Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Was it all in the stars?

Scanlan's was a short lived monthly magazine that leaned left of Left.  Only eight issues were ever published, between March 1970 and January 1971.  The magazine was investigated by the FBI and came under the ire of the Nixon administration.  It was essentially put out of business by the muckraking Right. The editors were Warren Hinkle III and Sidney E Zion.

The August 1970 cover was an R Crumb cartoon with a mention of Charlie Manson.

Inside is "An Astrological Portrait of Charles Manson"  done by "Gavin" Chester Arthur.  Certainly astrology was apropos of the times and no surprise that someone should do Charlie's chart.  I found this particular assessment to be quite interesting, offering mystical insight to why Charlie was the way he was.

Just as interesting was the man who did the chart.  Gavin Chester Arthur, born Chester Alan Arthur III, 1901 in Colorado was the grandson of President Chester Arthur.   In the 1920's Gavin eschewed his college education at Columbia to go off and become involved in the Irish Republican Movement of the 1920's.  In the early 1930's Gavin migrated to California and founded a commune at the Oceano Dunes near San Luis Obispo.  In 1934 he joined the Utopian Society of America. 

At the outbreak of WWII in 1941 Gavin signed up with the Navy.  After the war he moved to New York for a time but was back in California by 1949.  During the 1950's he held various jobs, a teacher at San Quentin, a merchant marine, gold prospector and he also completed his bachelors degree at San Francisco State College.  He was heavily involved in San Francisco's Beat movement. He had been married and divorced twice by this time but was also an unabashed bisexual.  He was a forerunner in the gay rights movement.

In the '50's he became interested in astrology becoming a professional astrologer in the early '60's. By 1966 he published "The Circle of Sex", a book having to do with sexual behavior categorized on a wheel like in astrology.   Gavin, with his astrology knowledge, was asked by the staff of the Oracle to select a date for San Francisco's Human Be-in.  That date turned out to be January 14 1967, a scant two months before Charlie was released from Terminal Island Federal Prison.

Gavin Chester Arthur died at Ft. Miley Veteran's Hospital in San Francisco in 1972.

Here is his assessment of how the stars ruled Charlie.


brownrice said...

Gavin Arthur was an interesting though largely forgotten character.

In the late '50s he was also giving classes in "Comparative Religion & Philosophy" at San Quentin where he met Neal Cassady (who was doing 2 years for a pot bust) and befriended & counselled him. He remained friends with Cassady until his death in '68 and remained good friends with Neal's wife Carolyn.

Nothing to do with Charlie of course but an interesting piece of trivia for any Cassady buffs out there :-)

Matt said...

Thank you, brounrice, being a Deadhead and a fan also of Kerouac, Neal Cassady has always been of particular interest to me.

Nice, Deb. Very tangentially interesting post.

Farflung said...

When the moon is in the seventh house; and Jupiter aligns with Mars….

Not The White Album

So much coded music from that time period with messages for Charlie, and it’s all so scientific. If you give me a person’s name, birth date, and personal history, THEN I’ll craft an astrological premise for their behavior. After all, we are only acting in a way the cosmos has predestined and any resistance is futile. I was all ready to find a cure for cancer then wouldn’t ya know, Uranus went into retrograde, which forced me to drink beer and scratch myself on the couch instead.

Manson is trapped by nothing more than some bad timing on his part. As you can see, Pluto played a significant role in his life, and was just discovered a few years before his birth. And what happened in 2006 to erase any chance of Manson’s release? That’s right; Pluto was erased as a planet from our solar system. It is strange how astrologists weren’t able to see that one coming. Oh well.

Chris Till said...

Interesting. To my knowledge, "Scanlans" most renowned issue is the "Guerilla War in the USA" issue from January 1971. In it, various statistics are offered on how many acts of domestic terrorism occurred in the USA from 1965 to 1970. Other articles detail sabotage attacks on banks and military installations. American printers refused to publish the issue, as it was considered to be supportive of anti-government violence. It is important to remember that there was a Second American Revolution in that era. It was a failed minor revolution, but a revolution nonetheless. A revolution with both cultural and militant fronts. Indeed, there was a collective understanding (or hope or hallucination) among many that America was turning upside down. How that bears on the subject matter of this blog is up for debate. However, let's recall the words of songwriter Mr. Gregg Jakobsen in his 1970 "Rolling Stone" interview: "Charlie was certainly a fascinating cat. He represented a freedom that everybody liked to see. That is why we wanted to document him. He really was an active revolutionary of the time in that area. Like Castro in the hills before he overthrew the government. Charlie advocated the overthrow of the government, and the police force and everything." Etc. etc.

St. Circumstance said...

I named my new puppie Cassady..

This is very interesting stuff indeed Deb- I have come to expect that from you lol

Ajerseydevil said...

The Other One was also a Dead tune about Neil Cassady

DebS said...

Chris, yes, that Jan. 1971 issue of Scanlan's is what put the magazine completely out of business. Scanlan's had great investigative reporting. Here is a pdf that has those articles.

Thanks for your comments.

DebS said...

Farf do I sense a bit of skepticism in your comment? Are you not at one with the universe?

Admittedly, today's post is a bit of fluff but stuff like this from the grandson of a former president of the United States about Charlie is priceless!

Supposedly Nancy Reagan ruled the nation by the stars during Ronnie Ray-gun's declining mental state. LMAO

Doc Sierra said...

william marshall said...

The Other One was also a Dead tune about Neil Cassady
Cowboy Neal was at the wheel of the bus to never ever land......

I once had a cat named Cassidy. I named her after the Dead song by the same name.

The song Cassidy is about two different people. When Weir is singing about two different people. Neal Cassady and Cassidy Law.

The references to death such as "Quick beats in an icy heart.
catch-colt draws a coffin cart.
There he goes now, here she starts:
Hear her cry." have to do with Neal Cassady
The refernces to the birth of a child such as "Ah, child of countless trees.
Ah, child of boundless seas.
What you are, what you're meant to be
speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me,Cassidy"
Are about the birth of Cassidy Law, daughter of a dead head named Eileen.
"This is a song about necessary dualities: dying & being born, men & women, speaking & being silent, devastation & growth, desolation & hope." More can be found here.

Ajerseydevil said...

Doc have you read the book The Completely annotated Grateful Dead lyrics by David Dodd ? Tells the history behind every tune really interesting read I think this book and Playing in The Band belong on every DeadHeads bookshelf

Doc Sierra said...

william marshall said...

Doc have you read the book The Completely annotated Grateful Dead lyrics by David Dodd ? Tells the history behind every tune really interesting read I think this book and Playing in The Band belong on every DeadHeads bookshelf
No I haven't but thanks for the tip. I didn't know that these books existed.

Here's a link to The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics website. It's done by David Dodd at UC Santa Cruz where the Grateful Dead Museum is located. I used to live in Monterey County, about 15-20 south of UCSC. I wish I would have gone there to see it. It's about a 200 mile drive for me now. I'll check out someday.....

Doc Sierra said...

Oops.... Here's the Link:

Ajerseydevil said...

Doc send me an email some time we have alot in common I had an association with 1% bike club here in Jersey in my younger days never patched in I just value my freedom to much I couldn't do time

Doc Sierra said...

Hi William, I wasn't in the 1% life for very long. I stuck around for about a year and a half. Most 1% clubs have a mandatory minimum amount of time for membership. When I was recruited I was told it was 2 years. A new honcho took over and made it 5 years. I had a life changing medical event and was allowed to leave honorably. It was a great relief. That life wasn't what I thought it would be. I'll just say it's not for everybody and most of the guys I rode with are either in prison or served a prison sentence and are out now. The romantic notion that they're just motorcycle enthusiasts who want to ride freely and want to be left alone and to give children stuffed animals at Christmas time is a bunch of BS. I have no contact with any of them and I stay away from motorcycle events.
I'll save your email and email you soon.