Having touched briefly on the ‘California Death Ray’ in my recent Ride the Wild Surf article I find that I have opened Pandora’s Box and she compels me to explore the matter further:
The Beatles recorded the songs ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘Piggies’, ‘Revolution Number 9’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ on their formless masterpiece The White Album.
The Beach Boys recorded the song ‘Cease to Exist’, written by Charles Manson, as ‘Never Learn Not to Love’ on their 20/20 album. Rob Zombie also recorded his own ‘Cease to exist’ which contains the line ‘Die to Live’.
In 1968 Mia Farrow starred in Rosemary’s Baby, which is a film about the birth of the Anti-Christ. It was directed by Roman Polanski. In 1969 his wife, the film actress Sharon Tate, was slaughtered by Charles Manson’s little helpers at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, along with her unborn child. The words ‘Helter Skelter’ were inscribed on the walls in blood.
Recording star Trent Reznor later bought the house and installed a sound studio. When he left he took with him the same front door that had been daubed with the word ‘Pig’ on the night of the murders. ‘Death to Pigs’ was scrawled onto the walls of the La Bianca home the day after their murders, at Manson’s instruction.
Rosemary and Leno La Bianca were killed using knives and forks which are referenced in the White Album song ‘Piggies’.
‘Dear Prudence’ is a song by John Lennon about Mia Farrow’s sister, whom the Beatles met when both girls stayed at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Indian retreat in 1967. Mike Love of the Beach Boys was also present at the meditation holiday camp. The Beatles’ stay ended abruptly when they received the news of Bryan Epstein’s suicide.
Simultaneously Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys was spending some quality time with the Manson tribe. He introduced Charlie to Terry Melcher, record producer and son of Doris Day, who at that time was residing at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. Melcher’s producer credits include The Byrds, Glen Campbell and the Mamas and the Papas. He also sang background vocals on Pet Sounds and introduced Bryan Wilson to Van Dyke Parks.
Melcher initially offered to launch Manson’s recording career but backed off after he saw Charlie get into a brutal fight.
Roman Polanski was informed of his wife’s murder on August 3rd. It was the same day that the iconic photo of the four Beatles walking across the zebra crossing was shot for the cover of Abbey Road. In the picture Paul McCartney is shoeless.
As a prequel to their blood rituals Charlie instructed the family to play ‘Creepy Crawlies’. This game involved entering a victim’s home late at night, with the intent to leave only tiny clues to the nocturnal intrusion by silently moving knick-knacks or furniture. On one occasion they stole a cowboy hat from Jack Jones, the singer of the ‘Love Boat’ theme song.
Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was subsequently a celebrity guest on the long running TV series. Her husband John Phillips had been conducting an affair with Sharon Tate prior to the murders and when Roman Polanski returned to LA he broke into the Phillips residence seeking proof that John was involved in the killing.
Playboy hairstylist Jay Sebring was also killed in the slaughter at Cielo Drive. He was a close friend of Warren Beatty and kick-started the career of Bruce Lee when he introduced him to William Dozier (producer of both the Batman and The Green Hornet TV series. Mia Farrow also knew Jay, before she married Frank Sinatra and then eventually replaced Beatty’s ex-squeeze Diane Keaton in the affections of Woody Allen.
Allen started an affair with, and later married, Farrow’s adopted daughter. In retaliation Mia claimed that he had abused her son Dylan during their co-habitation. Allen was never charged
Bob Dylan plays no part in this twisted scenario but in his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, Neil Young speaks positively about convicted murderer Charles Manson’s songwriting skills. Young met Manson through their mutual friend, Dennis Wilson, in the Sixties. “After a while, a guy showed up, picked up my guitar, and started playing a lot of songs on it,” Young remembers. “His name was Charlie … Kind of like Dylan, but different because it was hard to glimpse a true message in them, but the songs were fascinating. He was quite good.”
Neil Young’s song ‘On the Beach’, from the album of the same name, is inspired by Manson’s visions of a futuristic race war which he wanted to initiate with the Hinman/Tate/Lo Bianca murders. After the war Charlie and his friends hoped to emerge from a bottomless pit in the Mojave Desert and rule the world.
Manson later claimed that he had been influenced by the sound collage ‘Revolution Number 9’ from The White Album, believing it to be a Biblical reference to Revelations verse 9 which deals with the Beast of the Apocalypse.
When the news of the Tate murders broke the entire Manson family de-camped from LA to the Bates Ranch in Death Valley. They paid for the rental with platinum discs of Pet Sounds which they had stolen from Dennis Wilson’s house.
The beast himself is alive and well; even planning marriage to a young woman who is besotted with him. Manson has lost some of his ability to exercise the media for his own sinister purpose, but still retains the sanguine air of a devil in temporary chains.
Phil Spector, the mad haired mono genius and producer of Let it Be for the Beatles recently received a note from Charlie, who was in a neighboring prison, requesting a meeting. Spector’s publicist quoted Phil as saying ‘‘I used to pick up the phone and it was Lennon or Celine Dion and now it’s Charles Manson trying to get a hold of me.’’
Marilyn Manson recorded Charlie’s song ‘Sick City’ and received a hand written message from the composer which contains the phrase ‘ghost dancers slay together’.
Charlie isn’t the only founding father of the CDR to still grace the US prison system. Get ready to meet and greet the dark angel who was convicted of the first ‘Revelations number 9’ killing: the one and only Mr. Robert Beausoleil.
TO BE CONTINUED
Having completed principal photography on phase one of the Sharks revival SWP is now preparing to edit the One Last Thrill feature documentary. Sharks themselves are ‘dropping a big one’ by releasing a double album Dark Beatles/White Temptations in April 2018.
In his spare time the author kayaks the muddy river Ouse and walks the South Downs which gently enfold his home town of Lewes.