Charles Manson & The Beach Boys: Manson's Strange Musical Legacy
Charles Manson is back in the spotlight as we approach the 40th Anniversary of the Manson Murders. Manson is best known as the crazed leader of the Manson Family, who was responsible for the Sharon Tate murders. What is often unknown is Manson's strange relationship with the world of music. An aspiring musician, Manson fashioned himself a singer/songwriter. He even managed to have one of his songs recorded by the Beach Boys.
Manson forged a relationship with the Beach Boys after meeting drummer Dennis Wilson in 1968. Wilson became entangled in Manson's world after picking up two hitchhikers who were Manson Family members. Wilson took the women to one of his homes to seduce them; over time, Manson and his family moved into Wilson's house. Wilson didn't seem to mind as Manson provided the drummer with all the drugs and women he wanted.
During that time, Manson played several of his songs for Wilson, who eventually passed them on to record executives and his fellow Beach Boys. He even helped Manson set up recording sessions.
The relationship between Charles Manson and Dennis Wilson eventually soured. Instead of confronting Manson and his psychotic behavior, Wilson simply chose to move out of his rented house and let the landlord deal with it.
Manson, however, continued to hound Wilson for help with his music career. Wilson eventually talked the Beach Boys into recording one of Manson's songs. Manson's song Never Learn Not To Love appeared on the Beach Boys 1969 album 20/20. The band changed several of Manson's lyrics: Manson's original lyric "cease to exist," for instance, was changed to "cease to resist."
Manson's connection to the music world didn't end there. Guns 'n' Roses included a cover of the Manson song Look at Your Game Girl on their album The Spaghetti Incident? Artist Marilyn Manson got half of his stage name from Manson.