Saturday, March 7, 2015

DOCUMENTARY Charles Manson: The Man Who Killed the 60s

Of course, the very first interview had to be with The Bug, all decked out in a fancy suit and tie sitting poolside in a very strange juxtaposition of formal and casual. "The murders were bizarre," he says, blah blah blah, "guru" blah blah "Christ and Satan" blah blah blah. Patty is worried this is going to be just another fluff piece.

However, here we have what turned out to be a very balanced documentary on the Tate La Bianca Murders and their context within the times. Many, many more insightful interviews followed the Bug including Steven Kay, Bruce Davis, Sandra Good, Paul Krassner, Todd Gitlin, Dr. David Smith, Phil Kaufman, Kim Fowley, Wavy Gravy, and Jim Pursell among others. And, save a few small inaccuracies like Sharon Tate having been hung from the rafters and the Family being arrested near Independence, there were no real cringe inducing moments to speak of.

Some highlights:

Charlie pronounces his middle name. This is the first time Patty has ever heard him do so. She always assumed that "Milles" was one syllable, like "Mills." It's not: it's two like "Mill-is." He also reiterates what George Stimson wrote in his book about his generation being more Bing Crosby than Beatles.

Paul Krassner says he is the first one to draw parallels between the Manson Murders and Lt. Calley and the massacre at My Lai during his bay area radio show.

Dr. David Smith says that his medical administrator, Al Rose, went and lived with the Family for a while, and this is how they got enough access to write their scholarly paper on the family's group marriage dynamics.

Wavy Gravy tells the story of how Charlie broke up their Om Circle at the Hog Farm. He says that Charlie was making choking noises out of the window of the black bus, then came out and "delivered a scathing put down of our whole scene." That's when Wavy asked him to leave. "I'm so glad he didn't take offense," Wavy says.

Anita Hoffman says that she and husband Abbie actually visited Spahn Ranch and were "spooked the whole time."

At the end, Charlie is asked if he is sorry for what happened. He sits pensively for a moment, then says "I don't really know what sorry means. I've been sorry all my life." He says that his mother always said that she was sorry he was born. "I understand rules and regulations. I don't understand sorry."