Sharon Tate

Charles Manson's Hollywood #9: August 8-10, 1969 by Karina Longworth


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Over the course of a single weekend, half a dozen hippies massacred seven people. This episode includes disturbing details about very violent crimes. 

Show notes:

This episode is graphic and disturbing! Please don't listen to it if you know you can't handle it, and don't let children anywhere near it unless you are trying to teach them a lesson about pretty much the most horrible things you can imagine. 

This episode was primarily based on Manson: His Life and Times by Jeff Guinn; Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders by Greg King; Roman by Roman Polanski; and The White Album by Joan Didion. 

The sound excerpt from Didion's "The White Album" comes from the audiobook read by Susan Varon.

Special guests! Ram Bergman returned as Roman Polanski; Nate DiMeo returned as Charles Manson; and we are pleased to welcome Wiley Wiggins (Dazed and Confused, Computer Chess) as Tex Watson. 

The murders of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca; misspelling of Helter Skelter: Charlie takes Linda, Susan and Clem to the beach, tries to get them to do another murder; LAPD thinks Tate murder was drug related, doesn't believe the LaBianca, Tate and Hinman murders are connected; Manson's attempts to implicate black men fail: "Undercover Vampire Policeman" by Chris Zabriskie

End credits: "Pop Rock Guitar Rhythm" royalty free loop

Outro: "Oh Comely" by Neutral Milk Hotel

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 8: Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski by Karina Longworth


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While trying to launch her own acting career, Tate fell in love with, and eventually married, Roman Polanski, the hotshot Polish filmmaker who had his first massive American hit in the summer of 1968, Rosemary’s Baby. Tate and Polanski were often described as Hollywood’s “it” couple during their brief marriage, but behind the scenes their relationship was complicated by his infidelities, and her struggles to prove herself as an actress in films like Valley of the Dolls.

Show Notes:

The base list of sources for this series can be found here. This episode is a continuation of last week's episode, and was mostly based on the same sources, particularly Roman Polanski's Roman.

Once again, Ram Bergman played Roman Polanski.

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 7: Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring by Karina Longworth


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In the first of two episodes about the Manson Family’s most famous victim, we’ll trace actress Sharon Tate’s early years, her romance with celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, and the on-set affair that changed the course of Tate’s life and career. Plus: sex, drugs, haunted houses, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen.

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

In the immediate aftermath of the Manson murders, much misinformation, rumor and slander about the victims was published as fact, so it can be difficult to sort out truth from fiction even today -- particularly when it comes to things like sexual habits and drug consumption. My primary sources for this chapter were Roman Polanski's autobiography Roman by Polanski;Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders by Greg King; and My Husband, My Friend by Neile Adams McQueen. This 2002 story on Jay Sebring from the New York Times Magazine is a little odd, but it was useful for me to understand Sebring's accomplishments as a hairdresser. The Warren Beatty/Shampoo stuff came from Peter Biskind's Star and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls -- books which cover the same territory in almost the same exact language at times. 

Today we introduce a new special guest: Ram Bergman played Roman Polanski. 

Episode Breakdown:

Intro: "Album Tag Song" by Dennis Wilson; "Modern Heavy Rock Guitar Top Line" royalty free track; "Mellow Suspense Music" royalty free track

Jay Sebring and the Manson murders' connection to Warren Beatty's Shampoo"Pacific Ocean Blues" by Dennis Wilson

Sharon Tate's early life: "Family Tree" by Jahzzar

Tate's teenage rape: "Crazy Raggea FX Guitar" royalty free track

Richard Beymer, Jack Palance and Sharon's early ambitions to act; Tate's arrival in Los Angeles:"Boulevard St. Germain" by Jahzzar

Sharon Tate's beauty, and insecurity: "OLPC" by Marco Raaphorst

Sharon Tate and Marty Ransohoff: "Starlight" royalty free track

Thomas Kummer becomes Jay Sebring, who revolutionizes hairdressing: "La Hacienda" by Apache Tomcat

Jay Sebring's taste for danger, living in Jean Harlow's former, now haunted house; drugs; Sharon's first big film, Eye of the Devil: "Piano Spa" royalty free track

Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski's abortive early dates and acid trip: "Cylinder Six" by Chris Zabriskie

Sharon and Roman's acid trip turns bad: "Sci Fi Movie Sound Effects 2 Spacey Guitar" royalty free track

Polanski and Tate become a couple on the set of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Polanski's attitude towards women: "Relaxing Piano Notes (Easy Listening Music) royalty free track

Sharon Tate breaks up with Jay Sebring, who insists on meeting Roman Polanski: "The Operation" by Morrissey

Sharon and Roman's idyllic early relationship: "Readers! Do You Read?" by Chris Zabriskie

End Credits: "Pop Rock Guitar Rhythm Loop 3" Royalty free track

Outro: "LA Woman" by The Doors

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 5: Doris Day and Terry Melcher by Karina Longworth


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Charles Manson became convinced his best chance at rock stardom was impressing Terry Melcher, a record executive who had made stars out of The Byrds, and who was also the son of one of old Hollywood's most wholesome, carefree Establishment stars, Doris Day. Terry and his girlfriend, Candice Bergen, had long lived at 10050 Cielo Drive, and sublet the house to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate months before the murders.

Show Notes:

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

If there is a good Doris Day biography, other than her autobiography (which I have on order, but it hadn’t arrived by the time I had to make this episode), I couldn’t find it. I consulted two books,Considering Doris Day by Tom Santopietro and Doris Day: A Reluctant Star, both of which I found to have problems. Day deserves a serious book; I hope she someday gets one.

The other woman at the center of this episode, Candice Bergen, has written two autobiographies. I based a large portion of this episode on her first memoir, Knock Wood, published in 1984. 

Other sources for this episode:

“1969: Film star stabbed in ‘ritualistic’ killings”

Sly Stone interview on Doris Day

Episode Breakdown:

Intro: “Album Tag Song” by Dennis Wilson/Modern Heavy Rock Guitar Top Line royalty free loop/Delay Guitar royalty free loop 

The Golden Penetrators: Mouse Trap by Apache Tomcat

Doris Day’s marriage to Al Jourdan/parallels to New York New York/Jourdan’s abuse/Doris Day’s first screen test for Michael Curtiz/Day’s rise to fame and “perpetual virgin” persona/Pillow Talk: Easy Listening in Jazz royalty free track

Terry Melcher’s early life as surf rocker/selling song titles to Bobby Darin/Recording The Byrds: “Somewhere in My Mind” by Apache Tomcat

Terry Melcher’s relationship with Candice Bergen/Bergen as celebutante, second-rate Julie Christie and bridge between Establishment jet set and hippies: Also “Somewhere in My Mind” by Apache Tomcat, but a different part of the song  

Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen as rich hippies/Melcher’s first visit to Spahn Ranch/Melcher sleeping with Manson girl/Manson as chameleon: “If I Can’t Dance It’s Not My Revolution” by Quantum Jazz

Terry wouldn’t let Manson in his house: “For Better or Worse” by Kai Engel

Sly Stone story:  “Que Sera Sera” recorded by Sly and the Family Stone

Marty Melcher dies, leaving Doris Day destitute: “Divider” by Chris Zabriskie

Terry Melcher moves out of Cielo Drive, goes off the radar: “Crazy Reggae FX Guitar” royalty free loop

Creepy-crawls(i.e.: Manson family home invasions): “Gagool” by Kevin MacLeod

Helter Skelter put on hold to prepare for Terry Melcher’s visit to Spahn Ranch: “Au coin de la rue” by Marco Raaphorst

How dare Terry Melcher stand Charlie Manson up: “Devastation and Revenge” by Kevin MacLeod

Charles Manson meets Sharon Tate/Terry finally auditions Charlie: "Blue Feather" by Kevin MacLeod

Manson wilully misinterprets Melcher’s promises: "Mellow Music Theme Instrumental" (royalty free)

Mike Deasy’s bad trip to Spahn Ranch/Randy Starr/Charlie becomes angry all the time: "Sci Fi Movie Sound Effects" royalty free loop

Manson gets dark, creepy crawls turn into robberies, Terry Melcher gets paranoid/Melcher’s testimony: "Sinister Mood Guitar Effects" royalty free loop

The Ballad of Easy Rider and Byrdmaniax/Melcher’s later life: “Decora” by Yo La Tengo

Outro: Pop Rock Rhythm royalty free loop; “Dig It” by The Beatles