Nate DiMeo

Charles Manson's Hollywood #11: Death Valley '69 by Karina Longworth

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After the murders, Manson moved his family to the depths of the California desert. There, even before they were finally apprehended by the law, their utopia started to fall apart. Hollywood was in the process of being changed by Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider, a film shot partially in the same desert where Manson was now hiding. The Family and their flight to Death Valley -- and the impossible dream of the 60s revolution in general -- was soon thereafter unwittingly reflected in Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni's attempt to make a Hollywood studio film, Zabriskie Point, starring Hopper's future wife. 

Show Notes:

Special thanks to this week's special guests: Nate DiMeo reprised his role as Charles Manson, and we were lucky to have Max Linsky, of Longform.org and the Longform Podcast, playing Mel Lyman. 

The base list of sources for this series can be found here. The second half of this episode, about Mel Lyman and Zabriskie Point, is indebted to a whole different set of sources:

The Lyman Family's Holy Siege of America by David Felton, Rolling Stone, December 23, 1971

The Sorry Life and Death of Mark Frechette by Dave O'Brian, Rolling Stone, November 6, 1975

Once-Notorious '60s Commune Evolves Into Respectability: After 19 Years the Lyman Family Prospers as Craftsmen and Farmers.LA Times, August 4, 1985

Return to Zabriskie Point: The Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin Story, by Sam Tweedle, Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict

See also: the "four obscene words" editorial in Avatar; and the trailer for Zabriskie Point.

This episode is titled after the Sonic Youth song "Death Valley '69," which, as Kim Gordon explains in her memoir Girl in a Band, was partially inspired by the Manson family. I included a few other Sonic Youth songs just for their vibe; Gordon tells stories about many of them in her book. I particularly like the story about how "Halloween" was inspired by Henry Rollins.

The final song in this episode before the end credits was composed and submitted by YMRT listener Blake Godfrey. If you'd like to submit your music for consideration for use in a future episode, the best way to do that is by sending Karina a link to your stuff on Soundcloud or whatever streaming thing you prefer. 

Episode breakdown:

Intro: "Album Tag Song" by Dennis Wilson; "Modern Heavy Rock Guitar Top Line" royalty free loop

Woodstock: "Mellow Music Theme Instrumental" royalty free track

Spahn Ranch raided by Straight Satans and police: "Southern Rhythm Guitar" GarageBand loop

Shorty Shea's murder: "Psychedelic 6 Guitars Soundscape Mystery" royalty free track

Barker Ranch, Easy Rider connection: "Dark Melodic Metal Guitar Loop 1 Long" royalty free loop; "Death Valley '69" by Sonic Youth

Linda Kasabian leaves the Manson Family: "70s Acid Trip 2 Guitar Loop" royalty free loop

The Manson Family in the desert, preparing for Helter Skelter and searching for the Bottomless Pit; Juan Flynn; Danny DeCarlo's defection; Barbara Hoyt and Kitty Lutesinger want to leave; Barbara and Sherrie leave; Sherrie Doe's body is found: "Halloween" by Sonic Youth

Manson vs. Scientologist prospector Crockett; Juan Flynn's defection: "Stranger on a Train": by Sonic Youth

Hard times in the desert force Manson to beg from Gregg Jakobson; Charlie cracks the whip; the earth mover fire;: "Because Coda" by Sonic Youth

Rangers question Crockett about Manson Family; Crockett freaks out; Rangers find Tex Watson's Toyota: "Halloween" by Sonic Youth

Charlie tells Tex to shoot the Rangers; Tex defects; Kitty and Stephanie escape; the first raid on Barker Ranch; "Devastation and Revenge" by Kevin MacLeod

Charlie thinks he's escaped arrest; second raid on Barker Ranch; cops find Manson hiding in a cabinet; Charlie tries to talk his way out of arrest by invoking Helter Skelter; Kitty tells the police everything she knows; Susan talks to investigators about Gary Hinman; Susan spills to her jailhouse roommates; Virginia and Ronnie decide to snitch; Danny DeCarlo talks; LAPD announces they've cracked the Tate case: "Remembering Past Everything" by Pipe Choir

Zabriskie Point plot connections to the Manson Family: "Stormy Moods Orchestra" by Apache Tomcat

Zabriskie Point as doomed production; casting of Daria Halprin and Mark Frechette; Mel Lyman, the Fort Hill Community; Avatar Magazine and first amendment battles: "Railroad's Whiskey Co" by Jahzzar

Daria Halprin marries Dennis Hopper; Mark Frechette robs a bank; Frechette dies in prison; similarities between Lyman and Manson; future of Fort Hill; Manson's letter to Lyman"A Memory Starts" by Blake Godfrey

End Credits: "Pop Rock Guitar Rhythm Loop" royalty free loop

Outro: "Expressway To Yr Skull" by Sonic Youth

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 6: Kenneth Anger and Bobby Beausoleil by Karina Longworth

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The first person to go to jail for a Charles Manson-associated murder was Bobby Beausoleil, a charismatic would-be rock star who had put in time as a muse to Kenneth Anger -- child actor-turned-occultist experimental filmmaker, and author of the first bible of embellished celebrity scandal, Hollywood Babylon.

Show Notes:

Special thanks to this week's special guests!

Sam Zimmerman of ShockTillYouDrop.com played Bobby Beausoleil; TS Faull, screenwriter of Grimm Love, played Kenneth Anger; and Nate DiMeo, creator of The Memory Palace podcast, IS Charles Manson.

The base list of sources for this series can be found here

Other sources for this episode included Anger by Bill Landis; A.L. Bardach's 1981 interview with BobbyBeausoleil, originally published in Oui Magazine; "Kenneth Anger: Where the Bodies are Buried" by Mick Brown, Esquire January 2014.

This episode includes a clip from this NSFW trailer for the X-rated Western Ramrodder.

This is Bobby Beausoleil's website. This is Kenneth Anger's website.

Also mentioned in this episode: Mondo Hollywood, the surreal cult documentary capturing assorted eccentric late-1960s Los Angeles residents, directed by Robert Carl Cohen. Mondo Hollywood is available on iTunes and, last I checked, Hulu. You should read this conversation between Cohen and Paul Thomas Anderson, who arranged a screening of Mondo Hollywood at AFI Fest last year because it was a major influence on Inherent Vice

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 2: Charlie Manson Finds His Family by Karina Longworth

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Today we're tracing Charles Manson's life from his birth to a teenage con artist, through multiple stints in reform schools and prisons, and finally to San Francisco circa 1967, where Manson began to try out his guru act on the local hippie kids, and started to form the "family" that he'd eventually migrate with to Los Angeles. We'll explain how Manson cobbled together a dogma and worldview from a number of disparate sources -- including pimps he met in prison, the devout Christians in his family, San Francisco activists The Diggers, Dale Carnegie and Scientology -- and describe how and why he was an appealing figure to young women floating around the Bay Area in the late 1960s.  

"Manson girls" Pat Krenwinkle, Susan Stkins and Leslie Van Houten.

Show notes:

This week, we welcome a very special guest: Nate DiMeo, the creator of the wonderful history podcast, The Memory Palace. Nate will be playing Charles Manson throughout this season. Check out Nate's podcast on iTunes or at the above link, and follow him on Twitter @thememorypalace.

The main sources for this episode are the same as those noted last week, plus Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000, By Martin Torgoff

 

Discography:

Album Tag Song by Dennis Wilson

Slim Fitting by Glass Boy

OLPC by Marco Raaphorst

Scubba Adventure by Apache Tomcat

The Last Ones by Jahzzar

La Hacienda by Apache Tomcat

She's Leaving Home by The Beatles

Make a Wish (For Christmas) by Lee Rosevere

Don't Be Square (Be There) by Adam and the Ants