SPECIAL NOTE: Who IS CHARLES MANSON? Yes, in life and in death, Manson continues to be in our consciousness…for all the wrong reasons…because he was famous, he is famous…and the world could not get enough of him. I wonder what the government is going to do with his dead body? Cremation might be the best…why build a tomb to be worshiped by his followers…there are many in the world…for a man who had no conscience whatsoever…he killed others not by himself but ordering others to do it…he claimed he was not responsible because he did not do it himself, but was able to order and demand others to do it on his behalf…he had that much charisma and power and control over others…yes, reading all that I could read, he was a failed musician….(I need to reread something about Hitler…he too failed in something when he was also starting his life in Germany then…and turned also into a monster, killing more innocent people then Manson!!)..that could have started his evil deeds, like taking revenge on the innocent people because you were in his way…I believe if THEY had helped him when he was trying hard to be someone with his musical “potential”, we might have known him today, less for his crimes, but for his contribution to American music…what if? what if? what if? We would never know..but Manson, disappointed with the people who could have propelled him to stardom (who knows) in the music world then in the 1960s America, we might not be reading about the evils he did after his failed attempt to sell his music to people in Hollywood then…he decided to make a name for himself…and he did it, finally, his way…ordered his cult followers to kill with no mercy and sing and laugh about the murders…and he languished in jail for over 40 years…and the world continues to be fascinated with this murderer…and couldn’t get enough of him! I share the stories about him…his rise to “stardom” as a murderer, a failed man, a failed musician, but he succeeded in taking over our consciousness as the world continues to “adore” this man, his way! All other murders or murderers in our 21st century are not getting as much attention as this monster, evil incarnate, did in the 1960s till now…and will continue to occupy a part of our consciousness…almost beyond our control! Steve November 21, 2018
The terrible charisma of Charles Manson
By Justin Parkinson BBC News
• 20 November 2017
Charles Manson has died, aged 83. But what is it about the murderous cult leader, who committed his crimes almost 50 years ago, that continues to fascinate?
The brown eyes. The beard. The swastika tattooed between his eyes. It was impossible not to look at Charles Manson, however much you wanted to turn away.
During his years in prison, photographs of Manson were issued only periodically, so he seemed to age in chunks, unable to appear before the public but always remaining at the back of its consciousness.
More than 30 books about his life and crimes have been published. One, by the prosecuting attorney at his trial, Vincent Bugliosi, has sold more than seven million copies.
Netflix has made a comedy film – Manson Family Vacation – showing how his macabre crimes affect a modern middle-class American family, and two documentaries on his life and crimes have come out this year alone.
Obituary: Charles Manson
Manson’s music was a macabre sidenote
In life, everything Manson did was news, the most recent example being the media frenzy in 2014 when it was announced he had been granted a licence to marry 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton.
Tate, the most high-profile victim of the “Manson Family”
From behind bars, Manson courted publicity, setting himself up as a counter-cultural icon. He once told the American public: “My father is your system… I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.”
It’s 48 years since Manson sent a group of his indoctrinated followers – known as the Family – to the home of heavily pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate to “totally destroy everyone in it”. They stabbed Tate and four others to death.
False clues were left to dress the scene as an attack by the Black Panthers, a militant African-American group which used violence in its battle against white racism.
Manson’s hope was that these murders, and the killing of two shop owners the next night, would start an apocalyptic race war, after which he would emerge as America’s ruler.
Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to murder in 1971 and given a life sentence.
Yet something in his life story resonated. Born in Ohio, he had an impoverished and troubled childhood, moving between reform schools. When he was five his mother and uncle went to prison for holding up a service station. By the age of 13, Manson was robbing casinos and shops at gunpoint.
He had “a tendency towards moodiness and a persecution complex”, according to a psychologist who described him as “aggressively anti-social”, partly due to “an unfavourable family life, if it can be called family life at all”.
When he couldn’t afford bills or support his pregnant wife, he became a thief. After six years in prison, he was released in 1967, the year of the so-called “summer of love”.
Manson developed a fixation with the Beatles song Helter Skelter. Ostensibly about the difficulties of a love life told through a metaphor of a fairground ride, he instead thought it predicted a race war after which he and his followers, taking refuge in an underground city in California’s Death Valley, would be the only white survivors.
Black people, he thought, would be unable to organise themselves and then beg him to be their leader.
A track from The Beatles’ 1968 White Album – one of several songs that Manson told his followers prophesied an apocalyptic race war; the words were scrawled in blood on the refrigerator at the home of two of the murder victims
The association between Manson and the song persisted after his conviction – it provided the title of a 1974 memoir by the prosecutor in Manson’s trial, Vincent Bugliosi
U2 covered the song on the live album Rattle and Hum. Singer Bono introduces it with the words: “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles. We’re stealing it back”
Manson set up a commune at the Spahn ranch in the Californian desert, surrounded by disused sets from 1950s Westerns.
He recruited followers, mainly middle-class and female, with whom he took LSD and participated in orgies.
“He managed to exploit the hippy subculture brilliantly,” Daniel Kane, professor of American literature and culture at Sussex University, says. “Hippies, after all, proposed themselves as disaffiliated from the political and social mainstream, committed to creating their own independent utopias marked by sex, drugs and rock and roll.
“Manson took on all those signs – LSD, music, free love, communal lifestyles – and reframed them as tools for apocalyptic mass murder. Totally bizarre, totally evil, and very, very seductive.”
With his long brown hair and beard, Manson’s followers likened his appearance to that of Jesus.
nce of Charles Manson, shown here in 1969, was likened by his followers to that of Jesus
“There are thousands of evil, polished conmen out there, and we’ve had more brutal murders than the Manson murders,” Mr Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney at Manson’s trial, told Rolling Stone magazine in 2012, “so why are we still talking about Charles Manson?
“He had a quality about him that one thousandth of 1% of people have. An aura. ‘Vibes,’ the kids called it in the ’60s. Wherever he went, kids gravitated toward him.”
Psychopaths are “incredibly charming and persuasive”, David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, told the BBC in 2014, when Manson’s intention to marry was announced. “To get you under control, to court you, they appear to give their complete and utter attention.”
The Manson case involved drugs, orgies and cults, three concerns shared by parents of children growing up in the “free love” atmosphere of the late 1960s. It also came at a time divisions in the US over civil rights, race and the Vietnam War.
“He is iconic because he was the person who brought the swinging sixties to an end,” Prof Wilson says. “His strange and bizarre thinking appeared perfectly in tune with the damaged side of drug culture. It wasn’t flower power any more. Youth culture was far darker and more disturbing than people had previously thought.”
In death, Manson is leading TV and radio bulletins and news websites.
“There’s another feeding frenzy around him since he passed on,” says Prof Kane. “The aura around Charles Manson is continuing and it shows no sign of dying off.”
Additional reporting by Luke Jones
Charles Manson’s life as a failed musician, Beach Boys hanger-on and mediocre songwriter
Randall Roberts BBC WORLD NEWS
Starting in the 1970s, not long after Charles Manson directed his followers to murder seven people over two bloody nights in Los Angeles, the convicted killer’s music and notoriety fueled a small underground industry.
The allure was centered on Manson’s only album, recorded in Los Angeles in 1967 and ’68 and issued a year after the 1969 murders. Manson, it turns out, was a failed folk rock artist who desperately sought the attention of a Los Angeles music scene then thriving in the studios, labels and clubs along Sunset Boulevard.
He didn’t get it, and that rejection by insiders including the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and record producer (and Doris Day’s son) Terry Melcher helped ignite Manson’s rage.
Called “Lie: The Love and Terror Cult,” Manson’s album was issued on an imprint branded Awareness and featured 14 Manson originals, including “Garbage Dump,” “Sick City” and “Look at Your Game, Girl.”
Songs from it have been covered by bands including Guns N’ Roses and the Lemonheads, and punk singer-writer-DJ Henry Rollins produced some Manson jailhouse recordings that have never been officially released.
Most notably, “Lie …” features a Manson-penned song titled “Cease to Exist,” which became the center of a dispute between him and the Beach Boys after the band reworked the song, changing lyrics, the tone and renaming it “Never Learn Not to Love.”
Charles Manson, “Cease To Exist”
Manson had barged his way into the world of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson after the musician picked up two women hitchhikers from Manson’s posse. For a while he and members of the so-called Family lived at Wilson’s Sunset Boulevard home (which was formerly Will Rogers’ hunting lodge). Manson even lobbied to be on the Beach Boys’ imprint, Brother Records.
During a 2016 interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love recalled going to a dinner party with bandmate Bruce Johnston at Dennis Wilson’s house. The Manson family was there and after dinner, he said, most took LSD.
“We were the only ones with clothes on,” Love, who declined the drug, said of his and Johnston’s arrival. “It was quite unusual.”
The Beach Boys issued “Never Learn Not to Love” as the B-side to “Bluebirds on the Mountain” in early December 1968. Manson was said to be furious that the Beach Boys hadn’t credited him for his work, and that they’d changed some of his precious words. “Submission is a gift,” Manson’s version goes. “Go on, give it to your brother / Love and understanding / Is for one another.”
Within months of the release, Manson’s family had stolen some of Dennis Wilson’s gold records, totaled his Mercedes and cost him a reported $100,000.
The murders of victims including Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca occurred in the summer of 1969. The No. 1 record at the time was Zager & Evans’ one-hit wonder “In the Year 2525.”
Manson and many Family members were arrested in October of that year. Jury selection into his role in the murders began in June 1970.
It was around then that the owner of Awareness, Phil Kaufman, pressed Manson’s album. Kaufman was a famous tour manager, perhaps best known for absconding with the body of the late country rocker Gram Parsons after he died at the Joshua Tree Inn — and then lighting fire to the artist and his coffin in the desert.
We made a deal. [Manson] said, ‘Put out my record and you can have all the rights to my music.’ So I did.— Producer and road manager Phil Kaufman
Kaufman came to put out “Lies” after meeting Manson in the mid-1960s at the Terminal Island federal correctional facility near the L.A. harbor. Kaufman was in prison for a felony marijuana conviction, and Manson was jailed for crimes including forgery and pimping.
After Manson was arrested in the murders but before being convicted for his part of them, recalled Kaufman in a 2013 interview, “we made a deal. [Manson] said, ‘Put out my record and you can have all the rights to my music.’ So I did.”
Kaufman remembered pressing a few thousand copies — but said that “half of those were stolen by the Family when they broke into my house. They tried three more times, and the last time I chased them off with a gun, so I never saw them again.”
A year later a Spanish label called Movieplay issued a European version titled “12 Canciones Compuestas y Cantadas por Charles Manson.” The noted avant-garde label ESP-Disk put out an edition in the early 1970s, and the notorious imprint Come Organization issued a version in 1981. During the compact disc era, the record is said to have sold thousands of copies.
The mid-1980s saw the release of a record of songs by Manson’s followers called “The Manson Family Sings the Songs of Charles Manson.” Recorded in 1970 and featuring home-recorded renditions of Manson’s unpublished songs, the album features contributions from Family members including Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Sandra Good and Steve “Clem” Grogan.
By law, Manson wasn’t allowed to collect royalties — those are supposed to go to victims’ families — but a number of well-known and respected artists have used Manson’s music and image for shock value, ensuring his songs are not totally forgotten.
Black Flag flier by Raymond Pettibon (Raymond Pettibon)
In the 1980s and ‘90s, the Manson family’s mystique fueled a mythology that inspired art by Sonic Youth, Front Line Assembly, the punk artist Raymond Pettibon and his brother Greg Ginn’s band Black Flag.
“Cease to Exist” has been covered by artists including Redd Kross, the Lemonheads and G.G. Allin. Guns N’ Roses recorded “Look at Your Game, Girl” for its record “The Spaghetti Incident?”
Trent Reznor made his classic album “The Downward Spiral” at the Benedict Canyon home where Manson’s followers murdered Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time.
Reznor’s seeming glorification ended during a random encounter with Tate’s sister. According to Reznor in a 1997 interview with Rolling Stone, she said, “’Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?’ For the first time the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face,” Reznor said, adding that “I don’t want to be looked at as a guy who supports serial-killer bull ….”
And long removed from teenage rebellion, Redd Kross member Jeff McDonald expressed regret for covering Manson to MTV in 2012. The band’s take on “Cease to Exist” appears on 1982’s “Born Innocent,” and McDonald said the move was largely done to annoy the band members’ parents.
“It was more just the aesthetic and we did it and dropped it after a while. But we’re associated with it, which is kind of a bummer,” McDonald told MTV, adding, that he eventually concluded that “we can’t perpetuate this thing.”
Manson’s “Lie: The Love and Terror Cult” is currently available on all the major streaming services through a deal with ESP-Disk, which was approached by Awareness Records’ Kaufman for better distribution and has since reissued it on CD and vinyl.
This reporter’s opinion: The record’s not very good, filled with drug-addled, period-piece rants about loss of ego, the comfort of home (“And as long as you got love in your heart / You’ll never be alone”) and eating food from trash cans (“I don’t even care who wins the war / I’ll be in them cans behind my favorite store”).
But then, serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s clown paintings were bad too. That didn’t stop weirdo collectors from snatching them up.
In the ‘90s when I worked in a St. Louis record store, we couldn’t keep “Lie …” in stock. Young, impressionable punks — dudes, mostly — lapped it up. They also bought records by hardcore band Ed Gein’s Car and songs about the New York killer known as the Son of Sam and Utah murderer Gary Gilmore.
Minus Manson’s background, all evidence suggests the cult leader didn’t have the talent to make it in the business.
“Mechanical Man” features this god-awful series of couplets:
I had a little monkey / And I sent him to the country / And I fed him ginger bread / Along came a choo choo/And knocked my monkey koo koo / And now my monkey’s dead.
When it comes to Manson and the murders, silver linings are hard to come by. But at least his decades in prison had one positive: his chance to release more music ceased to exist.
Charles Manson dies aged 83 after four decades in prison
• 20 November 2017 BBC WORLD NEWS
• Share this with Facebook
Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders, and who became a symbol of the dark side of 1960s counterculture, has died aged 83.
Manson was admitted to Bakersfield hospital, California earlier this month and died of natural causes on Sunday.
In 1969, his followers, known as the Manson Family, killed nine people.
Among the victims of the killing spree was heavily pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski.
One of Manson’s young followers, Susan Atkins, stabbed Tate to death and scrawled “PIG” on the home’s front door with the actress’s blood.
Four other people at Tate’s home were brutally stabbed to death. The next day, a wealthy couple in Los Angeles, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were also killed by the clan. The killings became known collectively as the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Charles Manson: Messianic leader of a death cult
Where are the rest of the Manson Family now?
The terrible charisma of Charles Manson
Manson’s music was a macabre sidenote
Separately Donald Shea, a Hollywood stuntman, and Gary Hinman, an acquaintance of the group, were killed by members of the Manson Family.
Manson was not at the scene of the killings, but was nonetheless convicted of murder for directing his followers in seven of the killings. He was sentenced to death in 1971.