Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Manson Tour 2014: A Day With Aes-Nihil had the distinct pleasure of spending a day with John Aes-Nihil. John directed (among others) a film called "Manson Family Movies (1984)". If you haven't seen it, you should.

Aes-Nihil is an archivist, collector and broker of all things Manson (among many other subjects). His Manson archives alone covers 3 buildings, so we only scratched the surface of this magnificent  collection. Today we present you with a small taste of what we saw. If you are looking for a particular item you can contact him through his website.

One thing that caught our eye was a collection of paintings. If you peruse Facebook (for example) you can find some pretty good artists who use the Family as their subject matter. Back in the day, there was an artist by the name of Caesar Lindhersch who was pretty damned good. Here are a few examples:

Lindhersch Paintings

While we're on the subject of art,  DebS was delighted to see a print from a wood cutting that friend Robert Taylor did many years ago.  It is a self portrait.  Robert has a long history with the counter/alternative culture dating back to his involvement with The Process in Chicago in the mid '60's and then and his association with Robert DePugh's Minutemen in the late '60's, early '70's.  Robert, who is a writer and a musician has authored a thing or two that you may have read when researching things on the periphery of the Manson saga.  He writes under the name R N Taylor .  His folk noir genre band is named "Changes".

A branded case that formerly contained Jay Sebring products:

Here's something that caught our eye pretty quickly. An original 16mm reel of Robert Hendrickson footage from his time embedded with the Manson Family at Spahn Ranch:

If you'd like to own this photo of Bobby Beausoleil, John has it in mint condition in the original magazine:

Another thing that interested us was his collection of Manson music. As non-afficianados of Manson music, some of these we'd never heard of:

Aes-Nihil's personal Manson bookshelf (there are separate collections of books around the property, but these were within reach of his bed:

A signed hard-cover copy of Helter Skelter

A hard-copy edition of Stranger in a strange land:

This is an original copy of Mel Lyman's "Autobiography of a World Saviour". Below is a first edition copy which John explained is extremely rare. Mel Lyman headed The Lyman Family and the The Fort Hill Community. Manson reportedly corresponded with Lyman as he was "already doing what we're trying to do".

You may have heard this quote:
The only difference between us and the Manson Family is that we don't go around preaching peace and love and we haven't killed anyone, yet.
– Jim Kweskin (perhaps in jest)

Lyman addressed in The Freep:

Speaking of The Freep:

Ok, now here's a gem we just COULDN'T pass up. "The Psycho-Sexual History of the Manson Family". It's origins are not verifiable (yet). After perusing random sections of 850 pages, we were giddy enough to purchase a copy. Readers, you'll be hearing about this one over the coming months!

I randomly reached into that briefcase grabbing about 40% of the pages, cutting it like a deck of cards. The first thing I saw were these gems. All touring stopped as I gathered the group to look. How can anyone pass this up?

A prison sketch by Squeaky Fromme. John wasn't positive if it was original or a really good copy:

John showed us a photo of Steven Parent's corpse on the table at the coroner's office. This is a photo none of us had ever seen before. It gives a glimpse into the rarity of some of the items included in his collection. I'm no expert, but judging by the photographic paper I could be convinced that it' is original.

Out of respect to the victim's families we shy away from posting post-mortem photographs directly on this blog. However if you want to view it we have made it available to our readers HERE. If you do not like to see graphic content, DO NOT click the link.

Saying our good-byes. Thank you, John for your hospitality, patience and generosity with your knowledge!