Friday, August 14, 2015

Charles Manson’s Hollywood

A blog reader tipped me off to this ongoing series of podcasts called "You Must Remember This" by Karina Longworth. Longworth tells the sordid tale in her unique masterful storyteller style. Afficianados will pick up on minor errors, but they are easily overshadowed by the incredible detail that goes into this series. There are terrific photos from the archives of Michael Ochs and some excellent archived videos, too. Highly recommended.

You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. It's the brainchild and passion project of Karina Longworth (founder of, former film critic for LA Weekly), who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode. It is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction: navigating through conflicting reports, mythology, and institutionalized spin, Karina tries to sort out what really happened behind the films, stars and scandals of the 20th century.

This season, You Must Remember This will explore the murders committed in the summer of 1969 by followers of Charles Manson, and the Hollywood music and movie scene surrounding the killings. Throughout the series, we'll learn how a single sociopath’s thwarted dreams of fame and fortune led to the gruesome events which became the symbolic "end of the sixties." Future episodes will explore the various celebrities, musicians, movie stars and filmmakers (including Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, The Beach Boys, Dennis Hopper, Doris Day and more) whose paths crossed with Manson’s in meaningful ways, both leading up to the murders and in their aftermath. Today, we’ll talk about what was going on in the show business capital that made Manson seem like a relatively normal guy. Then we’ll lay out the basic facts of who was killed, and how, in order to begin to explain how these unthinkable crimes fit in to the tapestry of one of the most tumultuous times in Hollywood history.

Part 1: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Manson Murders

Part 2: How Manson Found His Family

Part 3: The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, and Charles Manson, Songwriter

Part 4: Spahn Ranch and the Beatles' White Album

Part 5: Doris Day and Terry Melcher

Part 6: Kenneth Anger and Bobby Beausoleil

Part 7: Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring

Part 8: Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski

Part 9: August 8-10, 1969

Part 10: Roman Polanski After Sharon Tate

Part 11: Death Valley '69

Part 12: The Manson Family on Trial


cindyfromphilly said...

Hello! This is my first time posting though I've been a lurker for years. I am a "comment" reader. It gives you a feel on how society really feels about a subject. I am most surprised how its opened intelligent conversations about TLB. I read Helter Skelter when I was about 12 and have had a life long affair with true crime. It is so freeing to know that there are others out there like me. I have been obsessed with this case since I first read it. Even though I was a child I felt it didn't add up. And it's not the kind of subject you can talk with anyone about. My one son thinks I'm a weirdo serial killer groupie who has criminal minds playing in the background like its the news. I am so impressed how this site turned out. too, but this site is my favorite. Through the years I would read everything on tlb then push it aside to read other things. I came back about a year ago and noticed a lot of sites are gone and the ones remaining are doing research. This group of people posting the articles here are very impressive from my point of view. "Your" ( I don't know everyone's name but I know there are several people posting here) research skills are impressive. You guys go over every little detail like a dog with a bone in search of the "truth". And I learn and I love that. I have changed some of my point of view from things posted here. Also audios are priceless. The best part are the comments. People here have differences of opinion and discuss it intelligently while polite. And that is a big deal (to many trolls out there) in todays society. The occasional bitchiness tries to creep in but you guys keep the vibe good. Her podcast is great, I love her Sadie/Susan voice. I wish I had found it sooner than last week just in time for the ending. There were a few errors but she's so entertaining that I don't care. Already listened to three other podcast of hers. I am surprised that Dave McGowan and his opinion hasn't been discussed here, unless you already did and I missed it. Just curiosity. Thanks.

Matt said...

Welcome, Cindy. I too find these podcasts hard to turn off. She's a terrific "storyteller". There aren't too many of those left.

Also, thank you for the compliments. They warm the heart. Don't be a stranger.

Guida Diehl said...

Yeah, this is really good from what I've listened to so far. She's already framed things I've read about 6million times in a way that's made me think differently about them, which is great. I think I'll drop them on my phone and burn through them while at work.

I'm wondering- does she have what's called a (very slight) 'Valley Girl' accent? She sounds like she might be from LA herself.

Anonymous said...
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Six Miles From Cielo said...

Long time lurker here as well. Enjoying these podcasts and Karinas style of storytelling. I'm a West Los Angeles native and vividly remember when all this happened, since I was12 at the time. Thanks for posting these gems. Always a pleasure to read this blog and the thought provoking comments.

Vermouth, I too hear the oh so slight "Valley Girl" accent

Anonymous said...

Just skimming through the first episode. Some of the highlights for me :

"Mardin Luther King"

"Lotsapoppa called Charles Manson and threadend to kill him and his entire family"

"Manson drove down to Lotsapoppa's house in North Hollywood"

"Manson thought that he would be protected by the Straight Sadins"

"Bobby threadend Hinmen"

"Jay Sebbring"

"Woodchuck Frickowski"

Guida Diehl said...

For anyone who hasn't yet you really should give these a listen, they're really enjoyable! She's a gifted storyteller and she provides a whole heap of Scene-setting and Backstory on what was going on in the late 60s in terms of lifestyle, culture, and entertainment, especially in Cali. She's really good at putting the 'Manson Family' into that context and she's clearly done a lot of homework on not only the Family but that whole era altogether.

I spent the morning shopping & doing chores & have already burnt through 4 episodes. Only 'inaccuracy' I noticed so far was her referring to someone other than Red as Manson's 'head girl' (I got from Little Paul's book that it was definitely Red, if such a concept actually existed) but my knowledge on Mansomania is pretty superficial compared to some people's here.

And HI to the New People. It's good when others come out of the woodwork. :D

Guida Diehl said...

And I like the way she sounds! :D Her accent isn't very strong, and anyway, it makes me feel like I'm in HOLLEH-WOOD!

I did smirk a bit whenever she talked about Manson's racism though, I'll admit. She adopts this kind of condescending, 'isn't-this-ridiculous' tone of voice ("rockeh raccOON") JUST TO LET EVERYONE LISTENING KNOW that SHE'S not a racialist like this Manson fella. Such ideas are beyond her. (I recognised it because it's the same tone I put on when I'm trying to convey to someone how Progressive I am by mocking some old fuddyduddy or somesuch. I know her game)

Matt said...

She also said Marry Brenner. Intentional mispronunciations to avoid libel suits?

Robert Hendrickson said...

In the previous POST the "Col" says "Please only speak of things you know."

AND ever since I have been thinking about something clever to say in return.

Then this morning I remembered "something" an adversary said to me many, many years ago. He said "EVERYONE is full of bullshit." I was taken aback and said something smartalic. He emphasized: "Think about it, everyone is simply full of make believe." Obviously, everyone is affected by various degrees, BUT we are ALL basically full of shit in our heads. The man was a college educated businessman, BUT even Charles Manson KNEW this little known FACT.

Need I give examples from the President of the United States right on down to the illegal immigration?

Anonymous said...

@Matt - That would be pretty clever of her, if that's the case. With that in mind, can I say that Jim Travolta and Tom Crew are as flaming as the day is long?

@Vermouth - I agree. In the episode that I listened to she says (referring to Manson thinking that Lotsapoppa was a Black Panther) "Lotsapoppa hadn't even been a Black Panther, but all scary black guys were the same to Charles Manson". lol

I think the way that she talks is called "uptalk". It's where a person keeps making their voice go up? When they are talking? So that almost everything they say? Sounds like a question?

MHN said...

Ziggy. Uptalk. Or, as we call it in the UK, Australian? As in, "Hello mate?! Good to see ya? Didn't think you were gonna make it?" etc. Re Matt's explanation, possibly all Australians are raised to formulate every sentence as a question in order to avoid law suits. It's like they never commit to anything, it's always a question. Maybe that way they think they can avoid ever being caught saying the wrong thing?

Makes sense, they are a nation of convicts and exiles after all :)

AustinAnn74 said...

CindyfromPhilly, so glad you enjoy the blog! Hope we keep you entertained, if anything!

Anonymous said...

Does she keep confusing McCartney for Harrison? (Haight-Ashbury visit)
She mentions Paul visiting several times in episode 2.

Anonymous said...

Cute girl, but I don't think it's that good. Rehash of the same ol' same ol'. She uses Dave McGowan's book as a source of reference too, which is troubling since this show is gaining some heat. That guy is 100% garbage.

Ajerseydevil said...

Thanks for posting this Matt I've gotten as f as far as part six in the two days since discovering this on Twitter

Anonymous said...

@MHN - An Australian girl told me that this one time? At band camp? She stuck a didgeridoo.......

Guida Diehl said...

I'm finding all this talk about Australians very, very racist. Matt plz delete these offensive comments so we can go back to slagging off Valley Girls. Ta.

SusanB said...

Convict stock and damn proud of it.

Anonymous said...

@Vermouth - I think MHN was just kidding. I wasn't. The girl's name is Iggy Azalea.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Seems everyone is searching for some NEW info. So what if there is NOTHING new, but only "overlooked" little gems.

From The Legend of Charles Manson

Like: Brooks Poston says: Charlie once gave George Spahn $2000 to pay for his property taxes and there is another FACT that Frank Reitz was BUYING up the Spahn Ranch. So why didn't Charlie and the Family simply get to WORK and BUY at least part of the Ranch, so THEY would always have a place to call home? Anyone else SEE how that would have "changed" everything ?

Maybe the social dimensions associated with the Manson Family weren't that much different than the political make-up of our own AMERICA - Liberal versus Conservative.

Kind'a like Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders equals "High Noon."

MHN said...

Browsing the Getty images linked-to in the podcasts. Jan 25th 71 - Manson heading into court. He's wearing a suit and tie.

I don't know that any image I've seen in this case has surprised me as much as that.

Manson. Suit and tie. Holy crap!! Granted, his suit does not fit, and when you see what he's done with his tie the word 'wearing' is extremely generous - but still.

Makes me wonder, how many more images of Manson in suit and tie are out there, and why do we not see them more often? It's like the image of Charlie looking like a relatively short-haired cowboy rancher. That hardly ever shows up either. Is it because it doesn't fit the accepted narrative? Do we need Manson to be a hippie cult leader, born with long hair and buckskins, born crazy, born evil...?

@vermouth - I know nothing about Valley Girls, and I must attack someone. Aussies are tough, they can take it. Actually, re Valley girls, on my first driving holiday in Cal/Nev we got lost heading north east out of Los Feliz. We stopped at a gas station and bought a map. We were both highly amused to see that on this particular map, (which was otherwise entirely normal and correct) the San Fernando Valley was actually labelled in small print, "The like San Fernando Valley" I wish I still had it but we mislaid it in a motel near Lone Pine.

Ajerseydevil said...

Ok just got through part 9 to my girlfriends extreme displeasure she just doesn't get my obsession with all this so far the only thing new I've heard is in part seven they claim Sharon was raped on a date with a soldier back in 1961 Never heard this before anyone else Matt AustenAnne Patty ?

MHN said...

Loved the exploration of 'Zabriskie Point' - always loved the film, (I know it's mostly absurd, but it's a guilty pleasure), never knew any of this.

SusanB said...

All this talk about a Valley accent takes me back to "Valley Girl" by Moon Unit Zappa. I played it over and over. "Like , barf me out!!"

Guida Diehl said...

Gag me with a spoon!

CarolMR said...

William Marshall, if I remember correctly, Roman stated in his autobiography that Sharon was raped but that she didn't let this make her bitter toward men.

Chris B said...

The Tate rape is also mentioned in the Greg King book. If I remember correctly it was when her father was stationed abroad (Italy?).

Anonymous said...

@MHN - Daria Halprin.......yes please. I taped Zabriskie Point off the TV one time as a kid. You can probably guess which scene I played over and over again. And remember the Smashing Pumpkins video for "Today"? Would that be called an "homage"? I wonder how Karina would pronounce that word?

MHN said...

ziggy - shall we call it the 'crowd scene'? I don't know what a smashing pumpkin is, unfortuntely. I take it it is some kind of young person's vernacular music entertainment brand?

Karina. I want you as my satnav voice.

SusanB said...

Haha....fer sure, fer sure!

Mr. Humphrat said...

Definitely a Val but I don't think she fits the uptalk mold.
On those words where people might think of her as uptalking
I am hearing more of a "let me catch my breath cuz I'm soooo bored"

HellzBellz said...

@ Robert Hendrickson.
About Charles Manson buying SpahnRanch.
I did read somewhere on the WWW that SpahnRach was a ,,Crash-Place for Outcasts,, before Manson stationed there. And that more people like Frank Reitz were to Buy the place, That there were strange things going on before Manson got there, In that story I did read they stated that is was just strange that Law-Enforcement just let that all happen and the writer of that piece Asked him/herself:,, WHY wouldnt Old George just Sell the property and have a nice retirement. But instead let his property be ocupied by ragg-taggs like Bikers,Runnaways and Manson Family...Nearly for Free... Strange things must have had going on.

Jeff Wolfe said...

I listened to the whole series in a couple days at work. Couldn't stop. Really excellent radio craftsmanship on the production side. Was reminded of and learned new information as well.