Monday, June 18, 2018

The Curse of the "Incubus"

The 60's movie, Incubus, has a curse attached to it. Bad things have happened to a large percentage of people associated with it. It also has a connection to the Tate murders. In a weird twist of fate the director Leslie Stevens was one degree of separation from yours truly.

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The YouTube movie is here (embed feature disabled)

In the obscure '60s art-horror film, William Shatner is terrorized by murderous sea creatures. What happened off-screen was worse.

The story of "Incubus," the 1960s cult horror film, is bad enough. It's about a beautiful succubus who lures corrupt men to the sea, where she steps on their heads -- and drowns them.

Finding that almost too easy, she decides to seduce a morally upright soldier. But they fall in love. Her succubus sister summons their leader, the Incubus, from his underground lair. He gets back at the soldier by violating his virginal sister and then tries to murder him.

And if that doesn't put the chill in your bones, it gets worse: "Incubus" stars William Shatner. And the whole thing is done in Esperanto.

"Incubus," directed by "The Outer Limits" creator Leslie Stevens, made a minor splash on the underground film scene right after its release in 1966. Few know, however, that the real-life story of the film and its aftermath rivals the on-screen horror. Murder, suicide and kidnapping, for a start. And the movie itself, decades later, seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth.

"Who knows if there's a curse or not," says Tony Taylor, the movie s producer, "but a lot of stuff happened to a lot of people."
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"Incubus" is set in a small village during a lunar eclipse and shot in black and white, which gives it a timeless, otherworldly atmosphere. It was filmed by cinematographer Conrad Hall, who remembers the Big Sur, Calif., setting as "a windswept forest of eucalyptus trees with gnarled limbs that looked like monsters frowning down on you." (Hall, who won an Oscar for his work on "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," took home another in March for "American Beauty.")


"Incubus" is the only known film in which the characters speak entirely in Esperanto -- the made-up universal language created in 1887 by Ludovic Zamenhof using characteristics from a variety of the world's languages. (The film was subtitled in English.) "I never liked the idea of seeing World War II movies where the Germans and Japanese characters spoke English," explains Taylor. "I thought the idea of having devils and demons speak English was a similar thing. Also, we thought it would help get us into the art houses."

The thought of watching a stiff, pre-"Star Trek" Shatner speaking a fake language with spooky music in the background may sound like hell on earth. In fact, the film is engaging, and has more in common with Ingmar Bergman than Wes Craven.

Hall's inventive cinematography, the Esperanto dialogue and the rough-hewn setting work together to give the film a timeless, otherworldly quality. (The village where it's set is called Nomen Tuum -- "An Unknown Time.")

Its brief but thorough examination of purity and corruption is also clever, particularly when the young succubus is complaining to her older sister that she d prefer more challenging work. "I'm weary of luring evil, ugly souls into the pit," she says. "They'll find their own way down to the sewers of hell."

The older sister replies, deadpan, "When wheat ripens, someone has to harvest it."

Then there's the scene where the Incubus tries to lure his wayward succubus away from Shatner at the entrance to the church. When she makes the sign of the cross in defense, the Incubus suddenly becomes an extraordinarily ugly, screaming black goat who commences to ravish her.

But nothing audiences saw on the screen approached the horrors that would be visited on its makers in the time after its release.
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The film was invited to several film festivals, which gave it rave reviews. The program for the 1966 San Francisco Film Festival of that year describes the scene in which the Incubus emerges from underground as "one of the most splendid pieces of horror since the late James Whale conceived the idea of Frankenstein s electronic monster." But all the producers could notice were the gruesome fates that befell their comrades.

The Incubus -- a lumbering, craggy-faced giant -- was played by Milos Milos, a buff actor from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, who'd spent some time as a stand-in for decadent French superstar Alain Delon. At the time, he was dating Barbara Ann Thompson Rooney, Mickey Rooney s estranged fifth wife. In 1966, Milos murdered her, and then shot himself.

In the film, Shatner's virginal sister, whom the Incubus violates, was played by Ann Atmar, a sometime girlie-magazine model. She committed suicide a few weeks after the film wrapped up.

A few years after the film was released, the daughter of the woman who played the elder sister succubus, Eloise Hardt, was kidnapped from her Los Angeles driveway and murdered. Her body was discovered a few weeks later in the Hollywood Hills.

Those were the most gory manifestations of the "Incubus" curse. But there were others: Director Stevens production company, Daystar, went belly up not long after the movie was released. (He ended up marrying Allyson Ames, who played the young succubus. The couple later divorced. Stevens passed away from complications of a blood clot on the heart in 1998.)

Even the film's premiere at the San Francisco Film Festival turned into a disaster. The brand-new print of the film turned out to be missing its soundtrack. Taylor, tipsy from a pre-screening reception, had to scramble to find another print while the audience waited for nearly an hour.

And there were other, more remote but still eerie events. Special guests of that premiere were director Roman Polanski and his date, actress Sharon Tate, who would be killed in the Manson "family" rampage in 1969.

And in the 1970s the film's music editor -- Dominic Frontiere, one-time husband of St. Louis Rams owner Georgia Frontiere -- landed in prison for scalping thousands of Super Bowl tickets. ("That's pretty amazing for someone who had gone to Juilliard," says Taylor.)

The tragedies seemed to center primarily around the actors who played the film's various incubi and succubi. Others involved with the film seem to have escaped the curse.

Shatner went on to land "Star Trek," record his infamous rendition of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and torture the world with his Priceline.com ads.

Assistant cinematographer William A. Fraker was nominated for five Oscars between 1977 and 1985, for "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," "Heaven Can Wait," "1941," "War Games" and "Murphy's Romance."

And cinematographer Hall went on to acclaim as well. "If there is a curse, it could work both ways, because I was very much a part of that project," he says now. "My curse has been to win two Oscars and to have three grandchildren and a wonderful life."

The film itself never really had much of a commercial life. Today, it's not even mentioned in the Leonard Maltin or Videohound movie guides.

France loved it. Paris Match called it the best fantasy film since "Nosferatu." It also did well at foreign film festivals. "I thought I was home-free -- that it would translate into something big here," says Taylor.

"I went around and showed it to exhibitors and distributors. They would look at it and realize they enjoyed it and it was a good film. Shatner was well thought of, and so was Leslie. So they took the thing seriously. Everyone liked it but had no concept of what to do with it. It was like an actor with talent, only no one knows what to put them in.

"At that time, there weren't videos. Getting a low-budget movie into theaters was an incredibly difficult thing, unless it was a drive-in or X-rated. There weren't many American films being shown in the art houses at that time, and getting into mainstream theaters against the majors was nigh impossible."

By 1968, "Incubus" had hit a brick wall. "Leslie and I decided we would shoot a scene with naked women in it and change it all around," says Taylor. "We were going to lose the Esperanto. Bill was going to do the narration. We shot some parts in Technicolor. But it was pretty obvious that it just didn't work. We looked at it and realized it just wasn't there, and put the stuff back in the lab."

In the early 1970s, Taylor moved up the coast to San Luis Obispo to raise avocados with a girlfriend. She skipped out a few weeks later. Taylor, who has never married, stayed put. "If I hadn't done that you wouldn't be talking to me now," he says. "I'd be long gone like most of my friends are."

In the early 1980s, he sold the farm. "It's all been downhill since then," he says, laughing. "I had an auto accident, and then I recuperated. Then I lived in Mexico, Palm Springs [Calif.] and Taos, N.M. I was looking for something, I guess. It was a feeble attempt to find some meaning in all this before it got too late."

He ended up not far from his old avocado farm, and in 1993 decided to look into putting the film on video. "I don't know why I was thinking of it," he says. He called the lab and learned that the film had been lost.

The curse again.
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"I've had stuff disappear from the lab before, and the thing about it is, it s usually a conspiracy," says Hall. "Things don t just disappear."

Taylor agrees. "It isn't like storing it in your garage. That's what they do. They have vaults and vault custodians and they guard film negatives. And this was really a lot of stuff."

He sued the company for damages and won, and resigned himself to never seeing "Incubus" again. "But the nature of the curse is that you cannot kill this film," he says. In 1996 a friend, Hollywood agent Howard Rubin, called and said he d found a print at the Cinimathhque Frangaise in Paris. Taylor was shocked.

"It turns out they had been running it for 30 years to packed audiences," he says. "I had no idea."

But he still wasn't home-free. "I thought that, as the copyright owner and producer, I could tell them, send the print over here and I'll borrow it and send it back to you," he says.

Instead, he had to negotiate with the organization, which dragged its feet for a year. "They acted like I wanted to go into their archives and smoke crack in the vault," says Taylor. Finally, the UCLA Film Archive contacted the Cinimathhque on his behalf, and it sent a print to be copied at a French lab.

But that still wasn't the end of it. "The lab called to tell me the perforations were messed up," he says. "I had to make optical negatives and redo [the] whole thing. I went back and forth for a long time, sending faxes and wiring money.

"Then one day Fed Ex showed up with a bunch of large cans of film. I had no idea if it was a film you could see or if it would be all scratched."

That was in the summer of 1998. He and two restoration consultants brought the film to a lab in Los Angeles. "I was surprised at how good it looked," says Taylor. "It was a lot better film than I remembered."

Taylor cleaned out his savings restoring the film. The French version had French subtitles; he had to pay to have English subtitles put on over the French ones. He was able to consult the only remaining version of the script, which he'd had bound in leather back in 1965. "I'd expected to have 45 of [the scripts] lined up in my office," he says. It was prohibitively expensive to remove the French subtitles. "It'd be nice if they weren t there, but I was happy to get anything," he says.

He sold the French rights to a large French company, and is purveying the video out of his house, where he divides his time between "talking to Academy Award nominees and schlepping stuff to the post office." (The video is available through Taylor's Web site.)

He can't afford to release the film theatrically. But later this year Taylor will offer the film on DVD, complete with an introduction by cinematographer Hall.

"When someone hears that it's black and white and 35 years old, they think it's going to look like some World War I newsreel," says Taylor. "Then they hear it's in a foreign language and think they're in for a root canal or something. They're usually pleasantly surprised.

"But I don't think I'll make another movie in Esperanto."
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So was there really a curse?

If there was, Taylor s own scourge has finally been removed. Picking up where he left off 30 years ago, he recently optioned a screenplay for "a rock 'n' roll story" by Jake Records head John Hartmann. Graham Nash has signed on to do the music, and production starts next year.

"There s somebody who hasn t been cursed, and that s the star," says Hall. Shatner "goes on and on, doing better and better. If Tony wanted to remake it, he could still play himself -- just play him older. Play everybody a little older. Maybe that s what Tony ought to do, to take out the curse.

"I ve had misfortunes, too," Hall adds. "But I don t believe that s part of any curse. That s just due to my own bad judgment."


Original article HERE



65 comments:

brownrice said...

Fantastic post, Matt... thanks. You've hooked me, I've gotta watch it.

Deborah Sullivan said...

I've ended up at this blog several times over the past few years when searching something pertaining to the murders. Most times I've left right away after seeing your sidebar area and reading a paragraph or two. Why,you may ask?. Because I can't help but feel dirty,disgusting and somehow violated by this site that is FINALLY completely obvious as a fan site for manson and his oh so psycho (but probably only at that time?) " family ".. I just read a bunch of crap about what ever happened to Sharon Tate's baby. He was buried in her arms in her casket. Which btw she and that baby were only in there because of what tex watson and susan atkins↔rest in hell bitch!) and krenwinkle did to her!.
How could you or anyone pick apart the articles plus the words or Colonel P.J.Tate,looking for a way to inject your own crazy ideas,into the mix and make them believable, such as **It NEVER HAPPENED OR WASN'T AS BAD AS THE WORLD THINKS?!**.

You probably believe the Holocaust never really happened!.
I don't understand why you would say anything even remotely kind about any of the victims. You wrote a pretty decent article on Steve Parent,but I don't believe it was solely for Steve's memory. No, you wanted to bring attention to something or someone else. Just don't know who,or what or why. This is a manson fansite!. How sick!

brownrice said...

I dunno about you Ms Sullivan but I'm more of a Bill Shattner fan than anything else... truly one of the THE great ignored song stylists of the 20th century.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hARDXYz2io

Matt said...

Deborah Sullivan said...
this site that is FINALLY completely obvious as a fan site for manson and his oh so psycho (but probably only at that time?) " family


Deborah, if that's what you believe, then I must call your reading comprehension into question.


DebS said...

Eloise Hardt, who played the elder sister in the movie, did have a daughter who was murdered. Her name was Marina Habe and she was off and on, depending on who was speculating, believed to be a Manson Family victim.

Orwhut said...

Esperanto. I usually have to ask myself whether that's a language or a city in Canada.

Orwhut said...

Deb,
Fantastic info on Marina's sister! That's the kind of thing you always know.

DebS said...

Here's a relatively recent article about Marina Habe and a Manson connection. The article also tries to tie Marina's murder to that of Reet Jurvetson, which is more believable than a Manson connection to either murder.

https://soapboxie.com/government/manson-connection-marina-habe-and-reet-jurvetson-murders

Peter said...

What's the ugliest part of your body?
Some say your nose.
Some say your toes.
I think it's your mind.

grimtraveller said...

Deborah Sullivan said...

I can't help but feel dirty,disgusting and somehow violated by this site that is FINALLY completely obvious as a fan site for manson and his oh so psycho (but probably only at that time?) "family"

Some people like to discuss world war 2, some people like to discuss the British empire, some people like to discuss slavery, apartheid and colonialism, some like to discuss the world cup, some like to discuss crime in general.....discussing a topic doesn't make one a fan of any or some or all of the protagonists.

I just read a bunch of crap about what ever happened to Sharon Tate's baby.....How could you or anyone pick apart the articles plus the words or Colonel P.J.Tate,looking for a way to inject your own crazy ideas,into the mix and make them believable, such as **It NEVER HAPPENED

Because few things are that straightforward. In this case, much research since the trials ended have brought up all kinds of interesting questions that show that things are not always as they seem.
As for the specific thread you mentioned, I think you'll find that the overwhelming consensus was that the idea put forward was bollocks and the writer of the post admitted they were a conspiratorial kind of person.

You probably believe the Holocaust never really happened!

There have been a few that believe that. Very much the minority, I'm glad to say.

This is a manson fansite! How sick!

It's not. None of the main TLB sites could be even stretchingly described as fan sites. Finding things fascinating about nasty people and pointing them out doesn't make one a fan. It just means not being closed minded. Putting it the other way, to be a fan of the case is not to be a fan of any particular person involved in the case.

Doug Smith said...

Easy compadre ;-)
Hoser over here

Carlos said...

brownrice said...

truly one of the THE great ignored song stylists of the 20th century.

I’ll bet Shatner doing Mechanical Man or Garbage Dump would be truly stunning.

David said...

Deborah Sullivan said: "You wrote a pretty decent article on Steve Parent,but I don't believe it was solely for Steve's memory. No, you wanted to bring attention to something or someone else."

I think that is directed at the post I wrote a while back.

Anyone who thinks there was a hidden agenda in connection with that post suffers from the reading comprehension issue identified by Matt.

Lurk a little longer and then chime in and tell me what the hidden agenda is in the next remember the victims post I write.

Good response, Grim.

starviego said...

Deborah Sullivan said...
... I can't help but feel dirty,disgusting and somehow violated by this site...

Me too. That's why I keep coming back.

Orwhut said...

Deb,
Thanks for the link. Marina and Reet were very pretty.

brownrice said...

Carlos said...
I’ll bet Shatner doing Mechanical Man or Garbage Dump would be truly stunning.


NOW you're talking! :-)

GreenWhite said...

That's neither skilled nor interesting trolling, "Deborah."

Torque said...

Hello Matt and All,
Although I don't have a comment on the above post, I do have several questions that I would like to post. If these have been addressed on this blog, please could you direct me to the appropriate posts. If not, I'd very much appreciate responses to the following:

1) Per pg. 60 of Helter Skelter, investigators learned that Voytek and Gibby, on their cross-country trip from NY to LA, stopped for an extended time in Irving,Texas. Is there a source for this?
2) How exactly did Gibby and Voytek locate the house they lived in on Woodstock Drive in LA, which was across the street from Mama Cass' house?
3) In the CieloDrive.com audio archives of Billy Doyle, Doyle indicated that Voytek had a "working paper". Is the subject of that paper known?
4) What is known, if anything, about the final disposition of personal belongings of individuals at both Cielo and Woodstock, including vehicles? (I have learned that Rudi Altobelli kept the American flag draped over the couch at Cielo).
5) Are Harrigan, Doyle, Charles Tacot, Billy Rinehart or Ben Carruthers still alive, and has any independent researchers attempted to interview them?
6) What is known about Voytek prior to coming to America? What were the circumstances for his arrival in this country? Did Voytek know Billy Doyle or Pic Dawson prior to his NY to LA roadtrip?
7) Was the stereo playing in the living room at Cielo where Voytek was sleeping, as the intruders entered?
8) What more, if anything, has been learned about the eyeglasses and knife found at Cielo, which were free of fingerprints?
9) Were the lights indeed turned off at Cielo inside the house during the crime. To be sure, is it not the case the the police found the hallway light to the bedrooms and a desk lamp to be on the next morning?

Many thanks in advance to all who can generate more discussion on these questions.

Carlos said...

Torque said...

3) In the CieloDrive.com audio archives of Billy Doyle, Doyle indicated that Voytek had a "working paper". Is the subject of that paper known?

FWIW, I have always interpreted that statement to refer to the necessary legal documents to be legally employed in the US, not some sort of manuscript.

starviego said...


Torque said...
8) What more, if anything, has been learned about the eyeglasses and knife found at Cielo, which were free of fingerprints?

The eyeglasses are a mystery, though Susan Atkins once suggested they were brought to the scene as a diversion. The buckknife found in the sofa cushions is thought to have been accidentally left at the scene by Susan Atkins.

starviego said...

Carlos said...
"FWIW, I have always interpreted that statement to refer to the necessary legal documents to be legally employed in the US, not some sort of manuscript."

I wonder if the papers were up-to-date. At the time of TLB his friend Witold K was an illegal alien.

Tim A. said...

Starviego said... "Me too, that's why I keep coming back."
Deadpan delivery spot-on

Grim said... "to be a fan of the case is not to be a fan of any
particular person involved in the case."
Perfect response, Grim
Interest in true crime has increased over the last few years. Making a Murderer was binge-watched by multitudes of people. Some of us can't get enough of these documentaries. They are true stories that fascinate. They really actually happened. What would we have done if we were interpolated into the narratives? Would we too be victims? Monica, in a recent post challenged us to imagine what it would have been like to be in "the family". What choices would we make? I'd like to think that I would have done all the right things to resist. Would I have though?

The victims. Their lives gone way too soon. The victims'family and friends...
I can't imagine the heartbreak.

This blog I'm a fan of. I'm not a fan of Manson or any of the cast of true characters in the family. This case is multifaceted. I am constantly learning something new from the contributors on this blog. It's fascinating to learn about the connections that Doris Day, The Beach Boys, Mama Cass, and now William Shatner have to this case. I'm intrigued by the idea of the parlor game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". In this post, we learn Matt is one degree from Leslie Stevens. I'm now wondering how many degrees Kevin Bacon is from someone connected to this case...

Peter said...

Sharon Tate has a Bacon number of 2.


https://oracleofbacon.org/movielinks.php?a=Kevin+Bacon&b=Sharon+Tate+(I)&use_using=1&u0=on&use_role_types=1&rt0=on&use_genres=1&g0=on&g4=on&g8=on&g16=on&g20=on&g1=on&g5=on&g9=on&g13=on&g17=on&g21=on&g25=on&g2=on&g6=on&g10=on&g14=on&g22=on&g26=on&g3=on&g11=on&g15=on&g23=on&g27=on

Peter said...

And Bobby Beausoleil a Bacon number of 3.

Peter said...

Shorty Shea a Bacon number of 3 also. And Shorty has a number of 3 in connection with Sharon Tate and Beusoleil as well.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Deborah Sullivan since you sometimes visit this site I wonder what do you wish it or any site on this subject would look like?

GreenWhite said...

Gypsy also a 3

Doug Smith said...

Type Deborah Sullavan in that Baconator...even lists a "Sadie"

Lol (what's a lil creative spelling among heathens)

Tim A. said...

Thanks, Peter, for the link. Doris Day has a Bacon number of 2.

Monica said...

Torque, I think there are readers here who could answer your questions. Some of the lurkers like me shoud take a stab (ugh..bad use of words).
As to #9, Tex says he turned off the lights with his elbow. I have not read nor heard of other lights being on .The thought makes me very sad.

Monica said...

And Deborah Sullivan, while I appreciate another female presence here (if you are), you need to step back. This is not a Manson fansite - every reader knows this. It is a blog about the story. C'mon.

Robert C said...

Just watched The Incubus several days ago -- liked it. Very Bergman-esque. Curse ? Didn't really see it literally. Connection to MF -- I guess maybe Marina Habe but most likely none at all !!!

So how about another panchromatic film made around the same time called The Haunting ? A curse that most of the actors are now dead or could it be that the deceased perished from extreme old age ? Connection to Manson .... hard to say although Russ Tamblyn's oldest daughter may have been associated with the Family (if she were alive in the 60's).

Ok .... next thread ....

Ps -- Shatner's acting was actually pretty good in TI.

Torque said...

Monica, thanks. Yes I recall that Tex ordered lights to be out, and that Susan said that she could see in the living room due to light entering from the outdoor porch lights. She also said in an interview that she left a palm print on the desk, which had a desk lamp on it. Perhaps she turned that desk lamp on.

Could it also be the case that when Abigail and Susan went to the bedroom to get money from Abigail's purse, someone switched back on the hallway light in order to accomplish this?

Mr. Humphrat said...

By the way, Matt, you did peak my interest in this movie and I would love to see it sometime.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I've wondered myself if music was playing in the living room or not, because I did read it was on in one of the books, but in other books you would never get the idea music was on.

Torque said...

Indeed, Mr. Humphrat. The thought that no music was playing in the living room puzzles me. To be sure, Abigail's bedroom was just feet away from the couch where Voytek was sleeping. To me it would be difficult for Tex to let the girls in, rough up Voytek, and threaten him, even though doing this quietly, without at least Abigail hearing the commotion. Some background stereo music may have disguised this?

David said...

Torque, as to #7 and #9:

Watson: testified at his trial that he did not hear a stereo (for what that is worth).

Atkins: in her Grand Jury testimony and in her first book says Tex told Krenwinkel to turn off the lights in the living room after he shot Jay Sebring. Per Atkins, she did.

DeRosa and Burbridge: testified that the Christmas lights were on as well as a light at the front door and at the rear or pool door.

Whisenhunt: testified that he did not recall any lights being on inside the main house.

Whisenhunt : testified that both stereos inside the house were off when he arrived.

First Homicide Report: “The lights inside the house were out with the exception of the desk light in the living room which was on and the hall light which leads to south bedrooms. There was no music or other sounds from the house.” The 'first responders' must not be the source of the statement regarding the lights.

Mr. Humphrat,

Sanders: The Family pp 208, 2002 Edition claims the stereo was blaring. And uses this to explain why those inside the house did not hearing the shots that killed Parent. And at p. 212 he repeats that Watson told Krenwinkel to turn off the lights.

Torque said...

David, thank you. Excellent follow-up here,and most intetesting.

GreenWhite said...

Thanks, David. My issue with Sanders and the stereo blasting is that Sharon was in there 8 months pregnant. That'd be a total dick move.

David said...

GreenWhite,

My issue is Sanders says these things and never cites his authority.

McGann authored the Homicide report so is likely the source of the information but no one asked him about lights during the trial. There is an interesting bit in his testimony that I had forgotten.

He testifies that Abigail Folger's purse and Voytek Frykowski's wallet were found next to each other in the cushions of the couch in Sharon Tate's bedroom both had money in them- $9.54 and $2.44.

LH said...

If you truly find this site offensive, you're allowed your feelings. But if you think this a "fan site" or Pro Manson in anyway, you are sadly mistaken.

LH said...

William Shatner's pre Star Trek work is vastly underrated. See The Intruder for example...

David said...

Correction: 'front bedroom'.

David said...

Torque,

#1,2 and 4. I hope have a better answer to these things in a future post. I don't have complete answers, yet.

I can tell you Abigail's Firebird ended up in Georgia. I believe it was sold by her father as part of her estate for $2500. I am not to the point I can say that, definitively.

The source for #1 is the LAPD- McGann and Calder. Is it accurate? On their end the source is likely Witold K who has the credibility of ....well, he has none, IMO. At the moment I can say it is questionable that they went to Texas and that it is likely a 'known drug dealer' is a cop term in 1969 for anyone who shares or sells drugs to his friends, a fact that is overlooked by the drug theorists- cue 'The Pusher Man'.

The house on Woodstock is .7 miles from Mama Cass' home- a 15 minute walk. And much of what has been said by Manson writers about her house and the parties/open door policy there is wrong if you believe those who were there. I do. I can't imagine why David Crosby, Graham Nash and others would lie. Were there parties? You bet. Open door functions? Nope. Was Manson a 'frequent attendee'? From what I have found, nope. Everything, so far, says he was never was there.

I hope this helps.

David said...

Everything I have seen says there was a hierarchy of 'rock and roll' in 1967-8-9. A healthy but real competition between San Fran and LA and an understanding there was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd class, like one of my other favorite topics- the Titanic- even if they didn't call it that.

The Mamas and Papas, Cass, Crosby, Jefferson Airplane were first class. Manson was at best third. Melcher was 1st. Jakobson was 3rd. Brian Wilson was 1st. Dennis was not. If you are sleeping with Candice Bergen vs. Susan Atkins I think that may illustrate the point. If you were 'third class' you didn't walk into '1st class' parties. Look at the images of the Clapton party at Cass Elliot's house. See anyone there who would not be '1st class' even if Dolenz was in a 'make believe' band.

IMO

Jenn said...

David wrote: “The house on Woodstock is .7 miles from Mama Cass' home- a 15 minute walk.”

It doesn’t seem nearly that far to me. My memory from standing in the street is that they are nearly across the street from each other.

FrankM said...

David said:

My issue is Sanders says these things and never cites his authority.

Fair enough, but Sanders was not writing an academic account that needed to be authorised - he adopted a style he thought fit for purpose here. Look at his other writings. He was Mr Counterculture: if you haven't heard/seen the Fugs, check them out.

He may well have been restrained too by physical fear, or not wanting to appear as betraying trust - there were some nasty factions around, as we all know. But he wrote the book he chose to write, and it is unfair to blame the author for not writing the book we might have liked him to write.

FrankM

Matt said...


Frank M said...

Fair enough, but Sanders was not writing an academic account that needed to be authorised - he adopted a style he thought fit for purpose here. Look at his other writings. He was Mr Counterculture: if you haven't heard/seen the Fugs, check them out.

He may well have been restrained too by physical fear, or not wanting to appear as betraying trust - there were some nasty factions around, as we all know. But he wrote the book he chose to write, and it is unfair to blame the author for not writing the book we might have liked him to write.


I find his writing style fun and entertaining. But, I cannot justify taking anything he writes as accurate because he doesn't cite his sources. Heck, even his recent book about Sharon Tate's life was not annotated.


Torque said...

Hi David and all. Yes, most helpful. Thanks for what I see as some very nuanced and intellectual discussion of my points, especially on the hierarchy of rock music. Context here reminds me of the larger environment that encompasses this story.

Speaking of hierarchy, I am reminded of a quote of Michelle Phillips in Greg King's book, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. On pg. 172 we read that indeed Michelle travelled in an undoubtedly special circle. For she says, concerning Abigail and Voytek, "She was considered a 'little rich girl,'and, at least among our circle, there was a great snobbery which kept them both at arm's length."

David said...

FrankM,

The Family is actually my favorite book because of the entertainment and, honestly, because he causes me to search. But he could have as easily sai: ‘According to an officer at the scene, the stereo was blaring.’

David said...

Jenn,

Just going by google maps assuming I have the addresses right.

FrankM said...

David

There's an interesting account of Sanders' writing on the Manson trial, etc, at http://www.granarybooks.com/collections/ed-sanders/writing-projects.html. I won't lift from it here but it is worth looking at if you haven't read it.

One quote only, with another source you might want to follow up: Sanders' Manson book is described as:

an amalgam of rhetorical and stylistic strategies—Sanders's personal, hybrid record not only of the Manson saga but of his own mission as counterculture detective

This from Myers Thomas, “Rerunning the Creepy-Crawl: Ed Sanders and Charles Manson” in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, vol.19, no. 1, Spr. 1999.

Hope this interests.

FrankM

FrankM said...

Actually you can read the Thomas Myers review in the RoCF at https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Rerunning+the+Creepy-Crawl%3A+Ed+Sanders+and+Charles+Manson.-a057513175

FrankM

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

Frank M,
I took your advice and found 'I Couldn't Get High', by the Fuggs, on youtube. It has a beat that even I can follow.
Sanders mentions ring tail fruit bats. I don't believe I've ever seen one of those.

Claire Robinson said...

OT but for anyone in the UK, I saw a trailer for a new two part programme coming on TV soon called Manson: The Lost Tapes. It mentioned there would be previously unseen footage. More here - http://www.c21media.net/itv-finds-manson-familys-lost-tapes/. I’m not sure when it is scheduled to be shown...just that it was coming soon!

FrankM said...

Claire

This is interesting. Looks like Naked Entertainment has somehow acquired Robert Hendrickson's archive and is putting something together based on that. What UK Channel is it on, and when (if you know)? We can probably get to it on VPN.

Anyone know any more? Col?

FrankM

Claire Robinson said...

Hey Frank. It is going to be on ITV over here but I just had a quick look and I think it might be shown in the States as well. On Fox?? Yes it looked really good from the trailer - they were showing the clips of Paul Watkins and Squeaky holding the rifle from Robert’s documentary. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more info!

Orwhut said...

I hope Mrs. Hendrickson got paid for the film.

Doug Smith said...

"The footage was discovered because of the persistence of British producer Simon Andreae, who wanted to find the whereabouts of filmmaker Robert Hendrickson who had been given exclusive access to the Manson cult 50 years ago. Convinced that there may be previously unseen footage of the Manson Family, a private investigator was hired to find Robert, but when he did, he discovered he had died a few weeks earlier, in October 2016"

Um...Google perhaps...I sure hope the Hendrickson estate has been compensated...

David said...

FrankM.,

I will check all this/these out. I won't know whether I have seen them until I see them due to, ah, chronological issues.

I actually knew about the Fugs before I cared about this case as anything except a book I never finished or a made for TV movie. My older brother had a friend who was quite into what at the time were to me weird bands. One of them dating from the 40's was Spike Jones and his City Slickers. The Fugs were another on his list along with Captain Beefheart and Zappa- none of whom I enjoyed at the time. I recall not liking the Fugs. But I will now go give them a listen, too.

Thanks

Orwhut said...

For those who came to this blog after Robert Hendrickson's death. He was a frequent contributor here. A search of the blog's archives will tell you a great deal about his unpublished film and his efforts to make some money from it.

Claire Robinson said...

The channel Really has been advertising the hell out of Charles Manson:His Final Words, on tomorrow at 10pm. New and exclusive apparently. There seems to be a bit of a flurry of Manson stuff at the mo.

Last year, I read this blog from start to finish over a period of about four months. Robert Hendrickson’s posts were difficult to understand at times but always intriguing and from a whole different (and well informed) perspective. He added so much to this blog. He was wonderful.

Claire Robinson said...

George (I’m not sure you will look at this article again) I thought your contribution was fantastic! I loved this programme...it was like a visual Manson blog! I was glued and thanks for contributing!

JC said...

I really enjoy Sanders as a stylist. While he would never admit it in a million years, I know that it was a huge influence on James Ellroy's characteristic bebop narrative style.