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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: Shady on August 23, 2021, 09:41:22 AM



Title: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Shady on August 23, 2021, 09:41:22 AM
Has anyone else read this? It is wild!

Dennis and The Beach Boys play a big role in it. It alleges that Dennis was involved in a cover up with Terry Melcher after the murders. That Hollywood knew right after that the Beach Boys were involved and they were shunned, FBI bugging Beach Boys offices..  crazy stuff.

No Beach Boys talked to the author but he does talk to some exes of Dennis, despar is in it. Really interesting stuff, The book is getting a lot of attention.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: juggler on August 23, 2021, 12:12:36 PM
On your recommendation, I borrowed the eBook and skimmed the relevant chapters.  Yes, it's very dark stuff indeed, alleging that Dennis and particularly Terry were involved much longer and more deeply with "The Family" than had been previously acknowledged.  The author seems to believe that Vince Bugliosi covered for Terry and minimized his involvement.

Something new-ish with respect to BB history is the author's suggestion that Gregg Jakobson had very limited musical talent and that Denny gave Gregg songwriting credits as a "thank you" for testifying in the Manson trial so Denny didn't have to.  Not sure that I really buy that.  If we were talking just about a few Sunflower-era credits, it might be plausible, but if the Denny-Gregg collaboration was more pretense than reality, why would it have continued into Pacific Ocean Blue 6 or 7 years later?  The Manson thing had surely blown over by that point, so I'm very much inclined to believe that Gregg's songwriting credits were deserved.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: DonnyL on August 23, 2021, 12:25:47 PM
I read this last summer, and wrote this song about it:

https://youtu.be/lHnWb4B4TSA



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Shady on August 23, 2021, 01:19:26 PM
On your recommendation, I borrowed the eBook and skimmed the relevant chapters.  Yes, it's very dark stuff indeed, alleging that Dennis and particularly Terry were involved much longer and more deeply with "The Family" than had been previously acknowledged.  The author seems to believe that Vince Bugliosi covered for Terry and minimized his involvement.

Something new-ish with respect to BB history is the author's suggestion that Gregg Jakobson had very limited musical talent and that Denny gave Gregg songwriting credits as a "thank you" for testifying in the Manson trial so Denny didn't have to.  Not sure that I really buy that.  If we were talking just about a few Sunflower-era credits, it might be plausible, but if the Denny-Gregg collaboration was more pretense than reality, why would it have continued into Pacific Ocean Blue 6 or 7 years later?  The Manson thing had surely blown over by that point, so I'm very much inclined to believe that Gregg's songwriting credits were deserved.

That was actually John Stebbins who suggested that to the author


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: maggie on August 23, 2021, 03:38:13 PM
On your recommendation, I borrowed the eBook and skimmed the relevant chapters.  Yes, it's very dark stuff indeed, alleging that Dennis and particularly Terry were involved much longer and more deeply with "The Family" than had been previously acknowledged.  The author seems to believe that Vince Bugliosi covered for Terry and minimized his involvement.

Something new-ish with respect to BB history is the author's suggestion that Gregg Jakobson had very limited musical talent and that Denny gave Gregg songwriting credits as a "thank you" for testifying in the Manson trial so Denny didn't have to.  Not sure that I really buy that.  If we were talking just about a few Sunflower-era credits, it might be plausible, but if the Denny-Gregg collaboration was more pretense than reality, why would it have continued into Pacific Ocean Blue 6 or 7 years later?  The Manson thing had surely blown over by that point, so I'm very much inclined to believe that Gregg's songwriting credits were deserved.

To my knowledge neither Gregg nor anyone else has ever claimed that he made musical contributions to Denny's songs, just the lyrics?

So I don't see how musical talent or lack thereof would even enter into it. Denny just had trouble expressing himself in words.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: juggler on August 23, 2021, 05:50:09 PM
To my knowledge neither Gregg nor anyone else has ever claimed that he made musical contributions to Denny's songs, just the lyrics?

So I don't see how musical talent or lack thereof would even enter into it. Denny just had trouble expressing himself in words.

That's certainly a valid point, but this is relevant quote from the book:

Dennis Wilson’s biographer John Stebbins believed Jakobson “testified to protect Wilson from having to do the same.” Wilson gave Jakobson cowriting credits—and therefore a steady stream of royalties—on many of his songs, even though Jakobson “had no idea what he was doing” in the studio, where it seemed he “didn’t know a guitar string from a piano key.”

O'Neill's clear implication here is that Gregg's credits were, at least partially, a quid pro quo for testifying in Denny's place.  I know that John S. is a member of this forum, so maybe he's discussed this issue before, but saying that Jakobson lacked (or lacks) musical talent and implying that his songwriting credits were perhaps undeserved aren't necessarily the same thing.  You can believe that Jakobson was a non-musician but a decent (or at least helpful) lyricist deserving of whatever credits he received.  But I think O'Neill is pretty clearly suggesting something other than that.

BTW, another interesting thing in the book is the suggestion by Terry that Bugliosi didn't want Denny testify because they thought Denny was crazy and detached from reality.  Melcher talks about Denny possessing an "antigravity" device with Terry at least believing that Denny thought it was real.  Of course, Dennis' various issues of recklessness and substance abuse have been well-known, but the idea that he was suffering from delusions or paranoid fantasies is kinda news to me.  If this is  true, one wonders to the extent that Dennis might have been suffering from some of the same mental-health issues that plagued Brian though perhaps was better at concealing it?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 23, 2021, 06:48:33 PM
I had read about Tom O'Neill's book and had already explored probably more than the average amount of Manson related histories and theories, and had a pretty solid opinion that most people didn't know the full truth about Charles Manson and how deep the story actually ran beyond Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" account, which seems to still be the accepted mainstream version of events.

But holy crap, when Tom O'Neill was interviewed by Joe Rogan last April about the book...some of the details were brand new, mind-blowing, and pretty much takes the accepted history and mainstream knowledge of the Manson story and ripped it to shreds.

I'd highly recommend the book to anyone with even a passing interest of the story, and even more of an interest in hearing the full story behind the accepted versions everyone knows.

O'Neill is the real deal, in my opinion. He literally lost his career and a lot in his personal and financial life (it basically bankrupted him with various lawsuits and the like) in order to write and research this book. It took him over 20 years or so to finish it. I don't think the Manson story has ever been told in such detail and with such background in one resource.

What readers may find is that they share O'Neill's frustrations in that his research would get him half a step from a true "smoking gun" document or source which would nail it together, only to find those key pieces of evidence were either lost or destroyed. So it becomes a huge collection sometimes of circumstantial evidence, or a collection of everything that would fit...akin to a 5,000 piece puzzle...but the last piece after 4,999 fit would be missing.

Short synopsis of a few key points and questions I had prior to the book, with more after the book: Vincent Bugliosi was a deeply flawed man who used tactics most would find immoral if not distasteful in order to win a conviction. So to convict Manson, Bugliosi spun a tale which he thought would convince a judge and jury to win the case. But it wasn't even touching on many (if not most) key areas and individuals involved with Manson. What was left out begs the questions why was it left out, or who wanted it left out? And why did Bugliosi mess with testimony and eyewitnesses as the claims are that he did?

Next, and even more compelling if not disturbing: How were Manson and Lee Harvey Oswald's killer Jack Ruby connected?

That alone is worth reading the book.

And that specific issue also raises the questions of how and why Charles Manson got multiple "get out of jail free" cards after his release, specific to when he was floating around San Francisco in the mid 60's, when any number of infractions he committed would have caused most parolees' parole to be immediately revoked and they'd be sent back to prison. Manson had someone (or something) watching over him, it would seem, and he kept skating by and stayed out of prison when anyone else would not have had such luck with the justice system.

It's fascinating reading. No more spoilers. But here's O'Neill on Joe Rogan's show for 3 hours discussing it:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7tcmg3 (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7tcmg3)

Anyone who believes Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" accounts, or who wishes to just close the book on Manson entirely for whatever reasons, should seriously consider at least listening to the interview at that link, and reading the book, and then seeing if those opinions of the Manson story change at all. It feels like we've been sold a false bill of goods for 50 years after doing so.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on August 23, 2021, 09:20:14 PM
One thing I noticed though is that the timeline for Dennis is complicated. The book suggests that the summer of 1968 was one of endless partying by Dennis with the family but Dennis was on the road from July 1 to July 17 and again from August 2 to August 24, so that summer was not really a long one. Seems more like the family was hanging out at his house and when he was around he participated. Summer really seems to mean late May-June 1968 when the BBs were not touring.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: 18thofMay on August 24, 2021, 12:02:07 AM
I had read about Tom O'Neill's book and had already explored probably more than the average amount of Manson related histories and theories, and had a pretty solid opinion that most people didn't know the full truth about Charles Manson and how deep the story actually ran beyond Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" account, which seems to still be the accepted mainstream version of events.

But holy crap, when Tom O'Neill was interviewed by Joe Rogan last April about the book...some of the details were brand new, mind-blowing, and pretty much takes the accepted history and mainstream knowledge of the Manson story and ripped it to shreds.

I'd highly recommend the book to anyone with even a passing interest of the story, and even more of an interest in hearing the full story behind the accepted versions everyone knows.

O'Neill is the real deal, in my opinion. He literally lost his career and a lot in his personal and financial life (it basically bankrupted him with various lawsuits and the like) in order to write and research this book. It took him over 20 years or so to finish it. I don't think the Manson story has ever been told in such detail and with such background in one resource.

What readers may find is that they share O'Neill's frustrations in that his research would get him half a step from a true "smoking gun" document or source which would nail it together, only to find those key pieces of evidence were either lost or destroyed. So it becomes a huge collection sometimes of circumstantial evidence, or a collection of everything that would fit...akin to a 5,000 piece puzzle...but the last piece after 4,999 fit would be missing.

Short synopsis of a few key points and questions I had prior to the book, with more after the book: Vincent Bugliosi was a deeply flawed man who used tactics most would find immoral if not distasteful in order to win a conviction. So to convict Manson, Bugliosi spun a tale which he thought would convince a judge and jury to win the case. But it wasn't even touching on many (if not most) key areas and individuals involved with Manson. What was left out begs the questions why was it left out, or who wanted it left out? And why did Bugliosi mess with testimony and eyewitnesses as the claims are that he did?

Next, and even more compelling if not disturbing: How were Manson and Lee Harvey Oswald's killer Jack Ruby connected?

That alone is worth reading the book.

And that specific issue also raises the questions of how and why Charles Manson got multiple "get out of jail free" cards after his release, specific to when he was floating around San Francisco in the mid 60's, when any number of infractions he committed would have caused most parolees' parole to be immediately revoked and they'd be sent back to prison. Manson had someone (or something) watching over him, it would seem, and he kept skating by and stayed out of prison when anyone else would not have had such luck with the justice system.

It's fascinating reading. No more spoilers. But here's O'Neill on Joe Rogan's show for 3 hours discussing it:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7tcmg3 (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7tcmg3)

Anyone who believes Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" accounts, or who wishes to just close the book on Manson entirely for whatever reasons, should seriously consider at least listening to the interview at that link, and reading the book, and then seeing if those opinions of the Manson story change at all. It feels like we've been sold a false bill of goods for 50 years after doing so.

Hard pass on Rogan. The blokes wanker.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: >PapaLaPap< on August 24, 2021, 01:06:15 AM
On your recommendation, I borrowed the eBook and skimmed the relevant chapters.  Yes, it's very dark stuff indeed, alleging that Dennis and particularly Terry were involved much longer and more deeply with "The Family" than had been previously acknowledged.  The author seems to believe that Vince Bugliosi covered for Terry and minimized his involvement.

Something new-ish with respect to BB history is the author's suggestion that Gregg Jakobson had very limited musical talent and that Denny gave Gregg songwriting credits as a "thank you" for testifying in the Manson trial so Denny didn't have to.  Not sure that I really buy that.  If we were talking just about a few Sunflower-era credits, it might be plausible, but if the Denny-Gregg collaboration was more pretense than reality, why would it have continued into Pacific Ocean Blue 6 or 7 years later?  The Manson thing had surely blown over by that point, so I'm very much inclined to believe that Gregg's songwriting credits were deserved.

To my knowledge neither Gregg nor anyone else has ever claimed that he made musical contributions to Denny's songs, just the lyrics?

So I don't see how musical talent or lack thereof would even enter into it. Denny just had trouble expressing himself in words.

I seem to recall that Stanley Shapiro claiming that he wrote WIBNTLA all on his own(?) (And off course excepting the CHAOS man himself)...


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Shady on August 24, 2021, 05:35:03 AM
To my knowledge neither Gregg nor anyone else has ever claimed that he made musical contributions to Denny's songs, just the lyrics?

So I don't see how musical talent or lack thereof would even enter into it. Denny just had trouble expressing himself in words.

That's certainly a valid point, but this is relevant quote from the book:

Dennis Wilson’s biographer John Stebbins believed Jakobson “testified to protect Wilson from having to do the same.” Wilson gave Jakobson cowriting credits—and therefore a steady stream of royalties—on many of his songs, even though Jakobson “had no idea what he was doing” in the studio, where it seemed he “didn’t know a guitar string from a piano key.”

O'Neill's clear implication here is that Gregg's credits were, at least partially, a quid pro quo for testifying in Denny's place.  I know that John S. is a member of this forum, so maybe he's discussed this issue before, but saying that Jakobson lacked (or lacks) musical talent and implying that his songwriting credits were perhaps undeserved aren't necessarily the same thing.  You can believe that Jakobson was a non-musician but a decent (or at least helpful) lyricist deserving of whatever credits he received.  But I think O'Neill is pretty clearly suggesting something other than that.

BTW, another interesting thing in the book is the suggestion by Terry that Bugliosi didn't want Denny testify because they thought Denny was crazy and detached from reality.  Melcher talks about Denny possessing an "antigravity" device with Terry at least believing that Denny thought it was real.  Of course, Dennis' various issues of recklessness and substance abuse have been well-known, but the idea that he was suffering from delusions or paranoid fantasies is kinda news to me.  If this is  true, one wonders to the extent that Dennis might have been suffering from some of the same mental-health issues that plagued Brian though perhaps was better at concealing it?

I remember that, Dennis thought the device could make his car fly over traffic

I dont know how Dennis was at this time but it doesn't jive with the music he was starting to make


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on August 24, 2021, 09:25:40 AM
It's been a couple of years since I read the book, but every August I tend to go down the Manson rabbit hole for a bit...

Great book, and I agree, the author really sacrificed a lot in his 20 year pursuit of the story.

What makes the whole Manson story fascinating, to me at least, is that we absolutely know who committed the murders. But the reason why, as portrayed by Bugliosi is flawed, if not outright crap. So it's that age old question, do the ends justify the means in the Halls of Justice?

Your head can blow lean off when you try to connect all the dots in Chaos. I'm surprised O'Neill didn't go insane, writing this.

My focus in reading was really on Terry, and it helped me to understand where he stood in all this. And there still is lots of confusion, and I suppose Terry took the real story to his grave.  Overall though I think Terry was really infatuated with the idea of free access to the girls. The few times Terry spoke of the Family, he went out of his way to say how the girls were beneath his standards, he only dated models etc. Outright deflecting, IMO. These girls, on Charlie's command were up for all sorts of 'activities', that I'm sure Terry wasn't getting from Candace Bergen or whomever. Ruth Ann Moorehouse was young, and attractive, and Terry tried to convince Bergen that they should hire her as a maid at Cielo. Terry was lending Dean Moorehouse his car and credit card, allegedly.  He was just way more involved than he let on. It doesn't make him responsible, but it's certainly questionable behaviour. O'Neill says Terry was meeting with Manson, post murders. And another thing I found odd was that Actress Olivia Hussey, who moved into Cielo after the murders, said Terry was back living there.  Just a lot of weird stuff
revolving around Terry.

O'Neill discovers that Tex's lawyer has 20 hours of tape , which is the first recorded discussions of the Murders, supposedly.  And I think around 2013 , he was trying to get access to them. LAPD got their hands on them and never released the contents....why after 50 years?? Makes you wonder.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: juggler on August 24, 2021, 01:21:35 PM
I remember that, Dennis thought the device could make his car fly over traffic

I dont know how Dennis was at this time but it doesn't jive with the music he was starting to make

I'm not sure we can say that what Dennis was doing musically at the time disproves detachment from reality.  Remember, we're talking about the Wilson brothers.  Brian certainly proved time and time again, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it's possible to do great things musically while, as Jack Rieley once said, "walking on the other side of the street."


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on August 24, 2021, 01:44:29 PM
Answering my own questions-I see that Manson's new probation officer learned he was living with Dennis by June 3 1968 and visited Dennis's mansion on June 6 1968


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: juggler on August 24, 2021, 05:45:07 PM
My focus in reading was really on Terry, and it helped me to understand where he stood in all this. And there still is lots of confusion, and I suppose Terry took the real story to his grave.  Overall though I think Terry was really infatuated with the idea of free access to the girls. The few times Terry spoke of the Family, he went out of his way to say how the girls were beneath his standards, he only dated models etc. Outright deflecting, IMO. These girls, on Charlie's command were up for all sorts of 'activities', that I'm sure Terry wasn't getting from Candace Bergen or whomever. Ruth Ann Moorehouse was young, and attractive, and Terry tried to convince Bergen that they should hire her as a maid at Cielo. Terry was lending Dean Moorehouse his car and credit card, allegedly.  He was just way more involved than he let on.
revolving around Terry.

Yeah, that bit in the book wherein Terry brags about having brought later-gf Michelle Phillips to the DA's office with him and telling them, "This is my girlfriend, do you think I’d want to be with any of these…?"  Terry seems to have considered this argument the ultimate checkmate, but it's pretty lame, IMO.  Denny was certainly a much bigger celebrity than Terry, and *he* clearly didn't think he was too good for those girls.  And, besides, there's no accounting for taste.  I mean, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He was a huge international star and a married man with 4 kids, and he was having sex with his not particularly attractive cleaning lady.  Thus, the "these women are beneath my standards" argument is pretty weak.

You know, in another recent thread about LSD, we had some discussion about how odd it was for someone as seemingly straitlaced as Bruce to have been at what Mike Love described as an acid-soaked orgy at Dennis's house.  Now, AFAIK, there's no particular evidence that Terry was at that party too.  But would it have been so odd if he were?  After all, Bruce and Terry were BFFs.

BTW, here's Mike's description of the party as reported by People magazine:

Love himself met the aspiring rock star Manson – who, along with his “girls,” had moved into Dennis Wilson’s home, where they spent Dennis’ money, took his clothes and ate his food – over dinner at the house with fellow performer Bruce Johnston. After the meal, Manson summoned the men to the den, “where he turned on a strobe light and revealed all of his girls lying there, naked,” Love writes.

“He started passing out LSD tabs and was orchestrating sex partners,” Love writes. “I love the female form, but this was too much.”

Love bowed out to take a shower but found himself suddenly joined by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who years later tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. “Before I could tell her to get lost,” Love writes, “Manson himself arrived.”

“He looked up at me with those dark, beady eyes and said, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

“Excuse me?” Love replied.

“You can’t leave the group.”

Love made an excuse that he and Johnston needed to return to the studio. “We got the hell out of there,” he writes, “and as we pulled out of the driveway, I thought, Denny, you’ve got a real nut case for a roommate now.”

https://people.com/crime/beach-boys-mike-love-remembers-confrontation-with-charles-manson/


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 24, 2021, 06:38:59 PM
My focus in reading was really on Terry, and it helped me to understand where he stood in all this. And there still is lots of confusion, and I suppose Terry took the real story to his grave.  Overall though I think Terry was really infatuated with the idea of free access to the girls. The few times Terry spoke of the Family, he went out of his way to say how the girls were beneath his standards, he only dated models etc. Outright deflecting, IMO. These girls, on Charlie's command were up for all sorts of 'activities', that I'm sure Terry wasn't getting from Candace Bergen or whomever. Ruth Ann Moorehouse was young, and attractive, and Terry tried to convince Bergen that they should hire her as a maid at Cielo. Terry was lending Dean Moorehouse his car and credit card, allegedly.  He was just way more involved than he let on.
revolving around Terry.

Yeah, that bit in the book wherein Terry brags about having brought later-gf Michelle Phillips to the DA's office with him and telling them, "This is my girlfriend, do you think I’d want to be with any of these…?"  Terry seems to have considered this argument the ultimate checkmate, but it's pretty lame, IMO.  Denny was certainly a much bigger celebrity than Terry, and *he* clearly didn't think he was too good for those girls.  And, besides, there's no accounting for taste.  I mean, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He was a huge international star and a married man with 4 kids, and he was having sex with his not particularly attractive cleaning lady.  Thus, the "these women are beneath my standards" argument is pretty weak.

You know, in another recent thread about LSD, we had some discussion about how odd it was for someone as seemingly straitlaced as Bruce to have been at what Mike Love described as an acid-soaked orgy at Dennis's house.  Now, AFAIK, there's no particular evidence that Terry was at that party too.  But would it have been so odd if he were?  After all, Bruce and Terry were BFFs.

BTW, here's Mike's description of the party as reported by People magazine:

Love himself met the aspiring rock star Manson – who, along with his “girls,” had moved into Dennis Wilson’s home, where they spent Dennis’ money, took his clothes and ate his food – over dinner at the house with fellow performer Bruce Johnston. After the meal, Manson summoned the men to the den, “where he turned on a strobe light and revealed all of his girls lying there, naked,” Love writes.

“He started passing out LSD tabs and was orchestrating sex partners,” Love writes. “I love the female form, but this was too much.”

Love bowed out to take a shower but found himself suddenly joined by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who years later tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. “Before I could tell her to get lost,” Love writes, “Manson himself arrived.”

“He looked up at me with those dark, beady eyes and said, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

“Excuse me?” Love replied.

“You can’t leave the group.”

Love made an excuse that he and Johnston needed to return to the studio. “We got the hell out of there,” he writes, “and as we pulled out of the driveway, I thought, Denny, you’ve got a real nut case for a roommate now.”

https://people.com/crime/beach-boys-mike-love-remembers-confrontation-with-charles-manson/


Just as a footnote to this: Squeaky Fromme herself refuted Mike's claims above with a letter to the editor published in Vanity Fair, which had published excerpts of Mike's book. From the original post made here by RJM:



Letter to the Editor in the December 2016 issue of Vanity Fair:

In your review of Beach Boys biographies, I was surprised to learn of my attempt to shower with Mike Love. Ironically, he's the second writer in as many months to allege a soap-and-water sexual advance by one of the "dirty Manson girls." Mike Love's memoir may be, as you say, a better read than Brian's but I couldn't believe anything he says. I've never been within 10 feet of Mike Love.

LYNETTE FROMME
Central New York State

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was a member of Charles Manson's "family." In 1975, she tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Fromme was released from prison in 2009.


At the time I said it was pretty bad that Mike and his book got fact-checked by Squeaky Fromme herself.  ;D


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on August 24, 2021, 09:10:09 PM
My focus in reading was really on Terry, and it helped me to understand where he stood in all this. And there still is lots of confusion, and I suppose Terry took the real story to his grave.  Overall though I think Terry was really infatuated with the idea of free access to the girls. The few times Terry spoke of the Family, he went out of his way to say how the girls were beneath his standards, he only dated models etc. Outright deflecting, IMO. These girls, on Charlie's command were up for all sorts of 'activities', that I'm sure Terry wasn't getting from Candace Bergen or whomever. Ruth Ann Moorehouse was young, and attractive, and Terry tried to convince Bergen that they should hire her as a maid at Cielo. Terry was lending Dean Moorehouse his car and credit card, allegedly.  He was just way more involved than he let on.
revolving around Terry.

Yeah, that bit in the book wherein Terry brags about having brought later-gf Michelle Phillips to the DA's office with him and telling them, "This is my girlfriend, do you think I’d want to be with any of these…?"  Terry seems to have considered this argument the ultimate checkmate, but it's pretty lame, IMO.  Denny was certainly a much bigger celebrity than Terry, and *he* clearly didn't think he was too good for those girls.  And, besides, there's no accounting for taste.  I mean, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He was a huge international star and a married man with 4 kids, and he was having sex with his not particularly attractive cleaning lady.  Thus, the "these women are beneath my standards" argument is pretty weak.

You know, in another recent thread about LSD, we had some discussion about how odd it was for someone as seemingly straitlaced as Bruce to have been at what Mike Love described as an acid-soaked orgy at Dennis's house.  Now, AFAIK, there's no particular evidence that Terry was at that party too.  But would it have been so odd if he were?  After all, Bruce and Terry were BFFs.

BTW, here's Mike's description of the party as reported by People magazine:

Love himself met the aspiring rock star Manson – who, along with his “girls,” had moved into Dennis Wilson’s home, where they spent Dennis’ money, took his clothes and ate his food – over dinner at the house with fellow performer Bruce Johnston. After the meal, Manson summoned the men to the den, “where he turned on a strobe light and revealed all of his girls lying there, naked,” Love writes.

“He started passing out LSD tabs and was orchestrating sex partners,” Love writes. “I love the female form, but this was too much.”

Love bowed out to take a shower but found himself suddenly joined by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who years later tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. “Before I could tell her to get lost,” Love writes, “Manson himself arrived.”

“He looked up at me with those dark, beady eyes and said, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

“Excuse me?” Love replied.

“You can’t leave the group.”

Love made an excuse that he and Johnston needed to return to the studio. “We got the hell out of there,” he writes, “and as we pulled out of the driveway, I thought, Denny, you’ve got a real nut case for a roommate now.”

https://people.com/crime/beach-boys-mike-love-remembers-confrontation-with-charles-manson/


Just as a footnote to this: Squeaky Fromme herself refuted Mike's claims above with a letter to the editor published in Vanity Fair, which had published excerpts of Mike's book. From the original post made here by RJM:



Letter to the Editor in the December 2016 issue of Vanity Fair:

In your review of Beach Boys biographies, I was surprised to learn of my attempt to shower with Mike Love. Ironically, he's the second writer in as many months to allege a soap-and-water sexual advance by one of the "dirty Manson girls." Mike Love's memoir may be, as you say, a better read than Brian's but I couldn't believe anything he says. I've never been within 10 feet of Mike Love.

LYNETTE FROMME
Central New York State

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was a member of Charles Manson's "family." In 1975, she tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Fromme was released from prison in 2009.


At the time I said it was pretty bad that Mike and his book got fact-checked by Squeaky Fromme herself.  ;D

And I believe Squeaky!

The shower incident undoubtedly happened, but Mike has decided to rewrite history here.

Man, like, 40 years ago I remember leafing through this somewhat trashy book in the local bookstore.  It 's subject matter was loosely, Rock Stars and true crime type stories.  I was (and am) a big Neil Young fan and there was a chapter devoted to the time around Tonights The Night and the drug deaths of Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry. Some stuff about Nash's girlfriend being murdered by her brother....

And there was chapter on Manson and the Beach Boys.  Now in this version, Mike tells a story of 'getting it on with a 'Chiquita' in the shower', when Manson pops in. Chiquita is not a word anyone would use to describe Lynette!  I have no idea what the books title or author was. But I always remembered that story. I guess Mike figured Sqeaky was more of a household name than say a Catherine Share, or whoever it actually was.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: juggler on August 24, 2021, 11:02:28 PM
I too believe Ms. Fromme.  As you say, it makes for a better story for the shower gal to have been her rather than some semi-anonymous Manson girl of whom ML likely doesn't even remember the name.

One time I saw the late great Tom Wolfe on 'Charlie Rose,' and I don't remember if this was his thinking or he was quoting someone else, but Tom said something along the lines that autobiographies were a waste of time, as most of them were revisionist and made the author the hero of every anecdote.  He said that autobiographies typically contain very little in the way of anecdotes that are humiliating to the author while real life is like 90% humiliation.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on August 25, 2021, 04:56:54 AM
Well…of course if you are interested in total historical accuracy they are a waste of time…..I mean if someone ask me what I did THIS PAST JUNE I really have to think about it but we expect someone like Mike Love to accurately recall what happened at a recording session on February 10 1967 …etc.  But that doesn’t mean that you cannot learn a lot about a person that interests you by reading an autobiography and if the person is a great raconteur who can tell a good story than great! Notable autobiography’s that I really enjoyed include Keith Richard’s Life, David Niven’s The Moon’s a Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles.  That doesn’t mean that I think every word is true-many stories in all three books have inaccuracies but as long as you accept that you’ll have a good read.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on August 25, 2021, 01:06:39 PM
Well…of course if you are interested in total historical accuracy they are a waste of time…..I mean if someone ask me what I did THIS PAST JUNE I really have to think about it but we expect someone like Mike Love to accurately recall what happened at a recording session on February 10 1967 …etc.  But that doesn’t mean that you cannot learn a lot about a person that interests you by reading an autobiography and if the person is a great raconteur who can tell a good story than great! Notable autobiography’s that I really enjoyed include Keith Richard’s Life, David Niven’s The Moon’s a Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles.  That doesn’t mean that I think every word is true-many stories in all three books have inaccuracies but as long as you accept that you’ll have a good read.

This is true!

I think, however you owe it to the reader as an autobiographical author, not to make things up.

This little story about showering with Squeaky, I'm sure Mike didn't think this through enough to meet basic journalistic standards. Yes, of course you want to include a chapter about Manson..that stuff sells! But if your going to get into specifics that are, very, very suspect then you should be called out on it. The whole shower story stinks!! LOL. Even just on Mikes premise here it falls apart. He is saying Manson is a control freak that choreographs everyone's movements, but Squeaky, maybe his most loyal follower is running off to find Mike, who has decided to take a shower in the middle of a party at somebody else's home?

It's just a little blurb in the book. But if it is deliberately false, than what else is false? Did Dennis tell Mike he saw Manson kill a guy and throw him down a well? That's incredible. did Dennis tell anyone else, or did he feel that Mike was his closest confidant, and only divulged this viewing of a crime to Mike. Is that story false? Then what? Are the C50 explanations from Mike suspect? Is everything?

And for some authors, it probably matters less, this blurring of fact and fiction. But for a guy like Mike with so many haters, and also on a constant mission to try and set his side of the record straight, Facts should matter.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on August 25, 2021, 06:34:19 PM
Not defending Mike-but I think over the years people embellish their stories to make them more interesting and forget what the truth is...I have seen anecdotes  where some musician talked about meeting Brian at a 1965 session with him wandering around in a bathrobe.....I guarantee that when the guy met Brian in 1965 he was not in a bathrobe but Brian was well known for doing that in the early 70s so he added it to his story to juice it up.....It happens all the time....


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on August 26, 2021, 05:22:01 AM
Haven't read it yet, but listened to the Rogan podcast.

So the compromised Bugliosi made up the 'Helter Skelter' motive on CIA orders + the trial was rigged in favour of the prosecution. Terry Melcher was in on this and gave false testimony to cover up that he saw Manson after the murders (also benefiting the prosecution by substantiating the idea that Manson was trying to intimidate Terry with the Cielo attack).

I'm not clear on what was in it for Dennis and Gregg Jakobson - like Terry, Gregg lied under oath in support of the Helter Skelter theory. What further involvement did they have than what we already knew about/what did they need covered up? Or was the possibility of minimising the PR damage for the Beach Boys incentive enough?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 26, 2021, 11:34:34 AM
My frustrations with the reception toward this book are in how some circles immediately yell "conspiracy theory!" and try to paint an author like O'Neill as a stereotypical tinfoil hat wearing, chem-trail obsessed, anti-government conspiracy nut. And I think that's where O'Neill's marketing of the book and the way he tells his own story of how the book was 20 years in the making kind of shoots down those conspiracy charges. This was an author and researcher who accepted an assignment from a magazine to revisit the Manson case, and in the course of his research soon began to notice that things were not adding up, and the "facts" as had been generally accepted after the case was officially closed were not as factual or complete as they had been reported. So for that I respect O'Neill, and when I first heard about his saga, I gave both him and his project my open mind and attention. 20 years of one's life, along with various lawsuits and a project that almost ruined him personally and financially...I'll give it a read, definitely.

The easiest way, it would seem, to shoot down facts that some might not want known or to try to brush aside inconvenient disclosures has been to label someone a conspiracy nut, or attack them in general to try to discredit them. And that, in return, would dismiss and discredit the facts when using that tactic. Only in this case, there are too many connections and hard facts to brush it aside and simply submit and accept that Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" prosecution tactic was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but...

Just recapping a few points that really jumped off the pages:

- Who was watching over Manson, and why were they watching over him? After his release, in the mid-60's, Manson EASILY could have been sent back to prison for various crimes and parole violations. So why was this basically unexceptional nobody of a grifter, con artist, and thief who had been in jail since his teens more than he had been a free man given so many free passes, and who was looking over him to allow this?

- That leads to "Jolly" West. Just Google his name. Why would an expert, a learned man of science and research who had been deep-diving his research since the 1950's into the effects of LSD and mind-control for the CIA and other government agencies suddenly be there in San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury, involved in a CIA research front at a hippy crash pad and prostitution operation and be connected to both Jack Ruby, and people in and around the newly-paroled Charles Manson? If you were to say - without any documentation - that the CIA was actively studying the "cult" group control scenarios, and how LSD and other psychedelics could be used for mind-control, deep hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestion, and even group brainwashing overall, then find out where Jolly West was, who he was with, and what he was doing, of course you'd say "Maybe there's a connection there." If you later found documentation and witness statements corroborating these same things, it would be a "holy sh*t" moment. And that's one of the bigger elements of this book to consider overall. Then factor in MK Ultra, and it's a powder keg of deep information and connections.

- We can pretty much say that Vincent Bugliosi did what he did in order to win convictions in the various Manson cases. But now, again with facts and eyewitness commentary, we can see that what Bugliosi presented in court and what he later wrote in "Helter Skelter" was not the full story, in fact there are too many cases of witnesses being coached to change testimony to fit the narrative, which amounts to perjury approved by a prosecutor's office, and other details which simply didn't add up or were swept under the rug. Leave Manson himself out of it as a personality, and ask: Is or was that the way the justice system should work? People praise Vincent for doing whatever it takes to secure a conviction on Manson because Manson is evil...OK, so where does that "whatever it takes" mentality in the legal system start and end? It's no different from planting evidence or bringing fake, paid eyewitnesses into a trial. If people read the book and get a better sense of what happened, perhaps it could make a difference somewhere.

- The background of Bugliosi before the Manson trial. Fascinating and disturbing. I'd say this alone makes the book a must-read just for the background. And as O'Neill himself said, you know you've hit on something big when the person you've been talking to suddenly flips out, threatens lawsuits, rants like a madman, and sends a 50+ page threatening letter to your publisher.

- Terry Melcher. Why would Bugliosi and his office authorize him to basically commit perjury and not be 100% factual during his testimony? He either met with Manson after the murders, or he didn't...He testified that he didn't, but it's been shown that he did. And, Manson knew where Terry and Candace Bergen had been living after Ceilo Drive. He knew how to get in touch with Terry. If he wanted to "scare" Terry, he could have gone right to where the man was living. Yet, according to the Bugliosi prosecution, somehow Charlie picked the wrong houses, or didn't know where Terry was and that he wasn't there when Manson came calling, etc. It just doesn't make sense, other than there was a narrative in place to win a conviction and the facts surrounding Terry Melcher may not have lined up with that narrative.

As far as Hollywood connections to Manson, and I guess that would include the Beach Boys to some degree, "celebrities" are ultimately a commodity that makes money for investors. You could play actors like the stock market: Whoever is "hot" and in demand at the moment has a high asking price, and makes more money for the people who have money at stake in the entertainment industry. Someone whose phone isn't ringing for parts in films or offers for big tours is just like a stock that took a hit on Wall Street any given day due to bad company projections, and it's not making money for the investors.

Consider if, as Manson himself suggested, he was involved with some pretty unsavory activity involving big names in the entertainment business...some people could lose a ton of money if that ever got out. There was a letter Manson wrote roughly 35-40 years ago or so where he named names, and described activities that would have been damaging if not career-ending for some bigger names had it come out at the time all of this was happening. Whether you believe him or not, some of what Manson said lines up with what Bugliosi himself told O'Neill after being asked for some information that the public never heard about the case. And Bugliosi did give O'Neill a tidbit which involved Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, the LAPD, and a Sony PortaPak home video camera and recorder and reels of tape. Connect that to what Manson said in that letter, and there is a straight line between point A and point B.

Is it worth revisiting all this stuff 50+ years later when many if not most of the players have passed away? That's up to each reader to judge. But the untold facts and evidence, as in what O'Neill uncovered, would outweigh what we've been told since the trials and the Helter Skelter book many times over.

And some of those points above are literally just scratching the surface of the information O'Neill uncovered.
 


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 26, 2021, 12:37:19 PM
For those interested in digging deeper, with more facts akin to those O'Neill uncovered in his book, these two pieces of evidence helped change my views on the whole Manson saga and "Helter Skelter" well before this book we're discussing was released.

The Manson letter I referenced in my previous post, transcribed here:

https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html (https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html)

An interview with Bobby Beausoleil from 1981, where he describes the Hinman crime as it actually happened and his time spent with Manson:

https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby (https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby)

Those are just there for the consideration of anyone interested in more facts behind the Manson case. And part of the Manson letter does tie in with what O'Neill said Bugliosi told him about what the police found at Polanski's house, which wasn't made public.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on August 26, 2021, 05:02:11 PM
Yeah, it seems entirely likely to me that Manson was unconsciously operating as a CIA honeypot, with the goal being to compromise prominent liberal Hollywood figures.

I guess my main question was really just - what more do we know about Dennis' involvement than we did before.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Shady on August 27, 2021, 09:58:18 PM
Great posts guitarfool. Really insightful


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on August 28, 2021, 07:05:07 AM
For those interested in digging deeper, with more facts akin to those O'Neill uncovered in his book, these two pieces of evidence helped change my views on the whole Manson saga and "Helter Skelter" well before this book we're discussing was released.

The Manson letter I referenced in my previous post, transcribed here:

https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html (https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html)

An interview with Bobby Beausoleil from 1981, where he describes the Hinman crime as it actually happened and his time spent with Manson:

https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby (https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby)

Those are just there for the consideration of anyone interested in more facts behind the Manson case. And part of the Manson letter does tie in with what O'Neill said Bugliosi told him about what the police found at Polanski's house, which wasn't made public.



So Guitarfool, have you been able to ascertain the most likely motive for the killings?

Al these shards, sometime you think there is a straight line but then you find a piece that doesn't add up.

Bugliosi didn't pull Helter Skelter out of thin air. I'm sure the girls were filling in this theory, and the girls outnumbered the guys in terms of arrests. So he is hearing this from the girls as the motive. But along the way investigations probably show this doesn't make sense.  But the evidence to nail Charlie himself is weak. And the cross connections of the Hollywood Elite are discovered, and that becomes a problem in circles of power and influence. And so Bugliosi takes it and runs with it, jamming square pegs into round holes along the way.

Meanwhile the Drug business has its usual challenges and Charlie finds himself shooting Crowe. Then he enlists the bikers for protection, which leads to another bad drug transaction, which leads to the Hinman murder. Then the copycat murders happen to try and free Beausoleil, the houses are picked because Charlie and Tex know Cielo and Charlie's knows the neighbourhood where the LaBianca's live...simple as that? The Hinman murder is in a different police jurisdiction so the other killings do not have the desired effect of freeing Bobby. Then loose lips and sloppy cover ups sink everyone.

Great except for a million little things. Are Sebring and Frykowski involved in some drug dealings with The Family? Are the LaBiancas? What about Charlie's trip to Esalen, the day before the Tate killings, why is he there, and why is he so pissed by accounts, afterwards? Esalen is connected to Big Sur Festival. Has Terry, or someone else in the industry sent Charlie up there as a way to keep him happy (and try and pass the buck on his musical support) to audition, and he is rejected, which fuels the murders at Cielo. And then all the Govt conspiracy stuff...it gets super weird!


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 31, 2021, 09:37:38 AM
For those interested in digging deeper, with more facts akin to those O'Neill uncovered in his book, these two pieces of evidence helped change my views on the whole Manson saga and "Helter Skelter" well before this book we're discussing was released.

The Manson letter I referenced in my previous post, transcribed here:

https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html (https://crystalsphere1.blogspot.com/2010/05/charles-manson-letter-to-william-dakota.html)

An interview with Bobby Beausoleil from 1981, where he describes the Hinman crime as it actually happened and his time spent with Manson:

https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby (https://www.bardachreports.com/death-trips-new-yorks-unwanted-dead-1?rq=bobby)

Those are just there for the consideration of anyone interested in more facts behind the Manson case. And part of the Manson letter does tie in with what O'Neill said Bugliosi told him about what the police found at Polanski's house, which wasn't made public.



So Guitarfool, have you been able to ascertain the most likely motive for the killings?

Al these shards, sometime you think there is a straight line but then you find a piece that doesn't add up.

Bugliosi didn't pull Helter Skelter out of thin air. I'm sure the girls were filling in this theory, and the girls outnumbered the guys in terms of arrests. So he is hearing this from the girls as the motive. But along the way investigations probably show this doesn't make sense.  But the evidence to nail Charlie himself is weak. And the cross connections of the Hollywood Elite are discovered, and that becomes a problem in circles of power and influence. And so Bugliosi takes it and runs with it, jamming square pegs into round holes along the way.

Meanwhile the Drug business has its usual challenges and Charlie finds himself shooting Crowe. Then he enlists the bikers for protection, which leads to another bad drug transaction, which leads to the Hinman murder. Then the copycat murders happen to try and free Beausoleil, the houses are picked because Charlie and Tex know Cielo and Charlie's knows the neighbourhood where the LaBianca's live...simple as that? The Hinman murder is in a different police jurisdiction so the other killings do not have the desired effect of freeing Bobby. Then loose lips and sloppy cover ups sink everyone.

Great except for a million little things. Are Sebring and Frykowski involved in some drug dealings with The Family? Are the LaBiancas? What about Charlie's trip to Esalen, the day before the Tate killings, why is he there, and why is he so pissed by accounts, afterwards? Esalen is connected to Big Sur Festival. Has Terry, or someone else in the industry sent Charlie up there as a way to keep him happy (and try and pass the buck on his musical support) to audition, and he is rejected, which fuels the murders at Cielo. And then all the Govt conspiracy stuff...it gets super weird!

I have not, and wouldn't even venture an educated guess at this time! I think if a motive would have been revealed, it may exist in that tape of Tex Watson being interviewed by the police after the killings which the LAPD and other offices have had all along and for whatever reasons refuse to release. Of all the LAPD interview tapes which have leaked either in actual audio or transcript form, the Tex Watson interview remains locked away. And just like a lot of the JFK files, maybe Tex doesn't say anything of importance or anything that would change a narrative...but it would still be valuable to hear from one of the firsthand participants' "unfiltered" conversation as it happened and was recorded.

And you're right, just as things start to add up, and connections are made, something either takes a drastic left turn into more confusion, or there is no hard evidence which would hold up as more than tinfoil-hat conspiracy talk that still exists or is available.

Just an example separate from the O'Neill book would be the involvement of Mama Cass, John Phillips, and one of Cass Elliot's boyfriends named "Pic", running parallel to Frykowski and a small circle of other known Hollywood partygoing types who were involved with the Tate group who was murdered at Ceilo. Sure, some accounts mention Mama Cass in relation to Manson, but her circle of friends in Laurel Canyon included those who were murdered, and those who were originally suspected of the murders. Even Cass herself was apparently threatened with charges that she was hiding people and information after the murders, and she was an emotional wreck after the killings because she knew everyone involved, including (apparently) Manson himself. And Papa John when interviewed by police thought the word "Pig" written on the wall was actually "Pic", as in Cass' boyfriend and related to some bad events that went down in that circle involving Frykowski.

So you go down one rabbit hole and 15 more open up.

As far as motive and Bobby Beausoleil's  involvement, read Bobby's interview which I posted here earlier, and he says Manson had nothing to do with the Hinman murder and wasn't even there, and all those details were invented by the prosecutors to tie Manson into another killing to get a conviction in court. Again, not making a judgement, but both sides are available to read and anyone reading can weigh all possibilities.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on September 01, 2021, 03:56:38 AM
The most Dennis relevant thing that the author brings up is that Dennis was still very enamored of Charlie in late 1968, whereas some have suggested that he was only close to him for a few months circa summer 1968. He noted something that always bugged me. If Dennis was sick of Manson by August 1968 (when he supposedly stopped paying rent on his home and secretly moved) than why does he praise “the wizard “ to the sky in some very bizarre interviews he gave while on tour in England in December 1968


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 01, 2021, 06:26:13 AM
The most Dennis relevant thing that the author brings up is that Dennis was still very enamored of Charlie in late 1968, whereas some have suggested that he was only close to him for a few months circa summer 1968. He noted something that always bugged me. If Dennis was sick of Manson by August 1968 (when he supposedly stopped paying rent on his home and secretly moved) than why does he praise “the wizard “ to the sky in some very bizarre interviews he gave while on tour in England in December 1968

It seems there is a lot more to the connections between the Dennis "faction" if we call it that and the Manson group than was previously known. Terry Melcher saw Manson after the killings, yet testified he cut off contact earlier and didn't see him again. Dennis apparently cut off contact after a certain point yet praises him months later in published interviews. Did Dennis see him at all after the killings like Melcher, or even went with Melcher at any point?

Those are all valid questions the O'Neill book raises, so it's not all tinfoil hat conspiracy material after all. The timeline is important too, what can be cobbled together that is.

Just a basic look at Manson's associations before the killings is pretty stunning: Just consider who this guy, who by most accounts we've heard was "pure evil",  was dirty and didn't bathe, was scary/creepy/odd, liked to pull knives to scare people, was a convicted small-time hustler and grifter, was a drug dealer with good connections to prime dope, etc etc etc, was hanging out with: Some of the elite Hollywood party types and some of the LA rock elite. And at the same time he was with them, he was hanging with an assortment of disassociated wealthy heiresses, random drifters and ex-cons, biker gangs, drug dealers, stuntmen, and lost hippies. He was also on the outskirts of Hollywood agents and casting directors through the same connections.

You literally, seriously, could not make that sh*t up if you tried.

Maybe some of the answer is in the Bobby Beausoleil interview: He suggests Manson kept the women around to attract "manly men" because Charlie wanted to do rugged man stuff with them and didn't have friends like that otherwise. Dennis would fit that profile. And he'd also have the women to attract rock stars, because he wanted to be a professional musician and star. Dennis and Terry obviously fit that profile too. So maybe it was this big mutual benefit setup they had going: Charlie got to hang with people he could ride cycles and dune buggies in the desert with and be part of the mens club, and he got to hang with people in the music biz. And those people in return got a bacchanal of dope, free sex, the then-fashionable communal "no shits given" lifestyle, and a cast of women and men available to partake.

Who knows.

And maybe Dennis and Charlie just got along as friends, even without all the mutual benefits. I guess we'll never know. 


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: DonnyL on September 01, 2021, 10:46:01 AM
Thanks Craig for your posts on this topic. I was on the "other forum" engaging in some interesting debate, but was not getting very far considering the sort of anti-"conspiracy"/anti-Manson blinders some of the posts there seem to reveal.

To me, it seems just as bad to throw out skepticism in the spirit of "that's just some crazy conspiracy theory" as it is to see crazy conspiracy theories everywhere.

I wanted to chime in on the "maybe they were just friends" angle. I think this is something that gets thrown aside. If we think about people in the '60s in this scene, things were pretty different. We have stories like the ones from Bob Burchman, we have people like Steve Kalinich getting involved- these were guys who were unknown and the Beach Boys began working with, simply because they liked then and liked their poetry, etc. I don't see why we can't put Manson at least somewhat into this boat.

Another example I think is interesting is Mike Love's association with Craig Smith/Maitreya Kali. This guy was just about as out there as Manson, if not more so at one point. Yet Mike was hanging out with him and considered a pretty good friend. Even into 1971, there's a story that Craig was visiting Brian's house. By all accounts, Craig Smith was behaving very very strangely, and was apparently pretty unstable by this time. And this is post-Manson ... yet here's this guy hanging out at Brian's.

We should also consider the behavior of the group themselves at this time. Dennis was probably pretty out there himself, and think about those stories from Mike in the Steven Gaines book, around 1970 when he was fasting. Not to mention Brian. I think in the context of these guys who ... might have been considered pretty weird- Manson was another weird dude hanging out (up to a certain point).

As someone who is generally considered to be a weird guy myself, it doesn't seem that weird to me.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on September 01, 2021, 08:12:21 PM
All these crazy pieces...

Rudy Altobelli- why does he have Bugliosi on speed dial, decades later? Terry calls Rudi, frantic about O'Neill and Rudy calls Vince?

Sharokh Hatami- Reeve Whitson calls him to tell him about the murders hours before the police arrive? Whitson pressures Hatami into giving the crucial testimony that Manson showed up at Cielo?

Charlene Cafritz- was she a girlfriend of Dennis'? Is this verifiable? She ends up financing Charlie with a divorce settlement, Is at Sharon Tate's funeral, OD's...apparently had some Manson home movies?

Mama Cass- Jimmy Webb says Cass told him she was at Cielo the night of the murders?

It is endless, the twists and turns. I was reading where Sebrings friend, Paul Greenwald had installed state of the art electronics at Jays house - cable tv and electronics so he could control drapes, lighting etc from his bed. The night before the murders, all of the victims are at Jay's house. Jay calls Greenwald as he is having issues with the TV. Greenwald can't come over to fix. Days later he is there fetching a suit for Jay's funeral and remembers about the issue. He goes outside and sees the cables are cleanly cut. He mentions that the way they were configured would mean that when power was disrupted it would have some sort of reverse effect and turn all the floodlights on outside, which could have scared away any would be intruders. It's just a story that makes you think, as the first move by Tex at Cielo was cutting the lines.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on September 02, 2021, 12:49:45 AM
Yeah, Mike and Dennis were pretty out there at that time - there's an anecdote of Mike picking up Craig Smith and going out for a drive where he ran a red light on purpose before getting pulled over by police. I don't know if Brian was that interested in Manson or Craig Smith on the occasions that they were at his house - more likely he put up with them. Marilyn didn't like having them around.

I'd agree that Charlie for Dennis was a new friend & collaborator in the same way that Stephen Kalinich had been. Charlie was 'hip' and had an authenticity about him which probably increased Dennis' desire to bring him into the songwriting fold. Similar to Mike and Craig Smith - Mike seemingly wanted to use Craig's 'Salesman' as a Beach Boys track in '71.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 04, 2021, 03:08:16 PM
Thanks Craig for your posts on this topic. I was on the "other forum" engaging in some interesting debate, but was not getting very far considering the sort of anti-"conspiracy"/anti-Manson blinders some of the posts there seem to reveal.

To me, it seems just as bad to throw out skepticism in the spirit of "that's just some crazy conspiracy theory" as it is to see crazy conspiracy theories everywhere.

I wanted to chime in on the "maybe they were just friends" angle. I think this is something that gets thrown aside. If we think about people in the '60s in this scene, things were pretty different. We have stories like the ones from Bob Burchman, we have people like Steve Kalinich getting involved- these were guys who were unknown and the Beach Boys began working with, simply because they liked then and liked their poetry, etc. I don't see why we can't put Manson at least somewhat into this boat.

Another example I think is interesting is Mike Love's association with Craig Smith/Maitreya Kali. This guy was just about as out there as Manson, if not more so at one point. Yet Mike was hanging out with him and considered a pretty good friend. Even into 1971, there's a story that Craig was visiting Brian's house. By all accounts, Craig Smith was behaving very very strangely, and was apparently pretty unstable by this time. And this is post-Manson ... yet here's this guy hanging out at Brian's.

We should also consider the behavior of the group themselves at this time. Dennis was probably pretty out there himself, and think about those stories from Mike in the Steven Gaines book, around 1970 when he was fasting. Not to mention Brian. I think in the context of these guys who ... might have been considered pretty weird- Manson was another weird dude hanging out (up to a certain point).

As someone who is generally considered to be a weird guy myself, it doesn't seem that weird to me.

Thank you Donny. I haven't been following other discussions, but it never fails that some will try to either erase or dismiss the entire history of Manson, and try to peg those who want to discuss and learn more details as conspiracy nuts or worse. It comes down to a truly tragic story all around where lives were lost, however the fact that a guy who is described as "pure evil" managed to get in the social circles of some of Hollywood's and the LA music scene's elite, and did so even without ever becoming a recording artist or actor or anything close. And he surely didn't have the money which would buy access into those circles either, he was an ex-con and a grifter.

So if people don't find that interesting, and want to erase or whitewash the whole thing, they're missing out on a lot of deep-dive history of the LA scene from 1967-1969, which for me is fascinating no matter who the subjects are. I like learning more about it, and ignore the critics.

It's hard not to think that Dennis and Charlie just got along as friends, as did maybe others who associated with Charlie. Take away all the salacious stuff and maybe these people just enjoyed hanging out with each other. It wouldn't be a crime to admit that if that were the case, yet there was a mad rush to distance anyone from him as soon as things went tragically bad. Which is natural, of course, given reputations and earning potential in Hollywood and the music biz, but still...it's not like Charlie wasn't hanging out with them regularly. 


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: jwoverho on September 04, 2021, 05:04:56 PM
O'Neill's book brings to light so many "you can't make this stuff up"  details. Even if you don't care for Joe Rogan, his podcast with O'Neill is remarkable. Hearing this stuff from the author himself is very enlightening with some jaw-dropping details.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Needleinthehay on September 07, 2021, 11:37:03 PM
I always thought Mikes story about taking a shower at Dennis' house didnt add up. Who goes to a party and takes a shower? Especially after manson had already been weirding them out, supposedly...That he was with some chick in there makes it make a lot more sense.

I saw some of the Joe Rogan interview with the author pretty crazy. I will read the book probably...One thing that hasnt been mentioned in this thread is that quote from Dennis from the 70s when he says something like "i know everything about why manson did it and what happened... as long as I live, I'll never talk about that" or something similar....If it was more than just Helter Skelter BS then that makes a lot more sense. Especially if he was possibly protecting Gregg or Terry for some reason. Didnt want to say that Terrys story in court was BS or something?

I was just watching neil young old interview with howard stern and he mentions hanging with Manson a few times at Dennis' house. Didnt go into much detail tho just how much it impressed him that manson could just make up songs non stop on the fly.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on September 09, 2021, 07:10:24 AM
I always thought Mikes story about taking a shower at Dennis' house didnt add up. Who goes to a party and takes a shower? Especially after manson had already been weirding them out, supposedly...That he was with some chick in there makes it make a lot more sense.

I saw some of the Joe Rogan interview with the author pretty crazy. I will read the book probably...One thing that hasnt been mentioned in this thread is that quote from Dennis from the 70s when he says something like "i know everything about why manson did it and what happened... as long as I live, I'll never talk about that" or something similar....If it was more than just Helter Skelter BS then that makes a lot more sense. Especially if he was possibly protecting Gregg or Terry for some reason. Didnt want to say that Terrys story in court was BS or something?

I was just watching neil young old interview with howard stern and he mentions hanging with Manson a few times at Dennis' house. Didnt go into much detail tho just how much it impressed him that manson could just make up songs non stop on the fly.

One more comment on the Mike shower story. I was reading an interview with Bobby Beausoleil, discussing the arrangements at Spahn. He said that Squeaky was assigned to George Spahn, partly because she was very loyal to Charlie and did not like to engage in sex with other people.

Again the shower thing undoubtedly  happened, just not the way Mike claims.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 09, 2021, 07:59:18 AM
O'Neill's book brings to light so many "you can't make this stuff up"  details. Even if you don't care for Joe Rogan, his podcast with O'Neill is remarkable. Hearing this stuff from the author himself is very enlightening with some jaw-dropping details.

Whatever opinions exist of Joe Rogan, you're right, that podcast episode is pretty remarkable and is one of the most compelling long-form interviews I've seen in recent years. I'd suggest anyone with even a passing interest in the Manson story give it a chance and watch it, you'll never view the case and the people involved the same way again.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Join The Human Race on September 09, 2021, 07:30:10 PM
I always thought Mikes story about taking a shower at Dennis' house didnt add up. Who goes to a party and takes a shower? Especially after manson had already been weirding them out, supposedly...That he was with some chick in there makes it make a lot more sense.

I saw some of the Joe Rogan interview with the author pretty crazy. I will read the book probably...One thing that hasnt been mentioned in this thread is that quote from Dennis from the 70s when he says something like "i know everything about why manson did it and what happened... as long as I live, I'll never talk about that" or something similar....If it was more than just Helter Skelter BS then that makes a lot more sense. Especially if he was possibly protecting Gregg or Terry for some reason. Didnt want to say that Terrys story in court was BS or something?

I was just watching neil young old interview with howard stern and he mentions hanging with Manson a few times at Dennis' house. Didnt go into much detail tho just how much it impressed him that manson could just make up songs non stop on the fly.


So I have always questioned some of Mike's claims about Dennis and Manson decades after the fact. I understand why he may not wanted to talk about it, but a part of me also thinks were some of these stories designed to push his autobiography? I try to be fair to Mike, though, even when he makes questionable decisions. But recently on some Beach Boys forum, I came across an story of a Manson Girl, I believe it was Squeaky Fromme but not 100% sure, who claimed she recognized Bruce at a concert after this night with the family? Mike said he left, which I can believe him. He was getting into TM pretty heavy around this time so it does seem he would have been turned off by it. I question if Mike stood up to Manson about taking a shower, though. Again, it sells books if the lead singer of the Beach Boys rejected Manson's request to not leave the family. However, Mike recalls that it was he and Bruce who attended. Bruce was a swinging bachelor. (I recall seeing another article talking about Bruce's carefree single life, maybe shortly after he left in 1972. If anyone can help provide the sources, that would be appreciated!)

So in short, Bruce could have been a part of this evening with Dennis and the family; even after Mike split. It could have been something after a session, hey, let's go over to Dennis' and meet his new friends. Carl, Al and Brian seem a sure bet to say no. This might have been the somewhere around the time Brian was institutionalized and Carl and Al seemed dedicated to music and being with their family. Who knows what happened there? It doesn't seem like a story Bruce or anyone else would go into greater detail. No one wants to be connected to the family, even if the connection was sharing a joint, playing guitar, or having sex with someone from the Family prior to the murders. It's understandable. It just makes the history a little murkier. I am currently reading Chaos and there were a lot of people who refused to be interviewed about Tate-LaBianca. I'm curious to learn more and I'll report back with additional thoughts.

Also, that quote of Dennis is reference in Chaos, I believe. He mentioned Dennis saying that one day he'd tell the truth about Manson and write a book, but that he drowned in 1983 and that was the extent about that quote.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on September 09, 2021, 08:14:52 PM
Looks like plenty of Hollywood figures have downplayed their involvement with Manson. Mike is unique in that he incriminates Dennis while attempting to exonerate himself. I don't think anyone really believes that Mike would have shown up to Dennis's house at that point in time without the intention of sleeping with some Manson girls.

It's alarming that Dennis, Gregg and Terry seemingly went to such lengths to conceal their degree of connection to Charlie; false testimony, failing to contact police when it was presumably obvious to them that the murders were done by the family. I guess just another example of the elite being shielded/covered up for, the sort of thing we still see to the present day.

Re: Hollywood blackballing the Beach Boys - would this go some way to explaining the extent of Sunflower's chart failure? It also would seem to explain why they were forced to focus on the UK and Europe as their primary market for a couple years.

Somewhat unrelated, but it strikes me as increasingly odd that Bruce was still close with Terry Melcher throughout the 70's. Bruce purports to have always been this clean-cut guy, but it seems like Terry was the opposite - it's interesting that their relationship never appeared to sour.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 10, 2021, 08:55:09 AM
Just for those curious, here is the article and interview with Dennis from December 1968 where he talks about Manson and the girls:

(https://i.imgur.com/eGbS03D.jpg)


So this relationship was public, at least to those who read this paper, in December 1968. No one was hiding the associations as of this time, and obviously by December 1968 the relationship between all these people was still happening.

Interesting to note the description of the "dance" Dennis learned from Charlie which he called The Inhibition. Others can fill in more info, but the description of that dance is similar to exercises taught and practiced by some religions that parallels hypnosis techniques, in fact the technique of focusing on each limb and part of the body as each part relaxes deeper and deeper is one of the common techniques used in clinical hypnosis in general. Add a psychedelic drug like LSD to that process, add the Scientology practices Charles Manson supposedly learned from people he was serving time with in prison, and there is one of the formulas for how Charlie would run those group meditation sessions. And it was either Bobby or Charlie himself who said Charlie would only pretend to take the drug he was giving out during his group meditations so he could remain in control of the hypnosis (or meditation, call it whatever).

It just opens up more questions as to the how's and the what's of the entire saga beginning when Manson was in jail until his release on parole in Spring 1967 and his subsequent travels between the San Francisco area and the LA area...while he was on parole...and those connections are where the Chaos book delves deeper into the backstory and the figures and organizations involved.

It sounds less and less like a "nutty conspiracy theory" when it's all put together, and it becomes even more relevant to read things like this Dennis article when books like Chaos trace similar hypnosis and LSD based experiments to the government, the military, and the CIA in the 50's and throughout the 60's. Government agencies were running tests and experiments focused on group hypnosis, post-hypnotic suggestion, and the use of drugs like LSD to further the effects and outcomes of these group experiments, then suddenly here's an ex-con fresh out of prison who shows up and starts doing similar things, and is given multiple free passes by his parole agent, and the authorities in general, even though he's on parole and has no money or source of income to speak of.

Again, you couldn't make this kind of sh*t up if you tried.

That's why getting more information through sources like O'Neill seems like a more worthwhile pursuit rather than writing the whole thing off and saying "Helter Skelter" is the final word on the case. 



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Join The Human Race on September 14, 2021, 09:39:16 PM
So I finished the book and there is a lot take away, but first, I think the Beach Boys fandom needs to confront that Dennis (and the band) were much closer to Manson than we will ever know. Reading and posting on another forum about this topic, I have noticed several fans who buy the Bugliosi "Helter Skelter" hook, line, and sinker. They seem to judge the book without having read it; that any talk is merely conspiratorial garbage and should be dismissed. I think the fandom has blinders on the life of Dennis Wilson. I love Dennis' music, but the man was completely reckless and, like all of the Wilsons (you too, Mike), in need of some mental health treatment.

I was going back through the Manson portions of Heroes and Villains after reading Chaos. There are startling revelations made in passing about Dennis. I'm not sure where Gaines got the source for this information, but he says that in addition to bonding over young, attractive girls; Dennis and Manson also had a mutual dislike of black people. There are anecdotes that people say about Dennis not being afraid of Manson, but Gaines writes that Manson sensed fear in Dennis and knew how to prey on it. Charlie took clear advantage of Dennis generosity and it seems it was willfully. Dennis even quotes Manson telling him that fear is nothing but awareness. That's some Landy-esque talk right there; just Manson used psychedelics and Landy used pharmaceuticals. Maybe Dennis did punch out Manson as Van Dyke's hearsay would have us believe, but I do feel like Manson knew how to manipulate Dennis.

Dennis and Charlie also bonded over orgiastic sex; which kind of falls in line with Dennis' "I live with 17 girls" quote. (Add Mike's claim about group sex to this as well and you start to see that this is the stuff they did.) Gaines even includes Audree discussing meeting Manson and the family and warning Dennis not to tell Murry about her visit, which of course Dennis did anyway. Gaines quotes Croxey Adams several times, who was a 15 year old girlfriend of 23 year old Dennis when the family lived with him. This stuff doesn't age well. Again, I think the fandom has a blind spot for Dennis' actions at times, because he's the charismatic Dennis. I understand why people are defensive, but the truth is that Dennis, like Melcher and many other celebrities of the time, probably had closer relations with the Family then we will ever know. Does this implicate Dennis as a murderer? Hell, no. It does show though that Dennis was vulnerable and prone to being taken advantage of. I view this timeframe as critical in the history of the BB. They have left Capitol and now need to make it big for Warner. Brian's back in the studio more after 20/20, the band's working as a whole and musically, they are really firing on all cylinders.

But then, you have Murry selling the catalog in November 1969 and Manson getting arrested in December. Mike's hospitalized February 1970 after his apple juice fast. I can't imagine the inner band drama during this time; especially after Sunflower bombed. Nothing was going right for them and now the cloud of Manson was tied to them forever. I think the fallout of Manson on the BB has been understated. It further emphasized them as persona non grata when it come to air time. It probably created or, really furthered, resentment between some members of the band. Judging by the Bellagio timeline, Brian starts doing less for the band after Sunflower's failure. A lot of the Manson stuff had a cumulative effect and I'm sure it contributed to the decline of Brian (and obviously Dennis). If Endless Summer was never released, the group could have easily faded away after Holland. By the time of Brian's Back, it seems like the band only stayed together for the money, which of course, created even more problems.  

O'Neill cites Jon Parks, Jon Stebbins, Stephen Desper, Brad Elliot, Karen Lamm, David Anderle, Alan Boyd, Stanley Shapiro, Nick Grillo, Ryan Oskenberg and Ed Roach for his notes on his Beach Boys sources. That's a pretty good array of knowledge on the band. Through Rudy Altobelli, he was given Carole Wilson's phone number, but after initially agreeing to do an interview, she backed out, saying that it's a scary thing and that anyone who knows anything won't talk. Altobelli told O'Neill that Carole had a diary of the time Dennis met Tex Watson and that she hated Melcher. She even had a picture of Dennis naked with some of the family girls around the pool. The one thing she did say to O'Neill was that there was more going with Hollywood and the Family than has been reported. He also mentions Carole pursued a romance with Jay Sebring around this time, which he said had never been reported before.

Another individual that's connected to Manson via Dennis is the mysterious Reeve Whitson, who also has connections with Hatami, Polanski, and Jay Sebring. Chaos mentions Whitson met Manson through Dennis. Has anyone ever seen that name floating around in BB circles during this time? Even just a passing reference?

Terry Melcher does not come across good in the book. The handwritten Bugliosi note of Decarlo saying he saw Melcher at Spahn after the murders is damning to the Helter Skelter narrative and also meant that Melched lied under oath. It's interesting how Melcher always slides in and out of the Beach Boys world. I also wonder what Bruce's connection was to all this being in the same band as Dennis and having that history with Terry.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: mtaber on September 15, 2021, 07:55:44 AM
I agree about the blind spot that many fans have about Dennis.  You rarely find a negative comment about anything related to Dennis, including his music.  Can you imagine Al Jardine going home at the end of a tour and talking to his wife about how f’d up the guys in the band are?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 15, 2021, 09:31:33 AM
So I finished the book and there is a lot take away, but first, I think the Beach Boys fandom needs to confront that Dennis (and the band) were much closer to Manson than we will ever know. Reading and posting on another forum about this topic, I have noticed several fans who buy the Bugliosi "Helter Skelter" hook, line, and sinker. They seem to judge the book without having read it; that any talk is merely conspiratorial garbage and should be dismissed. I think the fandom has blinders on the life of Dennis Wilson. I love Dennis' music, but the man was completely reckless and, like all of the Wilsons (you too, Mike), in need of some mental health treatment.

I was going back through the Manson portions of Heroes and Villains after reading Chaos. There are startling revelations made in passing about Dennis. I'm not sure where Gaines got the source for this information, but he says that in addition to bonding over young, attractive girls; Dennis and Manson also had a mutual dislike of black people. There are anecdotes that people say about Dennis not being afraid of Manson, but Gaines writes that Manson sensed fear in Dennis and knew how to prey on it. Charlie took clear advantage of Dennis generosity and it seems it was willfully. Dennis even quotes Manson telling him that fear is nothing but awareness. That's some Landy-esque talk right there; just Manson used psychedelics and Landy used pharmaceuticals. Maybe Dennis did punch out Manson as Van Dyke's hearsay would have us believe, but I do feel like Manson knew how to manipulate Dennis.

Dennis and Charlie also bonded over orgiastic sex; which kind of falls in line with Dennis' "I live with 17 girls" quote. (Add Mike's claim about group sex to this as well and you start to see that this is the stuff they did.) Gaines even includes Audree discussing meeting Manson and the family and warning Dennis not to tell Murry about her visit, which of course Dennis did anyway. Gaines quotes Croxey Adams several times, who was a 15 year old girlfriend of 23 year old Dennis when the family lived with him. This stuff doesn't age well. Again, I think the fandom has a blind spot for Dennis' actions at times, because he's the charismatic Dennis. I understand why people are defensive, but the truth is that Dennis, like Melcher and many other celebrities of the time, probably had closer relations with the Family then we will ever know. Does this implicate Dennis as a murderer? Hell, no. It does show though that Dennis was vulnerable and prone to being taken advantage of. I view this timeframe as critical in the history of the BB. They have left Capitol and now need to make it big for Warner. Brian's back in the studio more after 20/20, the band's working as a whole and musically, they are really firing on all cylinders.

But then, you have Murry selling the catalog in November 1969 and Manson getting arrested in December. Mike's hospitalized February 1970 after his apple juice fast. I can't imagine the inner band drama during this time; especially after Sunflower bombed. Nothing was going right for them and now the cloud of Manson was tied to them forever. I think the fallout of Manson on the BB has been understated. It further emphasized them as persona non grata when it come to air time. It probably created or, really furthered, resentment between some members of the band. Judging by the Bellagio timeline, Brian starts doing less for the band after Sunflower's failure. A lot of the Manson stuff had a cumulative effect and I'm sure it contributed to the decline of Brian (and obviously Dennis). If Endless Summer was never released, the group could have easily faded away after Holland. By the time of Brian's Back, it seems like the band only stayed together for the money, which of course, created even more problems.  

O'Neill cites Jon Parks, Jon Stebbins, Stephen Desper, Brad Elliot, Karen Lamm, David Anderle, Alan Boyd, Stanley Shapiro, Nick Grillo, Ryan Oskenberg and Ed Roach for his notes on his Beach Boys sources. That's a pretty good array of knowledge on the band. Through Rudy Altobelli, he was given Carole Wilson's phone number, but after initially agreeing to do an interview, she backed out, saying that it's a scary thing and that anyone who knows anything won't talk. Altobelli told O'Neill that Carole had a diary of the time Dennis met Tex Watson and that she hated Melcher. She even had a picture of Dennis naked with some of the family girls around the pool. The one thing she did say to O'Neill was that there was more going with Hollywood and the Family than has been reported. He also mentions Carole pursued a romance with Jay Sebring around this time, which he said had never been reported before.

Another individual that's connected to Manson via Dennis is the mysterious Reeve Whitson, who also has connections with Hatami, Polanski, and Jay Sebring. Chaos mentions Whitson met Manson through Dennis. Has anyone ever seen that name floating around in BB circles during this time? Even just a passing reference?

Terry Melcher does not come across good in the book. The handwritten Bugliosi note of Decarlo saying he saw Melcher at Spahn after the murders is damning to the Helter Skelter narrative and also meant that Melched lied under oath. It's interesting how Melcher always slides in and out of the Beach Boys world. I also wonder what Bruce's connection was to all this being in the same band as Dennis and having that history with Terry.

Excellent post, and great info to share.

The whole thing about "the truth will never be revealed" is what keeps the whole Manson saga alive and has new readers wanting to explore further.

So "the truth" will never be spoken and will go to the grave with the people who were there, yet we're told something like the Bugliosi book and narrative is *THE TRUTH*? How can people not see the contradiction there?

I have to come back to what I shared here earlier, in how those people who had a ton of money invested in various Hollywood and music business entities potentially stood to lose millions if not billions if "the truth" ever came out and the money-making entities who were either box-office gold or blue-chip record sellers and personalities would be damaged goods if too much info came out about associations with Charlie Manson.

Money rules the day. When the facts about Hollywood actors and musicians being viewed as commodities traded and valued as if they were companies traded on the stock market, and the values rise and fall just as the future earnings are speculated and calculated based on popularity and potential sales, the whole thing makes sense.

And that's just the Hollywood/Music Biz element of the whole thing. What O'Neill also does is connect government agencies and individuals working on the outskirts of "official" government activity into the whole saga, and it gets even deeper and more bizarre.


Regarding those who are fine with putting blinders on and accepting "Helter Skelter" as the truth, just ignore 'em. The collection of blinders they have overall, not just for Manson but for other parts of the Beach Boys' story and I'm sure the JFK story too, must fill as much closet space in their own homes as Mike's hat collection in his Tahoe mansion's walk-in closet spaces. If at this point in 2021 the Warren Commission "magic bullet" theory is still being accepted and promoted as the final word and truth on the JFK case, then we're seriously f**ked as a general public who believes what they are force-fed and shamed into not accepting what these agencies tell us. Maybe it's no wonder the same Vincent Bugliosi decades after Helter Skelter also wrote a lengthy dissertation/book/lecture backing up and defending the Warren report.

Off soapbox.  ;D :smokin


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Ian on September 15, 2021, 01:40:08 PM
Of course I found the book fascinating and a part of me would love to see a Carol Wilson interview or more info about Terry but then again what incentive does she have to do that and would it be great if she had? At the end of the day there is no evidence that Dennis or Terry hurt anyone or participated in serious crimes-so why drag them down by associating them more with Manson. Carol’s kid views Dennis as his dad-what does he gain? Do we really have a right to know more or is just voyeurism?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Join The Human Race on September 15, 2021, 04:04:02 PM
I definitely understand the need to respect people's privacy and not upset about certain people declining interviews about all of this. From a historical perspective, it's interesting to see how the murders of the century were not entirely prosecuted ethically. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the murders that have nothing to do with The Beach Boys. (Did Manson or someone else go to Cielo to rearrange the bodies? Was Reeve Whitson on scene at the murders? etc) There are also the questions about Manson's time in San Francisco, mainly around the two Smiths and Jolly West and his hippie crash pad that was being observed by confused grad students.

I agree with guitarfool about talents being like stocks and every agent/publicists/etc will do anything to keep their talent's stock high. Terry Melcher provided testimony in the Tex Watson trial on August 23rd, Gregg Jakobson gave his testimony August 26, 1970. In Melcher's testimony, Dennis is mentioned 21 times. In the Jakobson testimony, Dennis is mentioned 15 times. Sunflower was released 5 days later and was off the charts in a month. That would seem to indicate that there was a industry boycott on the Beach Boys. Add in the factor that they weren't hip anymore to play on the radio, and it makes sense why Sunflower, despite being the best cohesive music the group ever made, bombed.

The Manson involvement is an important part of the band's history, but I don't think it's been told fully, for obvious reasons. This is why the tapes will never come out (until maybe when everyone associated passes away) The tapes could be nothing of substance or the could depict friendly interactions among some of the band and Manson. We can only speculate, but being associated with Manson is clearly bad for business. If it weren't for Endless Summer, would the Beach Boys have become popular again? What effect did it have on each of the band members? Did this create the first real schism in the band that exploded in 1977 at the tarmac? I imagine by the time of the tarmac incident, there was a lot of built up resentment that had went back for years among the members. How did this affect the personal relationships with the band?; particularly Dennis and Mike. It definitely influenced the direction their career went; if Sunflower hadn't bombed and there was no Manson connection, would the group have gone with Jack Rieley?

Also, what did all of this have on Brian's mental state? Brian was pretty far out by the time Smile ended. If we assume Brian did meet Manson at some point just once, I'm sure that haunted Brian after the murders had happened. We know how freaked out he was about supposedly causing fires in Los Angeles. Add in the cumulative effect of Murry selling his songs, Sunflower's chart failure, his own fragile mental state, and drug use. After Sunflower, Brian just doesn't care anymore. He'd rather work at the Radiant Radish or produce Spring or hang out with Tandyn Almer and Danny Hutton. He didn't want to do anything with the band anymore, but they kept getting him to show up since they recorded in his home.

In my view, I believe the decline of Dennis started with Manson. He clearly had guilt and it haunted him. O'Neill does mention the quote (maybe from Leaf's book?) from Dennis where he said he would one day tell the true story of what happened.

At the end, I am just a curious fan. I'm not interested in sordid details, just interested in the correct narrative of how things played out.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 15, 2021, 07:19:31 PM
Just want to say that "Join The Human Race" makes some very relevant and important points in the posts above, and to say thank you for those posts. I, too, am a fan but I am also a student of history, and if there are still so many unanswered questions and such obvious proof of misconduct if not illegal activity done by the prosecution in order to secure a win in court, it goes far beyond The Beach Boys. In fact, most of this is not about Dennis or Terry or whoever else, and the bigger unanswered questions encapsulate Hollywood, the music business, and the government far beyond the scope of a single band or band members.

If the narrative that has existed for this many decades is wrong, and can be proven wrong, isn't there some responsibility to correct it? This was and is considered one of the most watched trials in history, and we're supposed to accept a false narrative? Hell no! (nod to Bobby Whitlock there...)

It still comes back to the simple point of people saying they will take "the truth" about this case to their grave, or simply not talk about it, yet we're also supposed to blindly believe that Bugliosi's narrative and "Helter Skelter" is that truth. And what, everything else is a nutty conspiracy? No way. If Bugliosi and "Helter Skelter" was the truth, no one would need to take anything to their grave because the truth was already published in the 70's and put into open court during the trials.

And yes, it sucks that Dennis and Mike and whoever else in their group of friends got involved in this tragic mess of events and people, but the fact is that they did, and if there are still issues regarding the case, that involvement can't be swept under the proverbial rug if the history is being written with any degree of accuracy or integrity.







Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on September 16, 2021, 07:22:00 AM
I have been thinking about Manson's trip to Esalen, and how it could be a key factor in the murders. It also leads me to speculate that one true motive may not exist. It may be an accumulation of events leading up to the murders that all contributed...perhaps Esalen among them.

So, if Charlie makes the trip up there to audition, presumably for Big Sur Folk Festival,1969, who set it up? Terry,Gregg, Mama Cass?? It does make sense based on the concept of the festival, combining established acts with unknown performers. At this point, maybe Terry and Gregg have exhausted options, in terms of trying to record Charlie, and see this audition as a way of still doing their part to try and get his music career going, while also hoping to pass the buck, somewhat, if things go south.

It certainly is funny timing, and if Stephanie Schramm is to be believed, Charlie ain't happy with the results of the meeting. Does it go deeper, with Folgers connections to the Institute? Who knows.

But I think it shines light on something that is somewhat overlooked in this entire narrative. There was likely a huge disconnect in philosophy between guys like Manson and those who were immersed in the world of Hollywood entertainment, be it the music or film industries.

I spent some time with guys who were affiliated with Biker gangs and had done some pretty significant stretches in jail. Everything they did, in business, especially was completely governed by two main ideologies: never ever lie, and always follow through if you give your word on something. Failure to do either meant any retribution was justifiable. It wouldn't surprise me if Charlie adopted that same code, I think it is a theme throughout his many ramblings. In juxtaposition, and I don't mean to generalize, but I think the Universe that guys like Terry lived in, is one filled with broken promises. A casting couch mentality where people and their hopes of stardom are cast aside on a regular basis. While Terry, and others might not think twice of stringing Charlie along, while partaking in the girls, for Charlie, the moment someone says they are gonna make him a star, that's it. Follow through is absolutely expected.

So maybe Charlie loses it after the humiliation and rejection of Esalen....


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 16, 2021, 05:23:32 PM
I have been thinking about Manson's trip to Esalen, and how it could be a key factor in the murders. It also leads me to speculate that one true motive may not exist. It may be an accumulation of events leading up to the murders that all contributed...perhaps Esalen among them.

So, if Charlie makes the trip up there to audition, presumably for Big Sur Folk Festival,1969, who set it up? Terry,Gregg, Mama Cass?? It does make sense based on the concept of the festival, combining established acts with unknown performers. At this point, maybe Terry and Gregg have exhausted options, in terms of trying to record Charlie, and see this audition as a way of still doing their part to try and get his music career going, while also hoping to pass the buck, somewhat, if things go south.

It certainly is funny timing, and if Stephanie Schramm is to be believed, Charlie ain't happy with the results of the meeting. Does it go deeper, with Folgers connections to the Institute? Who knows.

But I think it shines light on something that is somewhat overlooked in this entire narrative. There was likely a huge disconnect in philosophy between guys like Manson and those who were immersed in the world of Hollywood entertainment, be it the music or film industries.

I spent some time with guys who were affiliated with Biker gangs and had done some pretty significant stretches in jail. Everything they did, in business, especially was completely governed by two main ideologies: never ever lie, and always follow through if you give your word on something. Failure to do either meant any retribution was justifiable. It wouldn't surprise me if Charlie adopted that same code, I think it is a theme throughout his many ramblings. In juxtaposition, and I don't mean to generalize, but I think the Universe that guys like Terry lived in, is one filled with broken promises. A casting couch mentality where people and their hopes of stardom are cast aside on a regular basis. While Terry, and others might not think twice of stringing Charlie along, while partaking in the girls, for Charlie, the moment someone says they are gonna make him a star, that's it. Follow through is absolutely expected.

So maybe Charlie loses it after the humiliation and rejection of Esalen....

I've heard that theory and I guess it's plausible, and another connection was Abigail "Gibbie" Folger's involvement and investment in Esalen, as well as Abigail's mother having been a volunteer with the Haight-Ashbury clinic that O'Neill mentions so prominently in his book, the same clinic that had the Smiths, Jolly West, and a visitor named Manson...

But like so much else, the Esalen angle hits a brick wall because those who run (and ran) the Esalen retreat and center said Charles Manson was never there, they insist Manson wasn't there, and they even lawyered up in the past when a journalist was researching a story about Manson that would have mentioned him being there. So it's literally a brick wall, when the folks from Esalen insist Manson was not a guest there and hire lawyers to insist Manson wasn't there.

Like the other Hollywood/Music Biz connections, keep in mind Esalen was funded by and had as influential members some very wealthy and connected people at that time, and they knew how to keep secrets.

Do I think Manson was there? Absolutely. Too many people, including Manson himself, have said he was there. Can it be proven if Esalen denies it? There's the rub.

Interesting to note too that the artists who played Esalen's Big Sur music festival from 68-70 were artists who Manson had connections to, including the Beach Boys.

If whoever was there at Esalen did somehow reject him and his music, and we believe Stephanie Schramm when she said Manson came out of that meeting and slapped her around in a fit of anger, and we believe it was Gregg Jacobsen who had the connections to the Big Sur fest and organizers at Esalen, who knows what the implications were on what happened later. But the Folger connection is not something to be ignored, both the mother working at the clinic and the daughter being a major benefactor and  potentially being there on-site when Manson showed up with Schramm waiting in the van.

I just think they had a way of buying privacy for the organization and the members at Esalen, for what it's worth. And some have suggested the government had a surveillance operation running there too.

And yes, I have heard interviews with Manson where he talks about the code or blood oath you're describing, and he got fired up about it because he truly did live by that code that a man's word was his bond and a sacred oath, and anyone who violated it and did not live up to their word should be punished. That's how he lived as a con for all those years, and that's how the bikers he was dealing with lived.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on September 19, 2021, 06:44:56 PM
Imagine Carl's frustration having just spent a year producing 3 different versions of Sunflower just to get a record that would satisfy Warner Bros, only to have it flop because of Dennis' uncomfortable associations.

I wonder if the exclusion of Dennis songs from Surf's Up was partly a damage control thing? Maybe Dennis, voluntarily or otherwise, started his solo career with Daryl because his songs being included on subsequent Beach Boy releases would be a commercial risk. CATP and Holland he contributed songs again, but only two per album, whereas he'd had three on 20/20 and four on Sunflower, plus several B-Sides and Slip on Through being a single.

It's interesting that Dennis' momentum as a songwriter didn't slow down regardless of all this. He was writing some of his most transcendent & joyous material in a period that should've been his most tumultuous.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Tom on September 19, 2021, 06:50:14 PM
Side question - when did it come to public knowledge that 'Never Learn Not To Love' was a rework of Manson's 'Cease to Exist'? Was it as late as March 1970 when 'Lie: the Love and Terror Cult' was released, and if so, how long did it take people to pick up on the connection?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Don Malcolm on September 21, 2021, 12:23:26 PM
My recollections of the 1970-71 time frame--which are here to be corrected by those who've done a more complete dive into the many Manson source materials (I've ordered CHAOS and plan to work it into my reading shortly after it arrives)--was that the press in general really tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube for the band and Dennis after the Manson events broke wide. Their reviews of SUNFLOWER are glowing. They did not pick up and run with Dennis' earlier statements about his association with Manson--a few sensationalistic references, but these were kept on the margins.

But there was clearly something going on behind the scenes that Fred Vail bumped into, but may not have connected the dots at the time in terms of a "slient backlash" that involved the folks who could make or break an album commercially making sure that SUNFLOWER tanked.

Think of it as a tradeoff--you are cut loose in the industry to sink or swim based on how things play out, in exchange for not being dragged into an incredibly messy story about music biz excess and the type of FBI "sting operation" lawlessness built on destroying the political efficacy of the counterculture (which went way beyond destroying the credibility of rock stars: let's not forget their involvement in domestic political assassinations of key figures in dissent political groups, such as Fred Hampton).

Moving away from the hoary tip of the iceberg in the Manson situation, maybe we now can more clearly embrace the thinking in the Beach Boys' camp once Jack Rieley is on board, a recognition that the band had to mount an all-out counterassault on their past image AND more aggressively employ the SMiLE myth in order to dig themselves out of a hole that might otherwise have had no bottom. Adds another dimension as to why some were so adamant about resurrecting "Surf's Up." It helps to explain the rather pointed tone of VDP's quote about guaranteeing pre-sales by making "Surf's Up" the title of the LP.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: DonnyL on September 23, 2021, 09:06:31 PM
I can’t find it now, but I recall reading somewhere that there was some type of film industry boycott on Two-Lane Blacktop also. Though it came out in 1971, and it’s not exactly an “easy” movie- but this is an interesting angle I truly never thought of. Maybe there was some type of disassociation of the group (and possibly particularly Dennis) with the industry following the Manson scene. This also seems to coincide with their absolute lowest point commercially in the US … and Murry selling the catalog in Nov 1969 too. Odd timing for this stuff, isn’t it? I guess they really did need Jack Rieley to turn things around.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 24, 2021, 09:24:52 AM
I can’t find it now, but I recall reading somewhere that there was some type of film industry boycott on Two-Lane Blacktop also. Though it came out in 1971, and it’s not exactly an “easy” movie- but this is an interesting angle I truly never thought of. Maybe there was some type of disassociation of the group (and possibly particularly Dennis) with the industry following the Manson scene. This also seems to coincide with their absolute lowest point commercially in the US … and Murry selling the catalog in Nov 1969 too. Odd timing for this stuff, isn’t it? I guess they really did need Jack Rieley to turn things around.

If you can find that, please post it - I had never heard of this angle. I just picked up the Criterion Collection 2-DVD set (with script in book form) this past weekend, and have to dig into it more. I've only seen the film on VHS copy, so I'm late to the game in digging deeper. But having read the history and commentaries on it for years, it seems like it was more of an inside-baseball thing with the studio that released it. Condensed version: The entire script was published in Esquire before the release, and Esquire raved about the film before anyone saw it. Numerous studios passed on buying it, until a younger executive gave it the green light and a budget. But the filming created something like 3 hours of a rough cut, that got edited down to just under 2. So again without doing s deep dive into the Criterion set and the commentary, I'm thinking when people read the script and rave review in Esquire, then saw the film's final cut, there may have been key scenes missing. Just a guess.

But ultimately the head of the studio hated the film, and it sounds like attempts were made to torpedo it from within. The Esquire advance release of the full script backfired in terms of marketing. And the studio itself sank it from within, it was barely in the theaters then pulled, and was unavailable in any form except maybe midnight movies at various small theaters on the cult circuit for many years.

I think the rush from studios to grab "road" film projects in the wake of Easy Rider was how the film finally found a studio in the first place, but there was only a 2-3 year window on that Easy Rider contact high (compare it to the rush from record labels to sign and sculpt any number of low-rent "Grunge" bands in the wake of Nirvana's success), and I think there was resentment from the Hollywood powers-that-be as a result. There had to be some reason why the head of the studio "hated" Two Lane Blacktop enough to tank it before it had a chance.

I don't see the Manson-Dennis connection being enough of a reason to tank the film, but if there are reports of that, I'd like to see them! It just sounds like Hollywood infighting and power-grabs rather than Dennis Wilson's supporting role being enough of a factor to throw out the entire film. After Easy Rider and all the copycats that followed, there were a lot of bad feelings in Hollywood's power circles, and I'm guessing that kind of thing played a bigger role.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: DonnyL on September 24, 2021, 09:40:32 AM
I can’t find it now, but I recall reading somewhere that there was some type of film industry boycott on Two-Lane Blacktop also. Though it came out in 1971, and it’s not exactly an “easy” movie- but this is an interesting angle I truly never thought of. Maybe there was some type of disassociation of the group (and possibly particularly Dennis) with the industry following the Manson scene. This also seems to coincide with their absolute lowest point commercially in the US … and Murry selling the catalog in Nov 1969 too. Odd timing for this stuff, isn’t it? I guess they really did need Jack Rieley to turn things around.

If you can find that, please post it - I had never heard of this angle. I just picked up the Criterion Collection 2-DVD set (with script in book form) this past weekend, and have to dig into it more. I've only seen the film on VHS copy, so I'm late to the game in digging deeper. But having read the history and commentaries on it for years, it seems like it was more of an inside-baseball thing with the studio that released it. Condensed version: The entire script was published in Esquire before the release, and Esquire raved about the film before anyone saw it. Numerous studios passed on buying it, until a younger executive gave it the green light and a budget. But the filming created something like 3 hours of a rough cut, that got edited down to just under 2. So again without doing s deep dive into the Criterion set and the commentary, I'm thinking when people read the script and rave review in Esquire, then saw the film's final cut, there may have been key scenes missing. Just a guess.

But ultimately the head of the studio hated the film, and it sounds like attempts were made to torpedo it from within. The Esquire advance release of the full script backfired in terms of marketing. And the studio itself sank it from within, it was barely in the theaters then pulled, and was unavailable in any form except maybe midnight movies at various small theaters on the cult circuit for many years.

I think the rush from studios to grab "road" film projects in the wake of Easy Rider was how the film finally found a studio in the first place, but there was only a 2-3 year window on that Easy Rider contact high (compare it to the rush from record labels to sign and sculpt any number of low-rent "Grunge" bands in the wake of Nirvana's success), and I think there was resentment from the Hollywood powers-that-be as a result. There had to be some reason why the head of the studio "hated" Two Lane Blacktop enough to tank it before it had a chance.

I don't see the Manson-Dennis connection being enough of a reason to tank the film, but if there are reports of that, I'd like to see them! It just sounds like Hollywood infighting and power-grabs rather than Dennis Wilson's supporting role being enough of a factor to throw out the entire film. After Easy Rider and all the copycats that followed, there were a lot of bad feelings in Hollywood's power circles, and I'm guessing that kind of thing played a bigger role.

Yes, those are the stories I'm referring to I believe. "Boycott" is probably the wrong word- but some people seemed to hate it so much, it was semi-not released originally?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 24, 2021, 09:45:43 AM
My recollections of the 1970-71 time frame--which are here to be corrected by those who've done a more complete dive into the many Manson source materials (I've ordered CHAOS and plan to work it into my reading shortly after it arrives)--was that the press in general really tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube for the band and Dennis after the Manson events broke wide. Their reviews of SUNFLOWER are glowing. They did not pick up and run with Dennis' earlier statements about his association with Manson--a few sensationalistic references, but these were kept on the margins.

But there was clearly something going on behind the scenes that Fred Vail bumped into, but may not have connected the dots at the time in terms of a "slient backlash" that involved the folks who could make or break an album commercially making sure that SUNFLOWER tanked.

Think of it as a tradeoff--you are cut loose in the industry to sink or swim based on how things play out, in exchange for not being dragged into an incredibly messy story about music biz excess and the type of FBI "sting operation" lawlessness built on destroying the political efficacy of the counterculture (which went way beyond destroying the credibility of rock stars: let's not forget their involvement in domestic political assassinations of key figures in dissent political groups, such as Fred Hampton).

Moving away from the hoary tip of the iceberg in the Manson situation, maybe we now can more clearly embrace the thinking in the Beach Boys' camp once Jack Rieley is on board, a recognition that the band had to mount an all-out counterassault on their past image AND more aggressively employ the SMiLE myth in order to dig themselves out of a hole that might otherwise have had no bottom. Adds another dimension as to why some were so adamant about resurrecting "Surf's Up." It helps to explain the rather pointed tone of VDP's quote about guaranteeing pre-sales by making "Surf's Up" the title of the LP.

Very interesting points. I do agree that I haven't seen nor heard of many (if any) attempts to bury artists based on a Manson connection. Not saying it didn't happen, but it doesn't seem to have any proof behind it. Like I said earlier in this discussion, both Hollywood and the music business is exactly like the stock market: Actors, directors, musicians, screenwriters, and producers are ultimately viewed and used as commodities whose value rises and falls exactly like the stock market. These commodities are invested in and traded in order to do one thing: Make money for the investors. When something threatens that, and when a lot of money stands to be lost and unable to be recouped, there are damage control plans put into place to prevent that. Investors don't like losing money. And if the damage can't be controlled, the commodity (in terms of an actual human being) is thrown under the bus and cut loose, which then leads to more damage control to remove any associations from those who are still hot moneymaking commodities.

I just don't know of or can't think of anyone connected to Manson who was thrown under the bus. Terry Melcher continued to work for his mother Doris Day and made a lot of money doing so, then got back into making records and especially in the 80's helped the Beach Boys get back onto the charts several times. I don't see Dennis' association doing any damage in terms of the Beach Boys, they had already been thrown under the bus with Capitol after their contract was up, and they were able to get a deal on Warner/Reprise to continue making records and touring. Were they blackballed because of Manson? I don't see it. Someone still thought they were a commodity who could make money.

Go down the list of other actors and musicians who were in contact with Manson - Were any of them obviously thrown under the proverbial bus? Neil Young bought Manson a motorbike and had good things to say about Charlie's music, and Neil didn't suffer at all. Mama Cass was involved with many of the players, close friends with the murder victims, and at one point was threatened with charges by the LAPD...she got a network TV show and other solo starring vehicles right after the murders. No harm there in the associations.

Roman Polanski continued to make movies, and just several years after the trial he made Chinatown, which is one of the greatest films of all time. If the contents of those Sony Porta-Pak video reels in his attic at the murder house were ever made public, he'd have been sunk long before his similar activities came to light around 1977. But in the wake of Manson and the trials, he was still working in Hollywood and making acclaimed films, and making money for those bankrolling him (including Hugh Hefner).

I think if anything, attempts were made to shield or protect those commodities in the entertainment business from any negative backlash surrounding Manson. And that goes right up to the way Bugliosi planned the prosecution strategy and the witnesses for the prosecution. He made a case, now we know some was not factual, in order to secure a conviction without getting deep into the Manson universe of people and things which could potentially lose a lot of money for a lot of people, as well as possibly blow the lid off some nefarious if not criminal activity from government agencies.

It's an interesting exploration overall, that's what keeps me interested in reading and learning more, and I sure as hell don't think writing it off as conspiracy theory nonsense is serving any purpose for recording the proper and accurate history of the case unless writing it off as tinfoil hat bullshit is another attempt to whitewash and protect certain people and narratives.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on September 24, 2021, 09:59:55 AM
I can’t find it now, but I recall reading somewhere that there was some type of film industry boycott on Two-Lane Blacktop also. Though it came out in 1971, and it’s not exactly an “easy” movie- but this is an interesting angle I truly never thought of. Maybe there was some type of disassociation of the group (and possibly particularly Dennis) with the industry following the Manson scene. This also seems to coincide with their absolute lowest point commercially in the US … and Murry selling the catalog in Nov 1969 too. Odd timing for this stuff, isn’t it? I guess they really did need Jack Rieley to turn things around.

If you can find that, please post it - I had never heard of this angle. I just picked up the Criterion Collection 2-DVD set (with script in book form) this past weekend, and have to dig into it more. I've only seen the film on VHS copy, so I'm late to the game in digging deeper. But having read the history and commentaries on it for years, it seems like it was more of an inside-baseball thing with the studio that released it. Condensed version: The entire script was published in Esquire before the release, and Esquire raved about the film before anyone saw it. Numerous studios passed on buying it, until a younger executive gave it the green light and a budget. But the filming created something like 3 hours of a rough cut, that got edited down to just under 2. So again without doing s deep dive into the Criterion set and the commentary, I'm thinking when people read the script and rave review in Esquire, then saw the film's final cut, there may have been key scenes missing. Just a guess.

But ultimately the head of the studio hated the film, and it sounds like attempts were made to torpedo it from within. The Esquire advance release of the full script backfired in terms of marketing. And the studio itself sank it from within, it was barely in the theaters then pulled, and was unavailable in any form except maybe midnight movies at various small theaters on the cult circuit for many years.

I think the rush from studios to grab "road" film projects in the wake of Easy Rider was how the film finally found a studio in the first place, but there was only a 2-3 year window on that Easy Rider contact high (compare it to the rush from record labels to sign and sculpt any number of low-rent "Grunge" bands in the wake of Nirvana's success), and I think there was resentment from the Hollywood powers-that-be as a result. There had to be some reason why the head of the studio "hated" Two Lane Blacktop enough to tank it before it had a chance.

I don't see the Manson-Dennis connection being enough of a reason to tank the film, but if there are reports of that, I'd like to see them! It just sounds like Hollywood infighting and power-grabs rather than Dennis Wilson's supporting role being enough of a factor to throw out the entire film. After Easy Rider and all the copycats that followed, there were a lot of bad feelings in Hollywood's power circles, and I'm guessing that kind of thing played a bigger role.

Yes, those are the stories I'm referring to I believe. "Boycott" is probably the wrong word- but some people seemed to hate it so much, it was semi-not released originally?

Most of that hate for the film seems to have been coming from the head of Universal, which was the parent company of the group that gave it the green light originally. I don't know offhand why there was so much anger and resentment toward the film from such a big player at the studio, but it's not an uncommon story with both Hollywood studios and the music biz, where the caricature is a studio head pointing a finger at an actor he didn't like and saying "You'll never work in this town again!". Tying it into another film from this same era, look at the scene in Godfather where studio head Jack Woltz blows up on Tom Hagen at the dinner table over Johnny Fontaine "ruining" one of his best actresses who he invested a lot of money into to become a star. Woltz, of course, ended up with the head of his prized racehorse in his bed, and Fontaine got the role he wanted...and all of it was a thinly veiled reference to Sinatra being cast in From Here To Eternity which was his comeback role.

It could have been something that was pure inside baseball with the people involved, but yes the film was all but sunk and pulled immediately when it was released by the parent studio who released it. Some reports said there were not even advertisements for its opening, and that's almost an open case of the studio sabotaging it by not promoting it. I'm just not sure if a Manson connection had anything to do with why the head of Universal hated the film.

It's the difference between a parent company refusing to promote something and outwardly limiting its release, and theater owners (or music DJ's and program directors) refusing to play something. One comes from within, the other is the delivery system refusing to let the public have a chance to see or hear something. The Beach Boys during this era suffered the latter.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on April 13, 2022, 08:27:58 AM
Just giving a shout-out to author Jim Berkenstadt who has a new book "Rock and Roll Mysteries: Case Closed" that touches on the Manson case and connections to The Beach Boys. Sounds like an interesting read beyond the Manson story, as does Jim's book on Jimmy Nicol which I'm going to seek out.

Some side notes: Jim was on the Beach Boys Talk videocast last night, I watched his full interview. A few points were made that were either slightly shaded from what has been reported before, or may just need a clarification, but overall it was a good interview. One was Jim suggesting that Manson "pulled a knife" on Stephen Desper during recording sessions at Brian's home studio. Stephen told the full story here on this forum some years ago in his own words, and I'll just suggest using the phrase "pulled a knife" suggests a more violent or threatening act than what Manson did, which was more along the lines of playing with a knife, picking his fingernails with that knife, etc...and Stephen called his bluff and asked to inspect the knife. Anyway, read Stephen's own account of that episode in the archives here.

But I'd like to ask for a clarification or more info on a few things that were revealed during the show. First, one of the BB Talk hosts said something along the lines of people either warning or advising them not to take up the Manson topic. Maybe it was just an offhand remark, but since both hosts have posted here before and perhaps have their own reasons for not bothering anymore (which I'll happily entertain with either of them privately considering who was formerly more involved with their shows), I'd like to ask them who either warned or advised against discussing the Manson topic, and in what capacity this was done.

The reason why I'm posting this here is because the Manson topic is open for discussion here, as much as perhaps some interests might want to squelch those discussions or suggest anything beyond the "Helter Skelter" narrative is tinfoil hat conspiracy nuttiness. If people want to tell the story of the band and make it all "sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows" that's their prerogative, but telling a sanitized version of history doesn't serve much purpose beyond eliminating entire parts of that history.

There were a few more points made during the chat that stood out, so I'll definitely be seeking out Jim's book for more details and more comments to follow.

I just wanted to say again that if there are people within BB's circles trying to discourage fans from discussing or reading about a factual and real chapter of the band's history, and telling people who have outlets for such discussions to stay away from the topic, that's a pretty sad commentary on the flow of information about the band, and kudos to the hosts for taking on the topic. There is more to that whole story than what most have accepted as the official narrative, and it goes beyond where the court transcripts would carry it.



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on April 13, 2022, 08:58:12 AM
For those interested in the Manson knife stories, here's the discussion from 2012, the actual story and the link to follow the rest of the discussions:

COMMENT:  Yes. He liked to clean under his fingernails with the blade. It was a switchblade knife. Things like that don't bother me. I made it plain from the on-set that I was in charge of the recording session. When he pulled out his knife, I let him clean himself a few times and then ask Manson if I could see his knife and would he show me how it works -- which he did. Then I ask him again if I could hold the knife to see how the weight was. He did give me the knife and I balanced it on my finger to check the balance. We talked a little about balance and how it affected the toss of the knife. After that he put it in his pocked and got down to the business of recording. This knife nail cleaning habit is not unusual among some would-be tough guys. I saw it practiced while in High School as a student. If it was intended to impress or threaten me; it did not -- and Manson knew it by my at-ease with this practice. In fact, Manson displayed respect for me and told me so when he did not have a light for his cigarette. I went off leaving him along in the control room, to search in Brian's house for a match. When I returned with a book of matches, Charlie thought that was really something -- that I would make such an effort on his behalf. (Actually I just did not want him wondering around Brian and Marylin's house looking for a light.) At any event it did tend to make a positive impression in him.

Please keep in mind as you read all this, that it happened a couple of weeks BEFORE the "event."  So to me he was this creapy guy I was to record playing his Guitar and singing some original songs. I treated Charlie with the same respect as anyone recording in the studio, but he started out a little pushy, or maybe that's how it impressed me. In hind sight I'd say he just had a problem with authority.  At first it was, "I'm going to do this and you record me," whereas after the first playback it became more like, "what do I do now so you can make a better recording." That is, he realized that I was running the session, not him -- that he was out of his league in the studio environment and had best trust an expert if he wanted the end product to reflect his best side. Once that was established he did farily well as an artist and things moved along.

~swd   


http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,12729.msg273557.html#msg273557 (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,12729.msg273557.html#msg273557)



Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on April 13, 2022, 11:23:35 AM
We'll never get the real truth of course, but I do find it interesting to chip away at little parts of the story to draw ones own conclusion.

Regarding the Manson letter mentioned earlier in this thread, it's so rambling, but in all these references, there would be some you can pull out as 'truths'

Curious, Manson mentions a French girl that was chasing Dennis and involved with Jimi Hendrix?
Manson says something along the lines that Dennis and Manson are at Elvis' place (assuming) and they have all these girls and Priscilla  comes home, and it sounds like Elvis kinda puts an end to the party.

Just to me , if these are ramblings of a lunatic, there is some odd references and specifics...


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on April 13, 2022, 07:08:33 PM
When that Manson letter first appeared online it was a pretty jaw-dropping thing, and just as you said, it was the details and the names and places that removed the contents from being easily written off as the rantings and imagination of a lunatic. It made sense, especially for those who knew the history.

The clincher for me was the mention of the Sony PortaPak videotape systems, and what the wealthy and famous were doing with them...since very few could afford them in 1968. Remember Brian got one from Sony in late 66 or early 67 (more 66 I believe), and he would record mock Johnny Carson show skits with his Smile crew and videotape various scenes around LA. Dennis later got one and apparently gave it to Manson, and in the letter Manson describes what was done with these setups and who was doing it.

So another jaw-dropping moment was when Tom O'Neill did the Joe Rogan interview, and revealed a secret which Bugliosi had told him about the Ceilo Drive house...and what Roman Polanski immediately went looking for after he was taken there by the LAPD detectives.

That's pretty strong evidence that - again as you said - there may very well be truth within that letter Manson wrote. Such coincidences might happen by chance but it's usually more than coincidence.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on April 14, 2022, 10:30:26 AM
Totally fascinating, and the video stuff is a bit disturbing but makes sense. The tapes were almost secured by the fact nobody had players to watch them with.

These little bits of info that aren't directly related to the murders, but make you question things. Like Olivia Hussey was living at Cielo, a month after the murders, and claims Terry was pretty much back living there as well....huh? Might mean nothing on its own, other than seeming like an odd choice, but then if you start to look at this whole Vince-Rudi-Terry triangle, you wonder.

Never ever gonna convince me that Charlie and the family weren't terrible humans.... But you could definitely convince me that Charlie got screwed when it comes to the justice system.


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: guitarfool2002 on April 15, 2022, 08:48:08 AM
Totally fascinating, and the video stuff is a bit disturbing but makes sense. The tapes were almost secured by the fact nobody had players to watch them with.

These little bits of info that aren't directly related to the murders, but make you question things. Like Olivia Hussey was living at Cielo, a month after the murders, and claims Terry was pretty much back living there as well....huh? Might mean nothing on its own, other than seeming like an odd choice, but then if you start to look at this whole Vince-Rudi-Terry triangle, you wonder.

Never ever gonna convince me that Charlie and the family weren't terrible humans.... But you could definitely convince me that Charlie got screwed when it comes to the justice system.

The last sentence is, I think, very important to consider. When discussing these topics, bringing out new points or evidence, or even disputing the official Bugliosi narrative (and challenging the court case and transcripts of the case directly), some try to equate that with defending or even championing Charles Manson himself, and that's simply not the case. It's already been discussed earlier in this particular thread, but why do you think there is such a strong reaction to either challenging the official narrative or even discussing lesser-known elements of the case overall? Right away there are reactions like calling people conspiracy nuts, writing off the entire history by saying Manson was a nutcase and a piece of garbage and that's the final word, and even calling the topic overall "toxic" and trying to avoid it entirely.

Just consider why that's the case. It's too much to go into, or maybe not, but that reaction on a broader level well beyond the Beach Boys gets into some pretty high level agencies, distraction and disinformation tactics, and public relations campaigns to sell certain ideas or conclusions over others. How many reasons can be considered for totally ignoring a pretty strong case for prosecutorial misconduct at the very least, where witnesses were coached and lied in testimony, and where evidence was withheld in order to make stronger case for conviction (and later a national narrative about the scenario overall), and outright criminal activity at worst among those involved in these intertwining court cases. It's easy to make Manson the ultimate boogeyman or manifestation of all evil in the 60's, and of course he was a terrible human along with those around him, but that doesn't excuse such blatant attempts to twist the justice system however is necessary to win convictions and promote a narrative, especially when there were so many moving parts involved in these cases.

In various school of law, an exercise is often done where landmark trials or cases are revisited and retried in the classroom. Has anyone in that capacity ever reopened and re-enacted the State versus Charles Manson trial? If so, I find it hard to believe the same inconsistencies or outright misconduct would not come out in the process.

But that's getting too deep into the purely legal aspects. The fascination for many music fans of the 60's and 60's culture in general is how this guy, a classic con-artist and hustler, managed to enter and navigate what some might consider a few of the more elite circles of 60's rock stardom and celebrity, and how he managed to do so while not bathing, and literally being fresh out of prison where he had spent the majority of his life since his teen years. It's still mind-blowing to consider who he really was and how he got an all-access pass to some very elite circles. And all of the threads that led to and from Charlie into those circles are some of the same points that got left out of the trials, and which exist only in books like O'Neill's Chaos book, and then O'Neill gets tagged as a conspiracy nut for bringing them up.

So discussing the case or finding inconsistencies is not the equivalent to defending or championing Manson. And people are not tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nuts for taking a scholarly interest in the details. That's basic logic that gets sadly lost too often.

And maybe that's what made me raise an eyebrow when one of the Beach Boys Talk hosts mentioned in Tuesday's webcast that they had been warned or advised not to tackle the Manson topic. What's happening with that, and why is a topic relevant to the band's history being tagged as a topic to avoid?


Title: Re: 'CHAOS' The new Manson book
Post by: Juice Brohnston on April 19, 2022, 11:03:50 AM
Totally fascinating, and the video stuff is a bit disturbing but makes sense. The tapes were almost secured by the fact nobody had players to watch them with.

These little bits of info that aren't directly related to the murders, but make you question things. Like Olivia Hussey was living at Cielo, a month after the murders, and claims Terry was pretty much back living there as well....huh? Might mean nothing on its own, other than seeming like an odd choice, but then if you start to look at this whole Vince-Rudi-Terry triangle, you wonder.

Never ever gonna convince me that Charlie and the family weren't terrible humans.... But you could definitely convince me that Charlie got screwed when it comes to the justice system.

The last sentence is, I think, very important to consider. When discussing these topics, bringing out new points or evidence, or even disputing the official Bugliosi narrative (and challenging the court case and transcripts of the case directly), some try to equate that with defending or even championing Charles Manson himself, and that's simply not the case. It's already been discussed earlier in this particular thread, but why do you think there is such a strong reaction to either challenging the official narrative or even discussing lesser-known elements of the case overall? Right away there are reactions like calling people conspiracy nuts, writing off the entire history by saying Manson was a nutcase and a piece of garbage and that's the final word, and even calling the topic overall "toxic" and trying to avoid it entirely.

Just consider why that's the case. It's too much to go into, or maybe not, but that reaction on a broader level well beyond the Beach Boys gets into some pretty high level agencies, distraction and disinformation tactics, and public relations campaigns to sell certain ideas or conclusions over others. How many reasons can be considered for totally ignoring a pretty strong case for prosecutorial misconduct at the very least, where witnesses were coached and lied in testimony, and where evidence was withheld in order to make stronger case for conviction (and later a national narrative about the scenario overall), and outright criminal activity at worst among those involved in these intertwining court cases. It's easy to make Manson the ultimate boogeyman or manifestation of all evil in the 60's, and of course he was a terrible human along with those around him, but that doesn't excuse such blatant attempts to twist the justice system however is necessary to win convictions and promote a narrative, especially when there were so many moving parts involved in these cases.

In various school of law, an exercise is often done where landmark trials or cases are revisited and retried in the classroom. Has anyone in that capacity ever reopened and re-enacted the State versus Charles Manson trial? If so, I find it hard to believe the same inconsistencies or outright misconduct would not come out in the process.

But that's getting too deep into the purely legal aspects. The fascination for many music fans of the 60's and 60's culture in general is how this guy, a classic con-artist and hustler, managed to enter and navigate what some might consider a few of the more elite circles of 60's rock stardom and celebrity, and how he managed to do so while not bathing, and literally being fresh out of prison where he had spent the majority of his life since his teen years. It's still mind-blowing to consider who he really was and how he got an all-access pass to some very elite circles. And all of the threads that led to and from Charlie into those circles are some of the same points that got left out of the trials, and which exist only in books like O'Neill's Chaos book, and then O'Neill gets tagged as a conspiracy nut for bringing them up.

So discussing the case or finding inconsistencies is not the equivalent to defending or championing Manson. And people are not tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nuts for taking a scholarly interest in the details. That's basic logic that gets sadly lost too often.

And maybe that's what made me raise an eyebrow when one of the Beach Boys Talk hosts mentioned in Tuesday's webcast that they had been warned or advised not to tackle the Manson topic. What's happening with that, and why is a topic relevant to the band's history being tagged as a topic to avoid?


Rock Solid, Guitarfool...

Yes a really interesting concept about a mock retrial...wouldn't this be television gold? Everything Manson related seems to draw ratings. It would be a great way to introduce a lot of the O'Neill findings into 'evidence'

And yes, that bigger question about Charlie in Hollywood. I think maybe Charlie (and Terry) answer it for us...girls and sex, as simple as that. Charlie makes a point in his letter, (and it's telling when you read the interviews of many of the girls as to why they were attracted to Charlie) as to his ability to bring out feelings and dispel fears in these girls(carefully targeted ones, no doubt)

Neil Young said it, the girls were totally into Charlie, over whatever Rock Stars or Actors were present. Terry protested and said why would he want those girls when he could have Models and Actresses....we know why.