Monday, September 8, 2008

charles manson: your home is where you're happy

uncle charlie: still crazy as a bedbug; daft as a brush.

chairs missing.
electric chairs, with pretty coloured wires.

I don't know. Blame it on Beer N. Hockey for germinating the seed. And Gus, for that Family business, although wholly unwittingly I hasten to concede. But then again, surely he knows how my mind warps by now ?

And John Peel, too, for spinning this as an LP on his radio show in the 70s and originally exposing me to the 'horror' of "The Love and Terror Cult". Shady laned, laid-back bastard; but possessing of an admirable talent for administering the needle.

I swore to myself long ago I wasn't going to give this twisted little f@cker the web space, let alone the benefit of the doubt. Not twice. So, let's clear up one thing right from the start: Charlie is a sad little dude - an institutional rat - who is locked up 24/7 for his own security; on any 'normal' penitentiary wing he wouldn't last a week. Let alone a life sentence. There are plenty individuals in mainstream prison who would eat him for breakfast just for the kudos. In the same way Kurt might consume the vital organs of an enemy simply to lend shade to a heart of darkness. My own blood uncle would have stomped Charlie too.

Himself a connoisseur of CRT television valves, like any seasoned serial killer, he personally favoured the moustache of Farouk, by the grace of God; King of Egypt. Very handsome too. Long bones be damned. Cool.

But Charlie was an auteur only. A manipulator. Small-time Machiavelli.

From the back of the jacket to Awareness Rocords 08903-0156:

"This compact disc represents recordings made by Charles Manson prior to the Tate-La Bianca murders. There was some speculation at the time, that a record producer who had previously owned the Tate home and who had earlier rejected Manson's recordings, was the intended target. Every producer Manson had approached with his recordings ultimately received death threats at one time or another. It was subsequently shown that Manson had targeted for assassination a number of famous recording artists whose only crime was their success."

Including The Beatles.

That record producer, of course, was Terry Melcher, to whom Manson was introduced as a fringe songwriter of note via a chance encounter with Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson.

"Wilson paid for studio time to record songs written and performed by Manson, and he introduced Manson to acquaintances of his with roles in the entertainment business. These included Gregg Jakobson, Terry Melcher, and Rudi Altobelli, the last of whom owned a house he would soon rent to actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski. Jakobson, who was impressed by "the whole Charlie Manson package" of artist/lifestylist/philosopher, also paid to record Manson material."

It was all down hill from there. Helter Skelter, coming down fast.

But this is an historical document, worthy of exploration. And let's face it, I've been beating about the bush for the last week or so. Several posts at least.

The moral ? Never give out your address when trying to obtain narcotics. I must confess, though, I have listened to this entire album on many an occasion while blissfully engaged in domestic chores.

And just remember:

"Just as long as you got love in your heart, you'll never be alone."

I come from a long line, brothers and sisters. A string of gasping fish.

CHARLES MANSON: HOME IS WHERE YOU'RE HAPPY from "LIE: The Love And Terror Cult" CD (Awareness Records) 1987 (US / Canada)

THE FAMILY: I'LL NEVER SAY NEVER TO ALWAYS from "LIE: The Love And Terror Cult" CD (Awareness Records) 1987 (US / Canada)

CHARLES MANSON: BIG IRON DOOR from "LIE: The Love And Terror Cult" CD (Awareness Records) 1987 (US / Canada)


[So far as I understand it, all profits from the sale of this imprint proceed to a victims' fund, as subscribed to by Awareness Records, no monies being accrued by Manson or other Family members]


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Few brands, in our brand happy age, have endured for 40 years the way the Manson brand has.

A programme on the local hippy/volunteer radio station once played many, many hours of Manson interviews - in a row. Manson is sort of like Reed's Metal Machine Music - a lot better when listened to on acid.

ib said...

I suspect it has a lot to do with Manson's inextricable proximity to rock n' roll and the Family's part in the death of The Summer Of Love.

People have a fascination with sociopaths in general, but few cross into the cultural mainstream with such dramatic effect. I remember the Dead Boys tried to elevate Son Of Sam to iconic status; The Adverts too with Gary Gilmore.

I can only imagine the deadening effect of listening to Charlie ramble on for hours on the radio. I've listened to Metal Machine Music maybe once all the way through.

Listening to these recordings of Manson from the late 60s, it's fairly staggering to realize how commercially bland his delivery was.
Folk like Hitler.

Given the vogue in these current times for painting mainstream political parties in neo-nazi colours, it's food for thought just to see the swastika carved into Charlie's forehead by his own hand.

Kind of like Sid Vicious's idiocy given free reign in solitary confinement.

Your driver said...

You know, I'm pretty fed up with California prison raised sociopaths. Charlie never even struck me as crazy. He has a line of shit, which he uses to keep people disarmed and off balance. The rest is plain old pimping. California, "The Police State" has an insanely high number of people who've spent time in The System. A lot of them have a line of bullshit similar to Manson's. Charlie is just a bit more charismatic then them.

ib said...

Interesting. Institutional crazy, maybe. I mean, I can see how the system made the man, but it continues to amaze me that he actually succeeded in holding so many in thrall; not just down at Spahn Ranch but through the trial and beyond.

All this in an era of rampant guru grooming, granted, but still very weird.

Just so much dime-a-dozen theatrical shtick - agreed - but where he differs from a fat toad charlatan like Crowley is that Manson may understandably have adopted his routine initially as a survival mechanism; Crowley was an indulged ego from day one with an inheritance to support his mania.

Possibly Manson's charisma doesn't translate well over long distance and the filter of the media glare, but the fact that even Vincent Bugliosi fell under his spell to a degree further confounds me, despite the financial profit he stood to generate from the hype.

The thing with the swastika too. At first it was an 'X', right ? Uncharitably, you might say he grabbed onto the coat-tails of Malcolm's prison popularity regardless of race, but as a symbol it has the benefit of being ambiguous at least. Not so the swastika. Was this simply a ploy to ingratiate himself with the Brotherhood back behind bars with no prospect of parole ?

Your driver said...

As far as the Swastika goes, there was a lot of cutesy hip Swastika stuff going on then. Bikers had been playing with Swastikas for some time. Hippies had discovered the Swastika in Hindu art and rock and rollers were just starting to play around with it as a bad boy symbol that would later emerge on Sid Vicious' t shirt. I will say that Manson was a manifestation of the zeitgeist and, as such fascinating to everyone from Bugliosi to teenaged me.
The great poet, Ed Sanders, despised Manson. He wrote a book, "The Family", that pretty well destroys the Manson myth. Sanders, who I admire, set out to demolish the claim that Manson was the dark side of hippiedom. He shows the penal system to be the dark side of squaresville and Manson to be a pure product of that system. Great book. I should read it again.

ib said...

I like the sound of the Ed Sanders book. I buy his premise.

By the way, As a kid I bought a beaten bronze Hindu Swastika pendant from the bearded metal workers in one of the few 'head shops' in my locality. I was aware that the Reich had turned it 'widdeshins' to manifest a symbol of dark from light, but that didn't stop the janitor at my school - a WWII veteran - from threatening to beat me with a rake as a suspected juvenile neo-nazi. I clearly had the jump on Sid there, inadvertently.

Your driver said...

You can read some The Family at this link:,M1

George Vreeland Hill said...

Charles Manson is responsible for having many people killed.
He is a killer.
He is also a con artist and a fraud.
It is a shame that some people fall for his BS.
It is too bad that he could not have been put to death.
If any person deserves to be dead, it is Charles Manson.

George Vreeland Hill