Charles Manson: Singer/Songwriter?
Truthfully I was hesitant to writer this one...
because this man, in my opinion, is a monster. Yet, some how I find this fascinating; there is a mystique behind knowing that such a monster had another side.
I think this over all this is so hard to wrap my head around. The very thought that if Charles Manson would have became famous as a singer/ songwriter, or a musician....what would have changed?
What is even harder for me to get over is that...I like some of his songs. The lyrics, the melody and even his voice singing at times feels trance-like and soothing.
I am, of course, interested in taking on such a controversial subject, just for the fact that it walks such a fine line.
I am in no way condoning, nor trying to give this monster praise.
I do not want anyone to mistake the facts, that I believe this man is evil in the purest form, and that the crimes committed are most unforgivable. Still I can't get past the idea that a monster like this could have been famous for other reasons. Maybe even possibly celebrated as an artistic influences.
How unfathomable is the very thought of that?
Charles Manson could have been a musical sensation. He could have influenced generations for a completely different reason... Hauntingly enough that could have happened.
It is a terrifying thought isn't it?
But not quite as terrifying as the destruction of humanity this man caused.
It was in 1967 Charles Manson found himself lost in the middle of the Los Angeles "counter culture" scene.
inside the L.A. coffee houses and parks. Manson found a gaining reputation as an up and coming folk musician. He wrote love songs as well as, not uncommon for the times, anti-establishment songs. Manson had good looks, charisma, and talent, he charmed groupies and developed a following. Many would later become the followers infamously known as the Manson Family.
It was around this time that Charles Manson met Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys. Wilson happened to pick up two members of the Manson's followers hitchhiking and they convinced Dennis to come and listen to Manson play. Wilson liked what he had heard, and got the Beach Boy's producer Terry Melcher to come listen to Manson's songs. Terry was not as impressed by Charles' music and woudn't offer Manson a contract.
This huge disappointment to Manson, is what has been the suspected rumor...that this event became one of the motives for the murder of Sharon Tate and her four companions a year later. You see Terry Melcher once lived at 10050 Ceilo Street...The same house, that in 1969, Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski were living...the very house that would become the sight of the grzzly Tate-La Bianca murders.
Dennis Wilson didn't given up on Charles Manson's music after Terry's rejection. For three days during the summer of 1968, Dennis and sound engineer Stephen Despair recorded fourteen demo tracks for Manson in Brian Wilson's private home recording studio. Manson arrived at the studio with six of his female groupies and plenty of dope. This recording session became the album "Lie". Which is considered to be some of Manson's best compositions recorded during those three days. The fourteen songs on "Lie" include such notable titles as, "The Eyes of the Dreamer", "Look At Your Game Girl", "Mechanical Man", "Home is Where You're Happy", and "Cease to Exist".
Soon after the recording sessions, Dennis Wilson convinced the rest of The Beach Boys to record one of Manson's songs. "Cease to Exist" which was renamed " Never Learn Not to Love" appears on the Beach Boy's "20/20" album. This proved that Charles Manson was a good of a songwriter. Even though, when both songs are played back to back, the revamped "Never Learn Not to Love" is not nearly as smooth as "Cease to Exist." Of course, the Beach Boys version is a little overly psychedelic, due to identity crisis the band was going through at the time.
"Lie" was finally released, after the murders and the trial, in 1974 with all proceeds from the sales of the album going to the families of the Manson Family's victims. For the first time, the world could hear Manson's music. "Lie" had no hits, because it was considered in bad taste to buy the album for obvious reasons.
Those who did hear Manson's music, were surpised at what they heard and Manson's music did develop a bit of interest. Included on that list are some of the popular bands that have covered some of Manson's songs. Bend like Guns N' Roses recorded "Look At Your Game Girl", The Lemonheads took on "Home is Where You're Happy", and Marilyn Manson partially used "Mechanical Man" in his song "My Monkey;" just to name a few of the recording artist that have recorded Manson's songs.
"Lie" was re-released in 2003 on CD spawning another generation of curious music lovers. Just as before, the proceeds of the album sales went to the families of Manson's victims.
"Look at your Game Girl"
Rumor Has It....
That Charles Manson auditioned for TV's "The Monkees" but the spot was given to Peter Tork. Whether or not this is true I do not know. From what I can figure out, the auditions were probably held before he was released from prison in 1967.
I can't imagine Davy Jones singing "Look at Your Game Girl," and "Eyes of the Dreamer?"
It is suggested that the murders at house of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate was a result of Manson's rejection by Terry Melcher,the producer that Dennis Wilson introduced. Terry once lived at that house...a coincidence, or not, this is just too uncanny.
The La Bianca House, at 3301 Waverly Dr, also bears a bit of coincidence. Manson had attended parties at the house next door with Beach Boys' road manager Phil Kaufman. Phil had a falling out with Manson over his music. Kaufman has suggested that Manson was after him and that Manson's followers were looking for him at that home.