. Even allowing for the improvisational nature of his performing, how much of what came out was actually intended that way ? Judging artists by demos and half cocked recordings to which stuff has been added because the artist is dead or unavailable is just not cricket. If we gauged Bowie or the Beatles by their demos we'd probably not rate them. Some of the Beatles first takes are ever so boring and uninventive. If we took Bob Marley by his unadorned recordings that have surfaced since his death, we'd possibly conclude he was a monotonous one trick pony.
It's not so much that Manson's music was "not, it has to be said, very good", more that it was stillborn and never really had the chance to develop as so many others did.

Had he not been infamous for the murders, nobody would even know of or have heard of his music

Given the way so many obscure artists have come on the radar in the last 15 years that had basically been unknown for 40 years, He may well have been heard of eventually.
After all, Fuzzy Duck, Gracious, Totty, Help, Forever More, After The Fire, Friends, Dantalion's Chariot, Wits End, Liberation Suite, Aum, High Tide and a thousand others that "nobody" has "ever" heard of have had their music of a bygone era pitched out there and a small but interested band of listeners have picked up on them. I reckon Manson might have been one of them. A million seller ? No. Big amongst the young of the day ? No. Just another cat that never got beyond a cult following {no pun intended} and written up about on a few websites that deal with musical acts of limited interest from back then.

Claire Robinson said...

I’m really surprised at Mark Savage’s article...as far as I’m aware he is a highly respected BBC Music Reporter and has been for a long time. His research is so shoddy, with the article feeling rushed, and I say that as a novice within the whole Mansonology sphere. Manson’s guitarvolayibg was far from basic...and was t really only two days (although that is two days too long) that Hinman was held hostage?

What I don’t like is the heavy implication that Manson was seeking revenge on Melcher. Didn’t Manson know Melcher was by then living in Malibu?? No wonder so many people think the motive is Manson seeking revenge in the music industry and Melcher.

AstroCreep said...

You’re correct about demos to some degree- generally a producer is the person who helps make a good song, great. Many artists today release demo versions of songs as bonus content. In many cases, the songs are every bit as good, just of lesser quality in terms of the recording and clarity of the recording.

With today’s technology (like Pro Tools), pretty much anyone can make a great sounding recording.

My point about Charlie- I believe his appeal was greater than just his music. He had a collection of young women who followed and worshipped him. I think people like Dennis Wilson and Neil Young saw him for more than his songs. It’s why I stand by my original comment- that if it weren’t for the gaggle of young girls, he’d never have had access to Dennis Wilson’s house and further music opportunities.

Robert C said...

Come-on folks. Manson had no musical talent at all. It sounded like a funeral dirge in a horror movie. If he tried to play that shit publicly in the '50's he would have been shot. It was only good for sedating Manson for a few hours at a time by making noise instead of hurting people.

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

generally a producer is the person who helps make a good song, great

Sometimes. I think the team aspect of that finished piece of music that we listen to and love or hate or are indifferent to is really overlooked. So much goes into it and it's a real synergy.

Many artists today release demo versions of songs as bonus content. In many cases, the songs are every bit as good, just of lesser quality in terms of the recording and clarity of the recording

Sometimes. I must admit, the majority of demos I've heard just don't do it for me. Now, that may be because for years the actual song has insinuated itself into my consciousness, but I don't think it's that because there are a few demos I've heard, having known the actual song for eons, and liked. By the same token, I often don't like live versions of songs I know well, either.


My point about Charlie- I believe his appeal was greater than just his music. He had a collection of young women who followed and worshipped him. I think people like Dennis Wilson and Neil Young saw him for more than his songs. It’s why I stand by my original comment- that if it weren’t for the gaggle of young girls, he’d never have had access to Dennis Wilson’s house and further music opportunities

I'm not sure that would apply to Neil Young. But his appeal was obviously more than just his music. Which isn't vastly different from the way the industry was going at that point and now is.

Robert C said...

Manson had no musical talent at all

Almost anyone that can learn a musical instrument and write songs has got musical talent. One may not like their songs, but that doesn't take away from their talent. In our household, when we refer to a particular actor as someone that can't act, what we really mean is that their acting does nothing for us, not that they can't actually do the very thing they are actually doing.

It sounded like a funeral dirge in a horror movie

Ah, maybe. But that's not the easiest kind of music to write !

If he tried to play that shit publicly in the '50's he would have been shot

That argument could be made for a whole load of 60s musicians. And of course, the point is that it wasn't the 50s, it wasn't even the 60s but a particular and unique time in the 60s when there was so much openness and cross~pollination when it came to music, musical ideas and pushing boundaries that all kinds of arcane moves were at least being given an airing.

Sime's World said...

A far more substantial and insightful exposition of CM's music is to be found on the BBC radio documentary from 1994 "Cease To Exist" hosted by Bill Scanlon Murphy. Some interesting interviews as I recall - but can I find it online??? Very grateful to anyone who has it who can upload it for usu all to hear.

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/d3f90f3a93524f67ba5f996dc7af8a7d

Sime's World said...

Just sharing as I have always felt there's something quite Mansonesque/Family in her approach and delivery (IMHO). Topanga Canyon girl in 1969 too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXBd-SjQxpQ

prefeteria said...

I too don’t have much motivation to listen to Manson’s studio recordings but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see him playing, relaxed, doing his stream of consciousness thing in comfortable surroundings.

The Dead, at their best, were the aces of stream of consciousness rock improvisation. And they turned out some good tunes along the way.

I can do without Neil Young’s long guitar explorations. If you’ve ever been bludgeoned by a 25 minute Down By the River, you’d know what I mean. On the other hand there are times I can’t listen to the song Harvest Moon without getting choked up by the shear beauty.

J Pinnacle said...

I've always been a fan of Charlie's music, but clearly it's not for everybody. I tend to enjoy a lot of stuff in the 60s/70s "freak folk" vein such as Maitreya Kali, Ya Ho Wa 13, Essra Mohawk and so on, so Manson's stuff isn't too far off the mark. The Family Jams album is probably the best example.

Pertaining to the earlier conversation regarding the first Manson/Wilson meet-up, I agree with the Colonel that the hitchhiking story is likely the correct one. However has anybody ever picked up on this quote from Wilson in the Record Mirror article?

"We met two girls hitch-hiking. One of them was pregnant. We gave them a lift, and a purse was left in the car. About a month later, near Malibu, I saw the pregnant girl again, only this time she'd had her baby. I was overjoyed for her, and it was through her that I met all the other girls."

Wouldn't this firmly indicate that Mary was one of the two girls Dennis picked up? Valentine Michael was born April 18th, 1968 which fits the timeline perfectly, while I don't believe Ella Jo or Katie ever gave birth to a child during their family days.

Robert C said...

Grim said: "Almost anyone that can learn a musical instrument and write songs has got musical talent."

I can play many brass instruments, acoustic/electric acoustic and electric guitars, drums, keyboard/piano and a host of pipes/harmonica and ocarina but I have no real musical talent. It takes one to spot one.

Instrumental savant example short list; Mark Knopfler, Steven Stills, Stevie Ray Vaughn. Composer savant shortlist; McCartney/Lennon, Beethoven, Mozart. Many others. I could practice with my music for the rest of my life and not come close to any of them. I've already tried. There are a lot of natural musical talents out there and then there are many more of us who are, pun intended, second fiddle.

But I will confess I thought Grogan, when I first saw him play a little in the Hendrickson films, to have natural musical talent and then hearing him play more recently in those 'secret' recording captures reinforced it for me (but I'd need to hear more for complete confirmation). But he plays with a real ease on his Stratocaster that goes beyond training/practice.

starviego said...

Claire Robinson said...
"What I don’t like is the heavy implication that Manson was seeking revenge on Melcher."

That theory has never held a lot of water with me either.

Doug Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug Smith said...

Saw her mentioned in a cooments section around 10yrs ago accompanying an article on Nick Drake - who, incidentally, sold approx 20,000 copies of his LPs COMBINED during his lifetime.

The Stooges EPIC 1970 FUNHOUSE album had only sold 26,000 copies by 1983 and, 89,000 by 2003.

Commercial, influential, legendary and brilliant do not often hang out in the same playground...

Just sayin...


(Damn typos!)

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

I can play many brass instruments, acoustic/electric acoustic and electric guitars, drums, keyboard/piano and a host of pipes/harmonica and ocarina but I have no real musical talent

With all due respect Robert, that's bollocks !
There may be lots of people that can do things that you can't. There may be lots of people that have a natural ease about an instrument that you don't possess and that you would have to work at. But the fact that you have to work on your music doesn't mean no talent is there.
Actually, one of the truly interesting things about the popular music from the 60s on is how so many musical aggregations were made up of all kinds, the classically trained, the self taught, the formal, the uptight, the free spirits, the undisciplined, the technicians, the improvisers.....you'd get bands or session teams that included all types of musician at various times. It was that collision of backgrounds, styles and thoughts that made for so much fresh music, which for the last 40 or so years we've rather taken for granted.

Claire Robinson said...

What I don’t like is the heavy implication that Manson was seeking revenge on Melcher

I don't believe it was that but it is kind of plausible if one accepts that Charlie had a somewhat metaphysical element to his thinking. You know, when people do anything, there could be all kinds of things going on in their minds that no one could ever fathom unless it was explained to them. If you ever get a chance to read John Lennon's 1980 Playboy interview, pay particular attention to his explanation of what was in his mind when he wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever." After he finishes a long diatribe, the interviewer simply says "I'll never hear Strawberry Fields the same again" or words to that effect. Because you'd never have got much of what Lennon tells us just from listening to the song.
I've heard it suggested that Leslie was really attacking her Mum for her enforced abortion while stabbing Rosemary LaBianca. Who knows. Tex alludes to lashing out at "society" while on his murderous journey. Edmund Kemper could have been lashing out at his Mum while murdering the women he killed. There could easily have been a hit~back trail in Charlie's mind that included a whole host of people, Melcher included. We don't know either way.
But we're human and when pushed, somewhat warped and destructively inventive.

Robert C said...

Just to hi-jack the thread for a minute, the humorous LA mortician, Caitlin, has a quick youTube feature on the disposal of Manson's remains here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-pkNGdbJnc

I hope the link works.

OrangeSkies said...

Longtime lurker alert here. While I’m not a “fan” or “supporter” of Manson, I don’t think his music was so terrible, all things considered. Either way, it’s hard for me to view this writer as a realy authority on 60s/psychedelic music when he’s quoting Bono.

On a (somewhat) related note: I own a 45 rpm by a UK band called The Voice who were connected with The Process church in the 60s. I’ve always felt that their song titled “Train to Disaster” (with appropriately doomy lyrics) sounds like what I would have imagined the Family to be recording, rather than what you actually hear on “Lies”.

Matt said...

Welcome to the conversation, OrangeSkies.


sheisalocal said...

Long time lurker here. Probably read just about every post on here and tremendously enjoy all of the theories and insight. I, too found Charlie's music interesting, some songs more listenable than others. I would love some music recommendations for underrated or unknown 60s and 70s musicians. Also a little unrelated, has anyone read Miles Mathis' essay on TLB? It's a far out theory for one, and would love to discuss his kooky interpretation of those hot August nights.

Matt said...

Hi local,

We addressed it here:
http://www.mansonblog.com/2014/09/the-tate-murders-were-false-flag.html

Interesting maybe, but basically easily debunked conspiracy theory. Kinda like Schreck...


sheisalocal said...

Thanks Matt, I must have missed that one. I've read a few of his essays-always jumps to the conclusion that the assassination, murder, what have you was faked. Gets old after awhile.

Matt said...

Kinda like Breitbart ;)


GreenWhite said...

Mathis had me going for about fifteen seconds until I looked up the video of the police women at the courthouse and saw that they both indeed had their badge on their left breast as opposed to the reverse image jpeg he uses that shows the dark haired one, a dead ringer for my wife btw, with her badge on her right breast. And Patti and Sharon have different eyes. That filthy couch does look like they got it off a curb somewhere though.

OrangeSkies said...

Thank you

Suze said...

Robert C, that video was informative, entertaining and creepy all at the same time! It's weird getting chills and being nauseous while laughing. At. Work.

Robert C said...

Suze -- Caitlin Doughty is morbidly hilarious and she really is a trained mortician in LA.

She has a number of youTube posts but this one regarding Manson just came up recently on the 6th.

I assume/glad you enjoyed it.

I saved it to my 'Manson Files' !!!

christopher butche said...

Overkill murder frenzy aside I have often wondered how best Manson could have been nurtured and developed as a talent.

Beausoleil like many musicians around that time was up for purely improvisational playing. What he really appreciated in Manson was his ability to improvise lyrics. Occasionally together they would both be on point creating instant music together.

Obviously this is a selling point but you would have trouble booking Manson to play or tour according to a schedule. Ditto with recording.

You are left with a live act who probably has to be seen at home when the mood takes him. This apparently was what Melcher was attempting with the portable recording at Spahn.and the idea of making a documentary.

Criticising Melcher for dissing and short changing Manson seems to me to miss the point. He may well have been trying to solve the problem of how to capture the talent Manson had using an unorthodox approach.

Ideally Manson would have worked with Zappa and he could have edited and constructed recordings around Manson.

Manson did accuse Zappa of stealing from him. I can't see that musically but perhaps lyrically as Zappa had little interest in lyrics.

The other solution I imagine was to have Manson in residence at a venue with a kind of Andy Warham Exploding Plastic Inevitable multi - media event.

But would Manson have turned up every day at the required time? You can't rehearse the set but he would have to practise the technique and after so many years in prison he was quoted as saying the music industry was another prison. I'm not sure exactly what it was he expected from his contacts.

Perhaps a songwriter but then he got ripped off by Wilson and didn't appreciate them changing his song.

This brings us to the music as a ritual for re enforcing his will with the family through a shared experience of repetition.

Manson does of course rightfully enjoy outsider status. Someone whose art stands outside of the music industry and influences of others or financial concerns. An example being The Shaggs.

Matt said...

christopher butche said...

You are left with a live act who probably has to be seen at home when the mood takes him. This apparently was what Melcher was attempting with the portable recording at Spahn.and the idea of making a documentary.

Criticising Melcher for dissing and short changing Manson seems to me to miss the point. He may well have been trying to solve the problem of how to capture the talent Manson had using an unorthodox approach.


That's very insightful, and a part of me believes that indeed could have been the case.


J Pinnacle said...

>>sheisalocal said...
Long time lurker here. Probably read just about every post on here and tremendously enjoy all of the theories and insight. I, too found Charlie's music interesting, some songs more listenable than others. I would love some music recommendations for underrated or unknown 60s and 70s musicians.<<

Where do your tastes lie musically within the 60s/70s sphere? Lots of good recommendations in this thread so far for stuff with a Family-type vibe: The Voice, Linda Perhacs, Maitreya Kali, Ya Ho Wha 13. All should be easily available on YouTube.

Peter said...

I can't see Zappa tolerating Charlie at all. Charlie was a bean shooter and a con, Zappa is the real deal.

Peter said...

And if Charlie liked Zappa, he would have had the girls scrawl "Bow Tie Daddy" on the walls. And that just wouldn't have the same effect.

sheisalocal said...

I'd like to think Manson might have enjoyed Dinah Mo Hum

sheisalocal said...

Gosh that's a tough question because I'm willing to give any artist a shot. I'm particularly interested in music that came out of Laurel Canyon, especially Mamas and the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Flying Burrito Borthers, Blood Sweat and Tears. Love is a group I enjoy. I'm 27 and discovering much for the first time, so to speak.

Matt said...

As someone who knows Zappa's extended family a little bit I'll take an educated guess that he wouldn't have made it past wiping his feet on the welcome mat.

grimtraveller said...

christopher butche said...

have often wondered how best Manson could have been nurtured and developed as a talent

One wonders if he would have summoned the discipline to develop as a recording artist.
That said, Dylan carried an unorthodox and, for his musicians, sometimes disconcerting, approach to recording in the mid 60s. Takes of a song rarely were done the same way twice and sometimes he'd just change the key and on top of that, wouldn't even show the band how the song went, just expecting them to wing it and come up with magic. When it worked it was stupendous. What guys like Charlie needed in the studio was someone open and sympathetic to his off the cuff approach while still being technical enough to know how to capture sounds well. Sometimes, when a technician shows openness, they engender confidence and can slip in suggestions.
Even Syd Barrett and Skip Spence weren't impossible to record.

Criticising Melcher for dissing and short changing Manson seems to me to miss the point. He may well have been trying to solve the problem of how to capture the talent Manson had using an unorthodox approach

I think this is exactly what he was doing. The stuff in the studio with Gary Stromberg hadn't worked, the stuff with Dennis Wilson in the studios hadn't worked but a mobile truck, especially at that time, could be utilized to capture the Family in their natural habitat. It's ironic that that shambolic, seemingly "disorganized" form of song ended up on the Beatles' "Let it be" {the original intention when it was known as "Get Back" was a warts and all live recording with no overdubs} and on many records hence.

Ideally Manson would have worked with Zappa and he could have edited and constructed recordings around Manson

The thing with Zappa though, he was highly organized, even if some of his songs appeared to be wonderfully off the cuff. I'm not sure patience was Frank's strongest suit when it came to errant musicians in the studio.

he was quoted as saying the music industry was another prison. I'm not sure exactly what it was he expected from his contacts

In a way, it was Charlie all over. No one to tell him what to do but with little regard for the way things got done in the real world.
There have been mavericks in the music biz but most of them at least met their paymasters half way. Until of course, they were so huge and called the shots !

grimtraveller said...

Bono Vox said...

"This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles," he said, while introducing a live version of Helter Skelter on U2's Rattle and Hum.

"We're stealing it back"


I do love some of U2's early stuff.
But Bono didn't half say some daft things.

christopher butche said...

Manson did accuse Zappa of stealing from him

I've long found Charlie to be a fascinating character. But he didn't half say some daft things.

😀 😀 😀

David said...

Grim said:

"christopher butche said...

Criticising Melcher for dissing and short changing Manson seems to me to miss the point. He may well have been trying to solve the problem of how to capture the talent Manson had using an unorthodox approach

I think this is exactly what he was doing."

I believe the effort to capture Manson in his 'natural habitat' explains why Manson went to Esalan just before the murders, not for Gestalt therapy, yoga sessions or or a soak in the hot tub but to audition for the Big Sur Folk Festival. By June '69 it was known that the event would be filmed-Celebration at Big Sur.

Jakobson was the one who wanted to film Manson performing to capture the 'whole package'. That was the pitch he 'sold' to Melcher. Melcher didn't want to front the money and was unimpressed at Spahn.

Big Sur was free if he could get on the bill and the audience, by invitation only, might be right up Manson's alley. Unknown acts performed there every year. Nancy Carlen (organizer) either went to listen on a referral or invited them to audition. You didn't walk into Esalan for a soak by 1969. You had a reservation or an invitation or you didn't get in. A list within 6 degrees of Manson were, had been or were to be performers: CSNY (69), Cass Elliot (68), Van Dyke Parks (68), John Phillips (70) and the Beach Boys (70).

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Jakobson was the one who wanted to film Manson performing to capture the 'whole package'. That was the pitch he 'sold' to Melcher. Melcher didn't want to front the money and was unimpressed at Spahn

True, but Melcher came to hear/see Manson twice.

I believe the effort to capture Manson in his 'natural habitat' explains why Manson went to Esalan just before the murders....to audition for the Big Sur Folk Festival. By June '69 it was known that the event would be filmed-Celebration at Big Sur

Interesting. For where such a happening could lead.

louis365 said...

Matt....Why did you ban SusanAtkinsGonorrhea?

prefeteria said...

Zappa has the patience to deal with the mentally ill, such as Wildman Fischer, but would not have tolerated Manson and the drugs.

David said...

Grim,

“Twice” I recall only once. Help me here. I believe he testified to once.

creepycrawly34 said...

Look at your game girl is perfect. Absolute masterpiece that any songwriter would be proud to of written. Home is where your happy is great also. Charlie had a unique way with words and strong voice. His other works had occasional slight glimpses of greatness but were mostly rants.

creepycrawly34 said...

I think it was almost a miracle they got anything recorded of Syd Barrett.
From what I've read in the past from David Gilmour he would play something different every take or sing different lyrics over the track they were recording or completely change the time signature. The albums were great though. I get the feeling Barrett was purposely sabotaging his own recording sessions just fuckin' with everyone else involved to see how far they could take it?

J Pinnacle said...

>>sheisalocal said...
Gosh that's a tough question because I'm willing to give any artist a shot. I'm particularly interested in music that came out of Laurel Canyon, especially Mamas and the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Flying Burrito Borthers, Blood Sweat and Tears. Love is a group I enjoy. I'm 27 and discovering much for the first time, so to speak.<<

Good stuff, I'm a fan of all those groups as well. If you haven't checked these out yet, I'd highly recommend:

The United States of America - s/t
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEysecgCVr0

The Millennium - Begin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09QgHBEs6l0&list=PL94gOvpr5yt19hcfffNGC8d_DVjvVdHrR

J Pinnacle said...

>>creepycrawly34 said...
Look at your game girl is perfect. Absolute masterpiece that any songwriter would be proud to of written. Home is where your happy is great also. Charlie had a unique way with words and strong voice. His other works had occasional slight glimpses of greatness but were mostly rants.<<

Good call on "Look at Your Game, Girl". Give that song to a group like the Association or Harpers Bizarre, and with the right kind of sophisticated arrangement it might have been a hit.

David said...

J Pinnacle said:

"Good call on "Look at Your Game, Girl". Give that song to a group like the Association or Harpers Bizarre, and with the right kind of sophisticated arrangement it might have been a hit."

Interesting. Does anyone know if this song existed at the time of the Wilson Sessions? I admit I don't and if the answer is 'yes' I wonder, given this comment, why Desper et al didn't pick up on that especially since, IMO, Cease to Exist/ Never Learn Not to Love is crap.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

“Twice” I recall only once. Help me here. I believe he testified to once

From the Watson trial:
Bugliosi: And was it at Mr. Jacobson's suggestion that you went out to Spahn Ranch to audition Charles Manson?

Melcher: That is right

Q: So Mr. Jacobson told you about Charles Manson, the fact that he was an artist or he played the guitar and sang?

A: Right

Q: When you went out there in May of 1969 to the Spahn Ranch, were you with Mr. Jacobson?

A: Uh-huh, yes, I was

Q: Did Mr. Manson in fact perform for you?

A: Yes, he did

Q: Played the guitar?

A: Yes, he did

Q: Sang songs?

A: Yes

Q: Where did it take place?

A: It's hard to pin down. The buildings weren't really inhabitable, they were mostly living outside and it was in a, I suppose you might call it, a gully

Q: Behind the buildings?

A: Right

Q: After you listened to Mr. Manson sing and play his guitar, did you talk to Mr. Manson?

A: Briefly

Q: What did he say to you?

A: Not too much. He expressed a keen desire to record and I asked him a few basic questions; I gave him a few basic suggestions and found out that he wasn't in any union, like the AFL, which is a musician's union, or AFTRA, which is the vocalists' union; and therefore he couldn't really professionally record.
He told me that he didn't want to join those unions


Q: Did you give Mr. Manson any money?

A: I did, yeah

Q: How much?

A: I think it was $50

Q: Why did you give him the $50?

A: Well, they all seemed to be hungry

Q: When you say "all," whom are you referring to?

A: Well, there were maybe 30 people there

Q: Manson and several girls?

A: Well, just Manson and a lot of people

Q: When you heard Mr. Manson play the guitar and sing were you impressed with Mr. Manson as a singer and a guitarist?

A: No, I wasn't

Q: Did you end up recording Mr. Manson?

A: No, I didn't

Q : Did you convey the fact that you were not interested in Mr. Manson, did you convey this fact to Mr. Jacobson?

A: Yes, I did......I told Mr. Jacobson that the only way I could see Manson being recorded would be if someone with a remote recording unit were to bring it to the ranch, itself, because he wouldn't be allowed into a professional studio without union status; so I went back there with a friend named Mike Deasy and Jacobson, maybe three or four or five days later, a week later, I'm not certain

Q: You went back to Spahn Ranch?

A: Right; so that Mr. Deasy might have a chance to hear him sing and play

Q: Did Mr. Manson then perform for Mr. Deasy?

A: Right.

Q: In your presence?

A: Right

Q: And was Greg Jacobson also there?

A: Yes, sir.

grimtraveller said...

In her interview with Mike McGann in November '69, Leslie mentions Melcher and Deasy and seems to be under the impression Melcher came up more than once. Admittedly, Leslie lies all over the shop in the interview, but she also lands some of the murderers right in the shit {and tries to do so with Karate Dave} and spills the kind of info that, at least in retrospect, let the police know that the trail they were on was hotter than July. I find it an enthralling interview.

VAN HOUTEN: Well, Greg would come over to our house, you know, and go “Now, Terry Marshmallow ” I mean ~“Terry Melcher will come over and listen to you and I’m sure he’ll record you.” And, for months, Greg would come over and go: “Now, Terry Melcher’s coming over ~”

SERGEANT McGANN: Was this Greg a kind of a producer or a record man, or what? What did he do?

A: I don’t know really. I knew that he said he could get us recorded and that he had known one of the Beach Boys, or he knew one of the Beach Boys. And just from the way I gathered it, all in all, he was in the record business, but I don’t know actually what he did. I remember he was a lot of talk

Q: What’d he have to say? What were some of the things he said?

A: I love The eyes of the dreamer. “Oh, it’ll be a million seller. All of this ~ That’ll be a million seller as soon as I can get Terry Melcher to ~” You know ~ this and that. This and that. It was always: “Terry Melcher this” and “Terry Melcher that.” But, never…..He finally, after about three or four months, Terry Melcher came over. And then, he brought another guy with him. And then, they supposedly had some sort of an equipment by truck or something they were going to record it

Q: Who was this other guy? Do you remember his name?

A: No, I don’t remember

Q: Was he a singer of any magnitude or anything ?

A: His bag was having a recording studio inside of a truck.

Q: Oh, I see. So, he’d get out and [record] ?

A: Yeah, well, so that he could record in natural surroundings, or something. I don’t know. Get the echoes and all that stuff. And then, after that, neither of them were seen anymore. They didn’t come around

creepycrawly34 said...

I think it was almost a miracle they got anything recorded of Syd Barrett

Even on Floyd's first LP sessions, Norman Smith {the producer} says you'd never get the same performance from song to song from Syd. There's quite a bit of badly done editing on "The Piper at the gates of dawn."

I get the feeling Barrett was purposely sabotaging his own recording sessions just fuckin' with everyone else involved to see how far they could take it?

Apparently, when he and his mind left the music biz, he used to spend much time painting, in the seclusion of his Mum's place in Cambridge and when he'd finished the painting, he'd destroy it. Whether that's urban myth or actuality, I couldn't tell you.

J Pinnacle said...

Harpers Bizarre

When I was about 6, I used to hear their version of "59th Street Bridge Song" on this bizarre children's programme called "Zocko." It's the only thing I remember about Zocko, except that I used to watch it on Saturday mornings in 1969 or thereabouts. But their version was one of, if not the actual first song I ever heard that made me actually feel teary. It used to get to me emotionally, at such a young age. I didn't discover it was them till 3 years ago.

J Pinnacle said...

>>David said:

Interesting. Does anyone know if this song existed at the time of the Wilson Sessions? I admit I don't and if the answer is 'yes' I wonder, given this comment, why Desper et al didn't pick up on that especially since, IMO, Cease to Exist/ Never Learn Not to Love is crap.<<

I haven't been able to come by any hard evidence one way or the other as to what got recorded, but there do seem to have been at least two rounds of sessions held at Brian Wilson's studio: the first being in 1968 as recounted in Dianne Lake's book where Dennis and possibly Brian were present, and the second being weeks before the TLB murders with Steve Desper at the helm and no Beach Boys present.

There's a lot of historical gaps and misinformation out there regarding both Manson's music and the nature of his relationship with Dennis. (For example, the quotes I posted above that indicate that Mary Brunner was likely one of the two original hitchhikers Dennis picked up.) I've tried my hardest to track down as much information as I can regarding the sessions held at various recording studios in L.A., but due to Charlie not being in the musician's union, no info can be gleaned off of AFM sheets (musician logs that are typically used by researchers to track down data as to what sessions took place when and who played what).

That said, a nascent version of "Look at Your Game, Girl" was recorded at the 9/11/67 Universal studio sessions, so it certainly would have been a contender to be recorded at the Wilson studio.

Dan S said...

Long time lurker first time commenter. In my defense i just read helter skelter 6 months ago and didnt realize the controversy over the official narrative til i found the col's official blog while trying to read the paul watkins book for free (thanks, col!). Like grim i was never that interested in manson as i was the grotesque sex killers; but this story has so much depth compared to a simple masturbation torture murderer like david parker ray or randy kraft.
Anyway enuff about me; as for charlie, you know he would ve been a nightmare in the studio. Especially the old tape days. Poor guy had no real world experience with studio recording and there's a learning curve on how to organize and how to perform. When that tape starts rolling there is a lot of pressure. It would take an understanding engineer who was into it to capture a flighty bird like CM and a jaded pro like Melcher would not be impressed by charlie s endless improv creativity.
Nowadays you could set the recorder going indefinitely and capture the accidental magic. From his interviews you can see CM riffs off/with people extremely well.
The poston/watkins music from Manson (rip mr Hendrickson) is my favorite family jams .
(As a first timer I feel i gotta talk about the big topic Watson is the murderer and the answers lie with him. (tex tapes!) And the Kasabian Watson otherworldly sex dynamic raises my eyebrows. And the sadie tex speed stash against charlie's "orders" rules out complete submission and gives full head to watsons own stupid motivation. Have we ever established Charlie really tied up the Labiancas? That's crucial for me as far as his culpability. "Do what tex says" is not the same as "paint the walls with blood." I think Charlie didnt like any of the people he sent on missions. Maybe Mary but he was probably sick of her and remember my favorite part of HS when Charlie took great pains to let Bugliosi know he could pull hotter chicks)
D Wilson must ve gotten as many chicks as he wanted. Charlie must ve relieved the boredom. Didnt wilson meet him while wilson himself was hitchhiking and he got picked up by 2 of the girls? He was already slumming.

Matt said...

A warm welcome to the lurkers. It's better here than in the closet!

AstroCreep said...

As the Col is aware, a producers job is to, well... “produce”. These guys comb all kinds of places for material to develop, promote, sell, and ultimately make money off of.

While I can appreciate the Zappa and Barrett references, as per Grim’s testimonial comment, these guys didn’t find any musical genius in Charlie’s music. They weren’t attempting unconventional recording methods by letting the very expensive tape roll in order to capture some magic. Quite the opposite.

Most interesting and telling part of what Melcher said is that Charlie wouldn’t unionize- which is pretty much the way the artist is paid and works are protected. I’m not sure if those were free of charge back in the 1960’s, but BMI and ASCAP are free to join in 2018 and they are the industry leaders in music publishing today.

Given Charlie’s refusal to join, I have to question how BADLY Charlie really wanted to be a professional musician.

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

Lol. "Tex tapes" "Sex tapes". As Emily Litella would say "never mind."

"What's all this talk about sex tapes ..."

StillGrooving said...

Doug Smith said...
Saw her mentioned in a cooments section around 10yrs ago accompanying an article on Nick Drake - who, incidentally, sold approx 20,000 copies of his LPs COMBINED during his lifetime.

Nick Drake ... now THERE was a natural talent. Pink Moon is one of my all time favs.

StillGrooving said...

Dan S said "And the sadie tex speed stash against charlie's "orders" rules out complete submission and gives full head to watsons own stupid motivation."

You know, I never really thought of it this way, but that is a very good point. That Tex and Sadie hid their speed and used it despite Manson's orders to stay away from it is very telling. They obviously weren't totally submissive and obedient. They still had some free will.

Sime's World said...

A reminder re: the BBC Bill Scanlon-Murphy documentary from 1994. In there is the only (AFAIK) interview with Terry Melcher regarding the Manson scenario. He also has a long(ish) interview with Steve Desper. So.... if anyone has a link to it.... big thanks

David said...

Digression:

So much for the notion Mr. Freeman was not trying to profit from Manson's death.

http://www.miamiherald.com/article208668514.html


"The for-sale funeral pamphlets state that Manson was cremated and his ashes were spread "among the mountains" in Porterville, California, on March 17. A few days later, Freeman posted an image of one of the programs on Facebook and announced that he would begin selling them for $100 each."

Peter said...

At least we know for sure now that he's related to Charlie.

Matt said...

David, from what I’ve observed Freeman is not a man of means (by all means). It’s possible in my mind that he needs funds to cover Manson’s final expenses.


grimtraveller said...

Dan S said...

Like grim i was never that interested in manson as i was the grotesque sex killers

I know what that looks like it means Dan, but what does it mean ?
I have no recollection of ever saying such a thing or ever even thinking such a thing.

StillGrooving said...

That Tex and Sadie hid their speed and used it despite Manson's orders to stay away from it is very telling

To me, that falls into the same category of them having the "freedom" to leave the ranch.....and yet always returning.
That they had to hide their deeds from Charlie tells me exactly that they were in thrall to him.
But you know, being under someone else's domination does not mean your free will does not exist. Free will can range from nebulous to malleable.
At this point, I'm persuaded that Tex was clear in his mind when it came to murder. He may not, as he tries to explain after, have wanted to actually kill, but that's kind of neither here nor there because he did commit murder. His actions both before and directly after both murders show his mind was clear enough to be able to function quite normally.
I'm equally persuaded that never in a million years would he have just upped and committed those murders on his own, off his own bat. It needed his relationship with Charlie for that. Charlie helped shape the mindset.
Within that paradox lay the answers.

AstroCreep said...

a producers job is to, well... “produce”

There are quite a few different kinds of producer ranging from those that just make sure everything comes in on budget to the one that twiddles the knobs too, with other types like the ones that find the songs or write songs or play instruments or shape arrangements etc. It's actually such a wide ranging term that strict, definitive definitions are not easy to arrive at.

these guys didn’t find any musical genius in Charlie’s music

Well, no. They weren't the only ones ! But that's often a matter of personal taste as well as savvy in locating what will sell.

They weren’t attempting unconventional recording methods by letting the very expensive tape roll in order to capture some magic. Quite the opposite

Granted. But by that stage, certain producers were. Back then, there was a lot more freedom in making records. Artists were often given 3 or 4 chances at albums or singles before the label dropped them.

Given Charlie’s refusal to join, I have to question how BADLY Charlie really wanted to be a professional musician

One of the underlying foundations of the 60s milieu was swimming against the established tide. Not wanting to unionize in a biz that had so many of its artists espousing 'freedom' from strictures seems pretty consistent and logical to me.
Zappa tells the story of being amazed that, when he asked Paul McCartney if the Mothers of Invention could parody the Sgt Pepper sleeve for "We're only in it for the money" Macca said he had to ask EMI. He had thought the Beatles power at that point was unassailable and that a 'yes' from them was like a voice from Heaven. After all, they had changed studio procedure irrevocably by breaking many of the established rules.

David said...

Matt,

Yes, that is what he says on his Facebook page:

"I’m raising funds to take care of the funeral along with another arrangements, also giving each person a opportunity to own a piece of History."

But what are the "another arrangements". I assume he meant 'other'. 20k? From a funeral home that advertises at $2500-4900. Lawyers?

DebS said...

David, yes, probably lawyers plus air fare, hotel stays, food, car rental none of which are cheap in California. I believe he has been out to Cali from Florida more than once and he still has the hearing for the estate coming up. I think his wife was with him for the funeral, too, it all adds up.

Dan S said...

Grimbo, you did say in the past you were interested in other true crime serial killers and passed on the manson case. The interest in the sickest of the sick thats just me maybe. It's gonna be hard to find in the blog world but it's on this or the col's one. If you dont feel that way i'm not interested in if my memory is right or not. The main point is the endless depth of this case.
Tex doesnt like to be called tex so i ll call him stabby Tex. He was ripping people off on drug deals and leaving women behind like garbage. He wasnt there when lotsapoppa wuz shot, right? How much did he care about his woman collateral? He crashed the ferrari, right? (http://www.ferrari275gtbc.com/accident.html
I'm sure y'all have seem this article. Wilson (wilson watkins watson jeez) calls charlie their guru, dumb, and edifying all in the same paragraph.)
Didnt Charlie puke after thinking he killed a man? But supposedly he went for milkshakes after tying up some people for his pet alpha male to butcher.

Dan S said...

And thank you mr. Matt for the warm welcome. I ll try to stay on topic if i have anything useful to add now that i ve got off my pent up ejaculation

David said...

Grim said,

"David said...

“Twice” I recall only once. Help me here. I believe he testified to once"


Thanks Grim.

Doug Smith said...

Have you heard his mother's (Molly Drake) music...if not, check it out. Must've really influenced Nick

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said...

Grimbo, you did say in the past you were interested in other true crime serial killers and passed on the manson case. The interest in the sickest of the sick thats just me maybe

When it's come up in past threads about how we first got into the TLB case, I think I've said that I first came across it in 1977 a book that I bought for my sister called "Infamous Murders" {until 2 years ago, I thought it was "Infamous Murderers"} that involved lots of killers like Jack the Ripper, the Vampire of Dusseldorf, Dr Crippen, the Boston Strangler, George Haigh and Lizzy Borden, to name but a few. I didn't really take much notice of the TLB case even though it mentioned the Beatles {I was a Beatle nut at the time} and the other killers in the book were a lot more interesting to me. If I recall correctly, I probably said I was atheist at the time and so I wasn't particularly struck by some guy that thought he'd lived 2000 years ago !
Is that what you were referring to ?

He wasnt there when lotsapoppa wuz shot, right?

Well, that depends on whether or not you believe AC Fisher Aldag.
Speaking of Mr Poppa {Oh Irving !}, if you believe the Tex version, Charlie was in on the rip from the start.

How much did he care about his woman collateral?

Well, when people say he had sociopathic leanings, him leaving Rosina in the position he left her in is as good evidence as any I've come across. People talk of Charlie leaving his 3 co~defendants to fry in the gas chamber, but what Tex did with Rosina more than rivals that.

Doug Smith said...

Nick Drake

There's a very interesting section on him in Joe Boyd's {Pink Floyd's first producer} surprisingly excellent autobiography, "White Bicycles."

Matt said...

Ah, the The Vampire of Düsseldorf... Peter Kürten. Fascinating to me merely by the extent of his mental illnesses.

His final words before eagerly approaching the guillotine:

"Tell me... after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures."

If I had been there I would have said something like, "really, so tell me..."


orwhut said...

If anyone is interested, BookBub is selling the Kindle edition of "The Manson Women and Me" By Nikki Meredith today for $2.99. Other than being a member, I have no connection with BookBub.

Dan S said...

Sounds like albert fish saying death would be the ultimate thrill. He got to extend his execution because all the needles in his scrotum shorted the electric chair. Fish was a product of late 19th century institutions, learning his abhorrent behavior in the orphanage.
I just moved to sacramento (where was squeaky's house again?) and we had a vampire too. Incredibly gross mutilation murders, totally random; he d just try people's doors so i am always locking ours!
Someone talked about carol bundy as a friend of someone related to the manson case. I think the case of her partner Douglas Clark bears some real scrutiny. A guy who was convicted based on testimony of his lady "follower" and acted as his own attorney. There was a portfolio of photos with him with an underage girl which i believe was intended to be used to blackmail him. C bundy said he took her along when he picked up a prostitute and shot her in the head while she was giving him head. That story is unbelievable. D clark is surely a creep but i don't believe the official narrative in that one either.
C Bundy is tied to every piece of physical evidence from the box the head is found in to being the purchaser of the guns. She calls the police to try to incriminate clark. Shes got an axe to grind w the local lothario she decapitates in a copy of the poor innocent girl in the box. And she has an axe to grind w clark who s a POS. (piece of sh×t).
Best quote from that one, "At first i was turned of by the head, but then i learned to have fun with it."

DebS said...

Lynette and Sandy lived at 1725 P St. Not far away is Dorthea Puente's house where she killed and buried 7. 1426 F St.

CATSCRADLE77 said...

Advance copy of the Caitlin Rother Manson book for sale on ebay. Its not due out to June.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hunting-Charles-Manson-by-Lis-Wiehl-Caitlin-Rother-2018-ARC-Paperback/292517671698?hash=item441b697312:g:X94AAOSwo9Zawx5F

Matt said...

Yes, Albert Fish. Like Kürten, he would spontaneously climax during his murders. I'm not sure a human being can get much crazier than that.


Claire Robinson said...

Grim...I’m no fan girl usually but I’m in awe of your mind!! Your research is outstanding and I wish I had a fraction of your knowledge!! I get what you were saying before about cognitive dissonance!! I think almost all of the Family must have suffered from that particular disorder!!

Jenn said...

In my humble opinion, Manson wasn’t close to being a professional musician. His playing is ordinary, his singing is limited in style and range. He never got his guitar in tune, from the examples that I’ve heard. Are his lyrics interesting? A matter of taste, I suppose. He’s a nice little living room musician, and there is nothing wrong with that. We need more of those. But he’s not a pro.

That said, there were several poor musicians who got recorded in the 60s. Compare, for example, the guitar abilities of several “stars” with studio players like Laurence Juber or Tim Pierce. Not even close. That doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy their music.

I don’t believe that Manson would have made it as a recording artist, or even a weekend play-for-tips guy (again, nothing wrong with the later!)

Jenn

Bill Slocum said...

"Never Learn Not To Love" is a pretty solid bit of outsider pop to my ears, probably as close as Manson could have gotten to the mainstream. Manson was a weird guy, but not without an artistic sensibility that, however inaccessible in raw form, commands respect. I don't think he had an honest shot at success on his own, but filtered through the Beach Boys' sensibilities, he had something worth pursuing. The middle eight in the Boys' arrangement is quite effective. "Look After Your Game Girl" is likewise worthy in its lyrics and melody. I suspect Melcher thought so, too, before visiting Spahn Ranch himself and realizing the effort would be too much trouble for the result, which was scattershot at best. Manson lacked discipline, which nearly all good music needs to get through.

Manson's anger at the song's theft is actually something that makes warped sense. It was stolen from him, after all, with no credit given. So his one shot at fame got stolen from him, and to me, provides a credible motive by itself for the killings. I buy the revenge-on-Melcher idea not as something surgical, but Manson's rage at the theft spilling over into an act designed to inspire terror in the community from where Melcher came. Yes, he didn't live there anymore, but he was a member of the same aristocracy which did, and which hosed him after initial encouragement.

I see Manson using the "Helter Skelter" idea to move his minions, but not his own motive. In interviews like the one with Diane Sawyer, he references "Cease To Exist/Never Learn Not To Love" in ways that showcase a deep, continued resentment, though Manson, being proud, always made it more about the lyrics change than the lack of credit. (To be fair, that was quite the lyrical leap, and the song's most glaring weakness in its final form.) If Manson did get a co-credit on the song, would any of the murders later that year have ever happened? I know there are a lot of competing theories on the matter; my answer is a simple no.

Robert C said...

I agree with Jenn. My own addition - sometimes this 'Manson Music Savant" gets played up as his one chance to 'be a contenda' implying justifiable rage and murder. But there was little there beyond the 10 or 12 strumming chords millions learned in school and his heartfelt misogynist lyrics.

Dan S said...

Yeah the Melcher house is too much of a coincidence. Manson tells tex "you owe me one"and charlie himself is probably amazed the dumbass did it. Like telling someone to jump off a bridge and they do it. I guess charlie didnt realize the strength of stabby's agreement. Copycat nay, drug burn, nah. My guess is resentment laced with random idiocy and speed. Dont look for logic; people do really dumb things, especially people named sadie mae gulch.
Or maybe it was cia acid mind control gone horribly right.

Dan S said...

Neil muther f in Young was impressed. Not to mention brian Wilson's cousin or brother or wutever.

Dan S said...

Now if only angus young had played a charlie song, then he d ve had me!

Dan S said...

Wow! Im at grocery outlet and i got time to kill so i google 1725 p street. It's only 400 feet away! If yer in hollywood monday may 7th my band Hell on Wheels is playing the Rainbow bar and grill. I m the drummer. The sound in there is awful but we should have some dancers to look at and i d love to meet y'all

AstroCreep said...

Bill Slocum-

I have a hard time following the logic behind Charlie’s intense anger at his song being stolen. Dennis Wilson stated that he likely dropped 100K supporting Charlie and the family while they squatted in his house. Any royalty Charlie would have been due, wouldn’t have scratched the surface of the 100K he owed (not in a literal sense) Dennis Wilson. On top of which, his refusal to join the artist union made it impossible to collect any royalties due. Blame yourself? No. Blame someone else? Yes.

In my mind, Charlie was a greedy, self victimizing, narcissistic, two bit con artist who preyed on young mostly underage women. The music thing was a part of his schtick and was one of the tools he used to lure chicks.

One thing cons all share and that is their use of other people to make themselves credible. Charlie lost any (music) credibility he had when Dennis gave his dirty little ass the boot. I believe THAT is what he was so angry about.

Matt said...

Dan S said...

Tex doesnt like to be called tex so i ll call him stabby Tex.


I bet you wouldnt say that to Stabby the Llama...


brownrice said...

Fascinating thread, lots of interesting comments. Big ups on Nick Drake & the Dead's Drum Space. As far as Charlie's non-success in the late '60s LA music industry goes, I've always felt that his biggest problem was that his better, more crafted songs (Look At Your Game Girl etc) would've been more at home in the late 50s or early 60s and as such were pretty out-dated & unfashionable by the time he was being recorded. They probably could've cut it with the older audiences at the time but not with the contemporary rock audience. His image was hip but his music wasn't. Conversely, I've always had a soft spot for the chaotic madness of "Mechanical Man" & "Ol' Ego Is A Too Much Thing"... those tracks sorta sounds like what you'd expect from "The Family" based on their notoriety after the murders.

Bill Slocum said...

Astrocreep said...

One thing cons all share and that is their use of other people to make themselves credible. Charlie lost any (music) credibility he had when Dennis gave his dirty little ass the boot. I believe THAT is what he was so angry about.


Manson was a con, but I think he believed he had real talent that was exploited by Dennis Wilson and his people. Dennis did wind up giving Manson's musical credibility a boost by taking "Cease To Exist," giving it a new lyrics and bridge, and passing it off as his own. So he did get validation, albeit only he and his crowd knew. It must have burned.

It's true that Manson was well paid. I don't think it was as much as $100,000 unless prior property damage counts as payment, but he got to live rent-free in a nice place and got a lot of access to the things he loved, drugs and cars. But not getting credit or co-credit on that Beach Boys song must have ticked him off. Like you say, his case as victim is compromised since Manson wouldn't join a union or play well with others. But it's Manson logic. Someone burns you, hurt him. If he's out of reach, hurt someone who isn't.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Charlie's songs may have been commercially viable ..... in someone else's hands. Him singing and playing his own compositions, with his limited voice and playing was a non-starter.

GreenWhite said...

RiP, Art Bell. His Bug interview on Somewhere in Time got me sliding down this rabbit hole back in the day.

Dan S said...

I might if i was up a tree!

Dan S said...

Grim, i had a similar experience as a college freshman in 1992 with issue number 2 of jim goad's Answer Me article entitled "Night of 100 Mass Murderer Serial Killer Stars" ; btw there was a couple making out on Squeaky's old doorstep last night.

Dan S said...

As per brownrice's comment, Charlie always said in interviews he was a 50s product and was into bing crosby not the beatles

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said...

Charlie always said in interviews he was a 50s product and was into bing crosby not the beatles

That doesn't mean he didn't like or wasn't influenced by them. McCartney liked old time music too, as did Lennon.
Anyway, Charlie can't get away with that; in his pre~trial Rolling Stone interview, when he's asked "Can you explain the prophecies you found in the Beatles' double album?" he replies, most revealingly, "OK. Give me the names of four songs on the album."

I call it revealing because the clear implication is that the interviewer could have picked any 4 songs and Charlie could have explained them. There are 30 songs on that album ! Pretty alchemical for someone not into their music.
On top of that, lots of artists that played different kinds of music in the 60s were influenced by the Beatles ~ and it doesn't show in their music. Influence often goes well beyond simply 'aping' the music of person you're influenced by.

Matt said...

Grim, check your hotmail account...


Dan S said...

True, grim. Charlie is full of s. l ron hubbard 's Mission Earth was hilarioous.

william marshall said...

Discogs.com is selling a original 1970 pressing of the Lie album for $450.00

Doug Smith said...

Murdered NBA player Lorenzen Wright also appears to be selling a copy...hmmmmm

Mr. Humphrat said...

I do think Charlie's 'Cease To Exist' recording is compelling while the Beach Boys cover is tepid and Dennis Wilson's high notes are painful.

Unknown said...

Anyone with genuine Manson memorabilia interested in a possible trade for my copy of the Manson file can email me at williammarshall672@gmail.com

Peter said...

I have Sharon Tate's unborn child preserved in an old pickle jar.

Serious collectors only.

Mr. Humphrat said...

:(

Peter said...

I know it's tasteless but it illustrates what kind of a morbid fetish it is.

Mr. Humphrat said...

that's true

biglittlepatty said...

I agree colscott.. mostly..I think it's annoying to read most of the crap responses and yet I do anyhow with a jaded perspective anyhow.

grimtraveller said...

biglittlepatty, can you explain that ? The first bit, not the second. It's hard to know what you agreed with ColScott about and what were the crap responses in your view.

Doug Smith said...

I had been wracking my brain for months since you'd mentioned the Voice cuz I was trying to recall backstory on their members and how this excellent piece of UK Freakbeat seemed so familiar to me (had it on a mid-80's cassette with stuff like the Cherry Slush, the Other Half, the Action, Misunderstood, Painted Ship and Electric Prunes)...
It finally dawned on me tonight - the most excellent guitarist on this 7" (Miller Henderson?) left shortly after this was released as the Process was interfering (threatening?) his relationship w/his wife. His replacement? They broke up soon after this was released anyways...but, it was MICK RONSON from Hull. Mick would go onto some rather big things afterward.

Found THIS tonight online -

"In London, Mick took a part time job as a mechanic, and before long teamed up with a band called The Voice. Mick was replacing Miller Anderson as lead guitarist, and the two alternated sets for a few gigs while Ronson learned the group's material. The Voice were backed by a religious cult called The Process, a splinter group of the C hurch of S cientology, which had apparently tried to split Miller Anderson from his wife. The cult was run by Robert DeGrinston-Moore and his wife Mary Anne, and American who had previosuly been married to boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Mick was soon joined in The Voice by Crestas drummer Dave Bradfield, who made the trip down to London when the group's drummer left"

Cheers

Doug Smith said...

"After playing just a few dates with the group, Mick and Dave returned from Hull one weekend to find their gear outside their flat and a note explaining that the Process had gone to the Bahamas."

https://youtu.be/oaWklbcOz5c