A Beach Boy’s Song and You’ll Never Guess Who Wrote It

Charlie Manson is remembered for very few things other than his bizarre, lunatic life style that landed his ass in jail forever.  But there are a few tidbits that are quite interesting about Charles in his younger minutes of insane stupidity. One of those would be when he lived with Beach Boy’s drummer, Dennis Wilson.

dennis wilsonmanson2Yep! In 1968, those two were buds. For real. Not lying.

As it were, Charlie Manson had been in and out of some kind of prison setting for most of his life. But he didn’t just sit around and whine while incarcerated, after all it was his second home, so he knew how to get comfortable. While in prison, this time, Charlie hung with Alvin Karpis, of the Ma Barker gang, that taught him how to play the guitar. And Phil Kaufman, you remember him, right? Well, he gave Charlie a contact name in Hollywood for when he was released. Charlie became obsessed with becoming bigger than the Beatles, once he was on the outside….again.

He was released in 1967 and he headed straight for San Francisco, where there was free love, free sex, rock an roll, LSD, and fame just waiting for a guru, guitar playing super star like him. And it would be there that he would gain his first ‘followers’. Then he headed for LA. He started working the music contacts he’d been given in prison. He networked constantly and finally hit pay dirt. He met Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. And Neil Young, who thought Manson had something cool going on. He referred to Charlie as a living poet. He also met John Phillips, who quite frankly thought Manson was a creep.

Charlie was offered time in a studio to record a song he had written. But, because he was unwilling to enter the studio without his ‘family’ members, the small group of dope smoking, acid dropping hippies he had brought alone with him from San Francisco, so nothing was ever professionally produced by Manson.

Dennis, on the other hand, was not letting some weird-ass, hippie shit hang-ups of Charlie’s stand in his way. He really liked several songs that Charlie had written and would play for him. One was called ‘Cease to Exist’ and Dennis finally asked the Beach Boys to record it.

That summer, 1968, Charlie Mason moved in with Dennis at his mansion.

For a while, having Charlie, the family and the drugs at his house was okay, but soon became a real problem. They began to over run Dennis in his own space and his home was being destroyed by the clan of freaky, ingrates that were now constantly moving through it. So he made arrangements for Charlie to meet, and go to, Terry Melcher, the producer of the Byrds.

Manson and his freaky, acid dropping, bible quoting, side show ‘family’ had moved to the Spahn Movie Ranch in LA. and Terry sent a sound man out to record Charlie doing a solo with his acoustic guitar. The girls of the ‘family’ would do back up. Melcher listened to the recording and watched the short documentary the crew had made while they were at the ranch. He was not impressed. The film and the recordings were tossed into storage and forgotten. They would come out again only after the murders. (The recording would be released on Lie and the film, released as Manson. Charlies version of ‘cease to exist’ would also appear on LIE

“Never Learn Not To Love”, the other song that Dennis Wilson really liked of Charlies, bears his name as the song writer’s credit, not Manson’s. Charlie trashed his house, used his friendship, and murdered his friends.  So call it a payback for ever having the misfortune of saying hello to the wack job.

pic credit – wikipedia – murderpedia