Hollywood Macabre: Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson & Cielo Drive

10050 Cielo Drive living room Crime Scene
10050 Cielo Drive living room Crime Scene

I am currently writing a book about Charles Manson, and in the course of my research, I came across some interesting, albeit strange trivia about 10050 Cielo Drive, the address that Manson sent his Hippie hit squad to during the early morning hours of August 9, 1969, which resulted in the deaths of five people and one fetus at the hands of the Manson Family.

Among those murdered were Sharon Tate (and her unborn baby boy), Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, and Wojciech Frykowski. The home on Cielo drive is often referred to as, ‘the Sharon Tate house,’ even though she only resided at the Cielo address for six months.

After the bloody events of August 9, 1969, there was quite naturally a significant amount of notoriety associated with the house on Cielo Drive. The owner of the estate, Rudy Altobelli, lived there for close to twenty years, knowing full well that the infamy associated with the property was not an incentive to sell. In spite of its stunning view and prime location in the Hollywood Hills, the market value of the property had been considerably reduced by the nature of the crime committed. He was content to sit tight and wait it out.

In 1993, musician Trent Reznor, frontman for the band Nine Inch Nails, rented 10050 Cielo drive, converting the home into a recording studio, naming the studio, Le Pig. As will be remembered, Manson Family murderess, Susan Atkins, unceremoniously wrote “Pig” on the front door of the residence in Sharon Tate’s blood. Twenty-four years later, the door was still standing; a sad reminder of the senseless loss of life that took place as the turbulent decade of the sixties careened to a bloody end.

"Le Pig"
"Le Pig"

1993 was a busy year for Reznor. Along with cutting his own album, Downward Spiral, he produced an album for an up coming new musician who would go on to achieve more than a fair amount of fame, and generate just a little controversy. His name is Brian Warner, but you most likely know him as Marilyn Manson. Some of the songs for Manson’s first album were recorded at Cielo Drive. The title of the album is Portrait of an American Family, though the original title was the Manson Family Album. As it turned out, the completed product was recorded in part, at 10050 Cielo Drive. What a coincidence!

Reznor insists that his selection of 10050 Cielo Drive was merely predicated on his preference for the home, rather than the morbid history of the place, and according to some accounts, there is the assertion that he was entirely unaware of the history of Cielo Drive when he rented the house. I find that difficult to believe. The crimes associated with the Manson Family shocked the nation, the Hollywood entertainment industry in particular. In all likelihood, Reznor was fully aware of the bizarre history of the home when he put his John Hancock on the lease agreement.

In a strange turn of events, Reznor had a chance meeting with murder victim Sharon Tate’s sister, in which she came right to the point and asked him, “Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?” Raznor responded that he was merely fascinated by the “Folklore” associated with the residence. At some point during an interview, Reznor explained that the conversation with Tate’s sister gave him a new perspective about his choice of residence. According to Raznor, her question upset him so much that he went home and “cried” over the encounter, thinking “what if it was my sister”? Of course by the time the conversation took place, Reznor had succeeded in producing two albums that would go on to achieve success in the music industry, but the tears were a nice afterthought.

The Rock and Roll subculture has a long history of engaging in certain behavior for no other reason than shock value. Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off of a bat during performances is a prime example of this tendency. At my age, nothing much shocks me anymore. Rather I view events via the lens of poor or good taste, and the potential impact on others.

Did Reznor rent the Cielo Drive residence as an over the top publicity stunt? I supposed to some extent, thumbing one’s nose at conventionality can render success within more unconventional target markets. It’s all part of that the contrived ‘cool’ sold by Madison Avenue as cutting edge. There’s an awful lot of money to be made under the umbrella of anti-establishment.

10050 Cielo Drive door August 1969
10050 Cielo Drive door August 1969

Late in 1993, Reznor left Cielo drive to start a recording studio in New Orleans, Louisiana, purchasing an eighty-five year old funeral home for his musical endeavors. Reznor had vacated Cielo Drive, but not before taking the “Pig” door with him, replacing the front door to his new digs with the Cielo Drive relic of Mansonian lore.

Cielo Drive door at its new home at Nothing Studios
Cielo Drive door at its new home at Nothing Studios
Source

Anyway, back to the news from the land of the strange. Marilyn Manson has stated that one of his favorite authors is the Great Beast himself, Aleister Crowley. In the song, Misery Machine, Manson gives a nod to Crowley with the line, “We’re gonna ride to the Abbey of Thelema.” For those of you who don’t know, The Abbey of Thelema was a house in Italy that Crowley and his fellow followers of Thelema lived in a communal state while attempting to perfect the first Thelemic principle of “Do What Thou Wilt.” In 1923, Mussolini threw Crowley and his followers out of Italy, and they were forced to abandon their beloved Abbey of Thelema. Years later, the Italian hilltop villa holds special significance for those who admire the works of Crowley.

Aleister Crowley has been linked to another Manson, Mr. Charles Manson. There has been a long suspected connection between the Manson Family and the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O, an organization based on Crowley’s religion of Thelma. The O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) is an esoteric organization that was completely revamped by Crowley, via Thelemic principles. The connection between Charles Manson and the Solar Lodge is hotly disputed by the O.T.O. of today, and if Manson was indeed involved with the Solar Lodge back in those dark days of 1969, he’s not telling.

Charles Manson frequently denies ever having any occult connections, though he frequently uses an image in his artwork that is similar to Crowley’s beloved goat headed Baphomet. Again, we are back to the shock value question. Is Manson merely playing to his sinister public persona, or is his use of an image that suggests occult activity predicated on an actual belief system? Given my current research on Manson, it’s my opinion that his artwork is in some measure, a reflection of his personal belief system.

Years have passed since Reznor and Marilyn Manson made music at 10050 Cielo Drive, and the Louisiana based Nothing studios is no longer in business. From what I was able to determine, the “Pig” door is still in Louisiana, functioning as the front door to the empty funeral home. A lonely old building filled with the decaying energy of the bereaved. With the addition of the door from the Tate residence, the building has more than its share of karmic overload.

As for the house on Cielo drive that Sharon Tate once called her “Love house,” it was torn down shortly after Reznor pulled up shop, and replaced by a large, Neo-Hollywood estate that juts out of the hillside to the extent it gives the appearance it may simply slide off the hill and spill over into the heavy traffic of Sunset Blvd with the slightest Los Angeles tremor. It’s ostentatious, having none of the charm of the original estate that blended harmoniously with the indigenous vegetation of Benedict Canyon. Its address has been changed to discourage the prying eyes of the curious.

So what to make of all this information? I guess we can sum up all of the above to either Reznor using Manson Family infamy to boost record sales to a market that resonates to such tactics, pure coincidence, or on the darker side of the spectrum, a motive of a more esoteric nature. I will leave it up to the reader to decide.

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Comments 30 comments

Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

I Don't think there should be much question they used the house for their personal gain due to the nature of their musical persona. If Reznor felt guilt to the point of tears, it sure didn't last long, especially if he took that door! By taking it, and the house being demolished would mean a part of it still remains in tack, and was a horrible thing for him to do. I do have PHM, but after that CD I never really cared for his future music. Maybe it damaged his psyche because I don't think anything he's written since that has been worth spending money on. (personal opinion of course) and I've never owned a MM CD at all. And after reading this, I wouldn't ever want one either.

I'm glad to know that house no longer exists, I find recording there is very disrespectful to the deceased, I'm glad Sharon got her word in to Reznor, although if he said he cried, that leaves me to wonder if he was truthful or lying to make himself appear if he had a conscious. -Kat


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Thank you for taking the time to read the Hub and your comment. I agree with you. I find the whole crying bit just a tad disingenous.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

I meant to say *Sharon's sister! But yeah, and it's actually disturbing he took that door! I'm glad to know that and will be sure to pass on that tidbit!

As for MM, I "thought" his song Dope Show had a great point and then I thought.. HE'S PART OF THAT! No wonder they had no respect for the deceased either! V-up, I think your book is going to outshine the others on him. I watch his parole hearings and it's obvious he botches them. I think he knows if he leaves he'll not last long in the free world.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Kat, thank you ever so much for the kind words. I have been doing research for the book for around two years, and the subject matter is so heavy that I had to take a break. As it's over half done, I suppose it's time to get back to work. Again, thank you...wow, the power of a kind word.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

You're welcome, I'm glad I helped in any way to inspire your endeavor. I think breaks are good sometimes, it gives you time to reflect and be back in your own world and give your mind relaxation you need for yourself.

While I wasn't trying to be a brownoser LOL :) I certainly am glad you had some solace in anything I said that can help you through a rough journey. This is a feat that I don't think just one person's writings can cover, and it's apparent that you feel strongly about getting your perspective out there.


Bygdog profile image

Bygdog 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading your hub. While I'm very familiar with the Manson and his history pre and post famous murders. I had no idea about Reznor and the tie in with Reznor to Crowley to Manson was very interesting.

Good luck with your book, I'm interested.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Thank you for taking the time to read my hub, Bygdog. I was pretty shocked when I found the connection. It would seem that over time, Manson's reputation is slowly being rehabilitated. It's a slow evolution, but a disturbing one.


lilyfly 5 years ago

Boy, am I glad I didn't talk to Trent in his online site"Playhouse", then, and I agree, Downward Spiral was the last of his decent stuff, but I had no idea he was with Marilyn Manson, whom I consider an idiot,(and a poor singer), and of course the original Manson a psychopath, and murderer. That anyone would try to work off such negative energy usually works to disfavor that person, they will indeed reap negativity. Couldn't have Happened to a more diserving bunch, I say... good hub, interesting, up and across.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Thank you for reading the hub and taking the time to comment. I'm with you. I don't understand why anyone would desire to take on that type of negative energy.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

lilyfly, Charles Manson didn't commit the actual murders. Although he instructed them to be carried out. I believe he was charged with murder and conspiracy. The hub-Writer here will most likely put the details in her book.

@BukowskiBabe: Don't know if you knew this either that MM put the names of Marilyn for her beauty and Manson for the evil -supposed sides in all of us, together because he believed that everyone holds both or something to that effect? I can't be quoted, but I'm almost sure that's what he said in interview.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Kat,

I knew that MM combined the names, but I wasn't aware of the quote. That type of duality is Crowleyian. Thanks for the info, and I am going to have to follow that one up. Many people think that Manson murdered people...he was the catalyst....making others do the dirty work as you pointed out. He now has a small following of people who admire him for his environmental crusade. Some are convinced he is blameless. Many young people don't understand the brutality of the crimes he masterminded...even from the confines of a jail cell, he still manages to manipulate others.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

Yes please do look into that, I do remember him saying that the beauty/evil.. you'd need a direct quote I'm sure under some MM site. If I see it I'll let you know.

I think people didn't look into the story, and "assume" he murdered because he was convicted of it. Then that younger crowd that don't understand the severity of his manipulation and mind control tactics. Because some of his "more normal"(if you will) repartee like "Look up at me you see a God, look down at me you see a fool, look straight at me you see yourself" while in theory it could be true in "certain cases" it's still saying to the younger generation "it's all in how you look at it" when that's not the case. If HE says it, it could mean one thing, but would it mean the same if it was said by the preacher at your church.. your neighbor, you, me? It depends on WHOSE perspective that is being said from. I do believe he botches his paroles though. Yes, he does still have control and gains quite a bit of mail still. At least he doesn't have people as tight as he did while he was free though. I mean, prisons "lose" mail they don't want in or out.

If you have Netflix, there's a documentary on the Aryan Brotherhood, while that hasn't anything to do with him, (Even though he refused, I believe his own self as being biracial) it will show you how they go about learning their encryption and how they live their lives when trying to be in control while incarcerated. Try and put the brotherhood part aside and see it spans broader than that.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

A "p.s." :) I find it ironic too that he has his forehead swastika, but when he looks in the mirror it is reverted to it's original form, which is an ancient symbol of the 4 elements of earth, (Earth, Air, Wind, Fire) and if spun around it would flow in perfect harmony with nature. Hitler inverted it to his anger, and people don't understand that, but I just wonder if when CM looks in the mirror if he sees how ironic that really is.


Bud Gallant profile image

Bud Gallant 5 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

This is very well-researched. I'm really impressed. I actually know a fair bit about Thelema, Ordo Templi Orientis, and Crowley. I've never delved into the Charles Manson thing much, but I have heard some interviews with him.

The information about the house was fascinating. I think Trent taking the door was in pretty poor taste, especially if he claims he didn't know the history of the house when he moved in.

I also was very surprised to learn of the original title for that Marilyn Manson album, although maybe I shouldn't have been. There's a song called "My Monkey" on the album that has a very definite connection to Charles Manson.

Thanks for the work on this. You produced a very high quality resource here, and I really enjoyed learning more.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Thank you, Bud. Good feedback is always nice to hear. You've already been a big help to me so I'm glad I was able to produce something you like. Yeah, Crowley is an interesting fellow. I have several of his works,& I gotta tell you, not always easy reading...at least for me. While I don't agree with Crowley's beliefs, he was a well read, serious scholar. Anyway, thank you again


Bud Gallant profile image

Bud Gallant 5 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

BukowskiBabe,

Always a pleasure to follow along for the journey.

I've read some Crowley myself, and also attended an OTO lodge several years back. I definitely agree that much of it is not light reading. Magick Without Tears is pretty approachable, I think, but there's a lot there that requires a real thirst for the esoteric and a certain mindset to take advantage of. And even then, who really knows if what the reader is taking from it, is what was intended. He certainly has some interesting notions, and a rather wide sphere of influence, as well. Love him or hate him, he managed to leave his mark upon the planet.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

He certainly did. This may sound strange, but if I wasn't a Christian, I would be a Thelemite. That being said, I reject the beliefs of Crowley. I often wonder what Crowley would make of those who endorse him in this day and age. The decade of the sixties has often been compared to the age of Horus. And of course many successful people in the music industry have had a keen interest in Crowley.

In spite of Crowley's shenanigans, he still seemed to retain a bit of the upper class British gent. What would Crowley have made of a Marilyn Manson? Difficult to say.

Have you read up on Jack Parsons? Parson's friendship with L.Ron Hubbard is interesting. I guess Crowley who was at the time in the UK, wasn't happy over their antics. Hubbard went on to establish Scientology after he and Parsons went their respective ways. Of course, not before Parsons gave up some of the secrets of the OTO to Hubbard. I love following this stuff.

Isn


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

Someone dropped a link for hairstyles to me and as I thumbed through them, for photography purposes (some just not interested you know) I found some rare photos, one of which includes the Manson Family, I'm wondering if you would may already have it or could use or ask permission for your book. I know a little bit about copyright and usually famous (infamous) people don't fall into that category, but regardless, I'd like to get you the photo without it being seen before your book is published. Just wondering how to get it to you? If you'd like it in email mine is itsmekat@aol.com, if you'd not care to have yours out there you could set up a gmail account.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

I will send you a message with my email. Thank you Kat...you're the best.


Bud Gallant profile image

Bud Gallant 5 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

BukowskiBabe,

That's a good question. I'm not sure what Crowley would think, but I somewhat suspect he didn't name a clear successor purposely to bring about the sort of chaos that occurred with the OTO after he died. I don't think he had a lot of faith in his followers then, let alone now.

I've read a lot about Parsons and the Babalon Working. What is especially interesting to me about the LRH factor, are the claims he was infiltrating Agape Lodge on behalf of the navy. I remember seeing a newspaper clipping somewhere online that reported this around the time, as well. Not everyone is convinced of that, but personally, I wouldn't be surprised given what ended up occurring with the lodge and Parsons. The destruction of Agape Lodge sealed the fate for American occultism in that time, anyway.

A lot of the Parsons-Hubbard stuff comes from a particular book that resulted in a lawsuit and the removal of Hubbard's name from it. I don't know what the status is of it now, but the book definitely is high on agenda and low on evidence, so I tread carefully.

Anyway, again, thank you for such an engaging hub. Obviously it's really captured my attention.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

I have not seen your email! The photo is quite old so I think you'd at least like to view it and decide. I'm going to go thumb though my mail I'd hate for you to miss out on this one as I found it at a place with nothing to do with them.

On another note, I think you mentioned about snopes. I have caught a couple of things not being 100% there, but it says the door that was on the house was taken off and used in court and is property of the state, and not in Reznor's possession. When I thought about it, it surely had to be true because in such a case it would be needed. Brb, going to look! -Kat


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

The door was not taken as evidence. They took blood samples from the door as evidence for the prosecution. Speaking of blood evidence, I have an entire chapter devoted to new theories on the blood evidence. My brother-in-law is a seasoned NYPD homicide detective and he was kind enough to evaluate the blood evidence. He had some interesting things to say on the matter.

I wanted to tell you that I found the most perfect blond bob...I wanted to show you a pic, but as I am computer challenged, couldn't get the darn pic to cut and paste. Anyway, glad you're on...missed you.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

So I was right, snopes does have it's flaws! I told that to someone and they insist that if it's on there it's true! You can imagine trying to get them to believe Wikipedia is made by people, and can be edited by anyone! When I did it was rejected as too controversial of a subject so they would not change it!

Are you going to put your brother in law's findings and quote in your book? I'd be interested to know what he has to say about it. You know, I knew a guy from Italy and he would occasionally post photos that would being about some controversy among us. He had 5 of us as "the most outspoken women he knew" lol, I'm ok with that honor to an extent, but he put up one of the crime scene photos. (No, that I did not save) It was of Sharon. So of course it had us 5 women going off like firecrackers! Needless to say he finally deleted it! But it was the first time I had viewed that particular photo and I truly have not felt the same since! I find myself very different around pregnant women since I saw that! I mean, I've always opened a door for them, help them when they have to back in with the stroller and such, and even though I have shoulder problems, I'll reach things down if I see that in a store. I figure my pain is nothing in comparison! :)

You know it's taken so long to get my hair where it all goes into a pony tail and out of my face! I have a friend that got a bob and she looks so young again! I'm going to do it, it's a matter of when!! lol There is a site, dailymakeover I believe. You pull your hair back and put other hair styles on. I tried a few. I need the nerive!! ::cowardly lion voice:: LOL! Missed being on! Working on that other! I wish sleep wasn't a necessity! lol! Missed you as well!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I just voted up and tagged it as awesome for this very well researched and written hub!


fashion 5 years ago

This is very well-researched. I'm really impressed.

The information about the house was fascinating.

Good job.


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 5 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Oh thank you Fashion. Thus far, I've had a crazy day and you've brightened things up. I appreciate the comment.


Cshafer 4 years ago

Being a NIN fan, I would have to say he knew the history of the house. If you watch the "Gave up" video that was filmed in the house. They have an American flag draped on the mix board which appears to be in the exact same spot Tates couch was with a flag also draped over it.


Jason 4 years ago

There's no way he couldn't have known the history of the house as far as i'm concerned. Honestly, Trent Reznor, master of dark teenage angst moves into the site of a famous, historical hollywood massacre and doesn't know it's history ? And builds a studio in the same room where it took place? I cannot imagine the energy that must have been that room.....

Taking the door is definitely bad taste and furthers the idea that he was into the dark / macabre aspect of the whole thing. I do believe the part about the crying though. It's what he does best right...


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 3 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Jason, I have not been on in a spell, but yeah, dig the comment about Raznor and, 'crying.' Right on.....


BukowskiBabe profile image

BukowskiBabe 3 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all. Author

Thank you Bard! I am going to have to take a peek at some of your hubs. I am getting a good vibe from you...Holly

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