Monday, January 22, 2024

Sexy Sadie


Who was ‘Sexy Sadie’ in The Beatles song?

Lucy Harbron

Far Out magazine

Sat 20 January 2024 20:15, UK

There have been a few instances in history where a song has proved dangerous, even deathly. But none have had as strange or as chilling of a legacy as ‘Sexy Sadie’, The Beatles’ track that has become forever tied to abuse and murder.

Sitting on the band’s 1968 The White Album, the song seems utterly harmless on the surface. “Sexy Sadie, the greatest of them all,” John Lennon sings on the track, with lyrics that could easily just be about an attractive ex-partner. Even the more cutting or critical lyrics could sit well within the realm of songs from scorned loves. However, the truth of the track is far darker than a bad breaker.

“However big you think you are / Sexy Sadie, ooh, you’ll get yours yet,” is perhaps the most telling lyric on the track. It sounds like a pointed finger or the band glaring someone down. Like the Liverpudlian quartet are calling upon karma to come after this person. 

That’s exactly what they’re doing. When the story of the song is revealed, ‘Sexy Sadie’ turns into a genuine threat. “We know the truth, we know what you did,” the band seem to be saying as they talk directly to a famous figure.

Who was ‘Sexy Sadie’?

‘Sexy Sadie’ was written after the band’s infamous trip to India to study the Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation. Part of the wave of 1960s counterculture figures fostering a new interest in hallucinogens, meditation and reality broadening, the whole band took off to the retreat along with other figures like actress Mia Farrow. 

However, they quickly felt uneasy. During their retreat, the band began to suspect that the Maharishi might not be an angelic spiritual figure guiding them to enlightenment but might simply be a crook. His followers began to feel like cult leaders, utterly controlled by the yogi who didn’t seem to practice what he preached. 

What went down on the trip inspired several songs on the record. At one point, Prudence Farrow heard that the supposedly celibate yogi had hit on and assaulted Mia Farrow, and that his advances were a common occurrence at the retreat.

It burst their bubble on the whole experience, suddenly looking at the Maharishi with mistrust and anger. To deal with the situation, Lennon picked up his pen. He said of the song, “That was inspired by Maharishi. I wrote it when we had our bags packed and were leaving.” Initially writing, “Maharishi, what have you done / You made a fool of everyone,” the name in the track was changed to stop the band from getting sued. But the pointed remarks maintain their target.

The Charles Manson connection to ‘Sexy Sadie’

If that story of deceit and abuse wasn’t enough to taint the track, the song’s dark history only got worse upon release.

The strange connection between cult leader Charles Manson and The Beatles is well documented. Manson seemed to think that the Liverpudlian band were communicating with him through secret messages throughout The White Album. He believed they were warning him of an upcoming race war that would end in an apocalypse that would make Manson and his followers the leaders and founders of a new world; he called this theory ‘Helter Skelter’. 

Manson found connections to almost every song. He believed ‘Honey Pie’ was telling him to write an album, and that that album would trigger the war. He thought ‘Piggies’’ was a warning to prepare for Black men overthrowing the establishment, to not trust the police and to take matters into his own hands. In ‘Revolution 9’, he heard warnings of an apocalypse, instructing him to dig a big hole and hide in it to emerge as the new world leader. 

But ‘Sexy Sadie’ was perhaps the track that pushed Manson’s entire theory over the edge. While the other songs were cryptic and nonspecific, leading to doubt from his followers about Manson’s message, this one felt direct and pointed. It seemed to mention one ‘family member’ by name.

Who was Susan Atkins?

Susan Atkins was one of the main members of Charles Manson’s ‘family’. She met Charles Manson in 1967 and quickly fell into his fold, where Manson would routinely drug and abuse his followers, whipping them into violent rages that he’d later use for murders.

Nicknamed Sadie Mae Glutz by Manson, upon hearing ‘Sexy Sadie’, they believed the track was directly about Atkins. Tex Watson, another member of the family, said that the lyrics fit Atkins so perfectly “that it made us all sure [the Beatles] had to be singing directly to us.” It was the final push Manson needed to enact the plot he believed the band was telling him.

In 1969, Susan Atkins, along with six other Manson family members, carried out the infamous murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Wojciech Frykowski, along with Steven Parent, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. 

Atkins, despite being rehabilitated and making statements of repentance for her crimes later in her life, served a full life sentence. At the time of her death, she was the longest-serving female prisoner in California, with the record only being surpassed by her two fellow Manson family members, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel. They claimed they were being held as political prisoners, receiving extended punishment due to the Manson family’s anti-establishment beliefs.

Original Article

Sexy Sadie lyrics

Yeah, it's getting better all the time

Is that right?

How fast John?

However you like, feel it

Sexy Sadie, what have you done

You made a fool of everyone

You made a fool of everyone

Sexy Sadie, ooh, what have you done

Sexy Sadie, you broke the rules

You laid it down for all to see

You laid it down for all to see

Sexy Sadie, ooh, you broke the rules

One sunny day the world was waiting for a lover

She came along to turn on everyone

Sexy Sadie, the greatest of them all

Sexy Sadie, how did you know?

The world was waiting just for you

The world was waiting just for you

Sexy Sadie, ooh, how did you know

Sexy Sadie, you'll get yours yet

However big you think you are

However big you think you are

Sexy Sadie, ooh, you'll get yours yet

We gave her everything we owned just to sit at her table

Just a smile would lighten everything

Sexy Sadie, the greatest of them all

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Spiral Staircase House Identified!

 Ages ago, in 2013, the blog tour visited with Michael Channels on his Back Porch. We were treated to view his collection of memorabilia. We took lots of pictures. One picture I took was of an arrest report that Michael had where Manson had been arrested for failure to pay a traffic ticket. On that arrest report Manson gave his address as 3924 Topanga Lane, Malibu.

Brass Tacks Press, a website that features all things Topanga, has an archive of photos that includes photos from the 1960's in Lower Topanga. Among those photos is a picture of a home that looks to be all boarded up and has a spiral staircase leading up to the second floor. There is a house number visible in the picture and it's the same house number that is on Manson's arrest report! 

Photo Archive Scroll to the 1960's and the picture of the house is in that group about 3/4 of the way down the page. 

At long last the house has finally been identified.


I've gotten a couple of emails that say the house number is photoshopped in the image of the house. I don't believe it is photoshopped. 

David sent me a link to a piece about an artist named Earl Newman who was interviewed for Willamette Living Magazine

The article states in the paragraph just below the rainbow trumpet: 

He related a story about a house he’d sold to a friend in Topanga Canyon (Southern CA)… “…it was kind of a weird place, it was kind of off the main road into Topanga, the houses weren’t a big deal, I sold it to him for $5,000. He never moved in and kind of disappeared, so I went to check on the house, Charles Manson had moved in, so I kind of let it go.”

If you click on the link "Photo Archive" above and find the picture of the house, click on the picture and it will open in a new window. In the lower left corner of the picture it reads (pic:c/o Newman Family). The Newman family donated that picture to the archive. I have to believe that the picture is genuine. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Louise LaBianca


Manson Family Murders: Victim's Daughter Reflects on Uneasy Journey Through Grief & Forgiveness

For me, the battle has always been one of trying to accept the unacceptable; to believe the unbelievable; and, hardest yet, to forgive the unforgivable


My father, Leno LaBianca, was killed by members of the Manson family in August 1969 when I was 13 years old. The LaBianca name became attached in the media as the Tate-LaBianca murders a few months later, which added doubly to my grief-stricken horror as a young girl. The infamous murders also ended the life of my stepmother Rosemary, a beautiful soul who had been in the LaBianca family for nearly 10 years. We spent holidays and summer vacations together every year. Dad was a proud father who took his responsibilities seriously and provided all of us with many privileged experiences — for me, private schools, beautiful clothes and gifts at Christmas and on my birthday in September every year.

I was living in Newport Beach at the time of the murders with my mother and siblings. It was a sad time for me as my 14th birthday was approaching. No more running to the front door to see my dad with his friendly, loving smile and the packages he brought to show his love. No more drives from Newport to L.A. as he sang to me a sentimental song or asked me how I was doing in school. No more greetings from Rose and her talking parrot upon our arrival. All gone because of one horrible night of bloody carnage — and for what purpose? 

According to the news reports, the Manson family had randomly targeted wealthy or famous individuals in order to gain worldwide attention. "Death to Pigs" scrawled on the walls of the family home, written in my father’s own blood. The facts were presented in daily news reports on television or in the papers, each one more baffling than the next for me. Our family was not known; had no fame or celebrity attached; and not particularly wealthy by comparison to others living in the Los Feliz area. Why did they single us out? I never could understand. I began to shut out the news but it was everywhere.

How did I cope? Mainly I turned to close friends and family members, though in all honesty I lost a few childhood friends in the beginning. We moved around; I changed schools several times; and my popularity skills were at an all-time low during those years except when I was with my family. Support groups for victims of violent crimes and their families were non-existent. Nobody knew what to say when they learned about my connection — a victim’s daughter. Their shocked looks told me all I needed to know.

A cloud of sorrow seemed to follow me everywhere I went for a while, except when I could find a quiet spot along the beach on any given day of the week. It may sound like a cliché but I found peace in the warm California sun and ocean waves. There I could find solace, swimming in the water even on blustery days, or reading for hours as I stretched out on the sand — always present, in the moment, in my own peaceful reality where I never talked about it with new people I met. Fortunately, I inherited my dad’s warm, friendly smile and zest for life. Those qualities helped me find new pathways to explore, and life became good again. Sometimes I felt a little lost, unsure of where to go next academically. I eventually settled on a path of study in childhood development. For the next 25 years of my life, I spent most of my time enjoyably with young children — my own as well as in my chosen role as a teacher.

Then the various media reports about the Manson murders came to my awareness, especially those focused on parole hearings — a long, arduous process that has been going on for several years. As a group, the LaBianca family steadfastly opposed any releases on moral and ethical grounds. Some were more vocal than others and participated in the difficult process of attending parole hearings. My cousin Lou Smaldino was one of the most active and well-known members of the LaBianca family, while I personally stayed out of the discussion. I zealously guarded my privacy for many years. Yet something changed within me on a deep level of understanding when the first parole related to the Tate-LaBianca murders took place in July 2023. Leslie Van Houten may have earned her freedom according to California laws. Indeed, she may have worked very hard to earn it. I have no idea. It’s not the LaBianca family’s battle anymore, if it ever was. The California justice system has evidently been at the helm since day one. With the possibility of several more parole releases upcoming in the next few years, speaking out publicly weighs heavily on my mind.

Did the Tate-LaBianca murders become politicized so much over the past 50-plus years while I was busy raising a family and teaching classes in California schools? I never forgot my father but I certainly wanted to forget the circumstances surrounding his untimely death. For me, the battle has always been one of trying to accept the unacceptable; to believe the unbelievable; and, hardest yet, to forgive the unforgivable. For me, the passage of time changes nothing. As a group, the LaBianca family has been strong in terms of moving on with our lives — to pursue our individual life’s dreams without falling into a clump of tears every time the justice system disappoints us and we are again reminded of our losses. For me, it is an uneasy journey that demands an inner sense of balance and integrity. The farther along the path I travel, the stronger I become as a person and as a spiritual being. The journey continues. 

Original Article

Monday, January 8, 2024

Scratch 2

 After a long holiday hiatus you are probably ready for something new to read. Here's a new batch of scratch for you!

As you can see by the first page of the pdf some 16mm movie film was taken into evidence during the raids and aftermath at Barker Ranch. It looks like they were not able process the film. You have to wonder if this was the infamous film that everyone has looked for, or maybe film of the Family singing and talking, or if it was film that was already in a camera that was stolen.

Scratch 2 file 20 pages