charlie manson

Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 12: The Manson Family on Trial by Karina Longworth

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The trials of the Manson family became a kind of public theater which a number of current and future filmmakers found themselves caught up in. Joan Didion bought a dress for a Manson girl to wear to court, Dennis Hopper visited Manson in prison, and a young John Waters attended the trial and took inspiration for his legendary film, Pink Flamingos

Show Notes:

Welcome to the final episode of our ongoing series, Charles Manson's Hollywood. As we speak, we are working on putting together our next, non-murdery season. It will begin some time in September -- follow us on Twitter for updates. 

This episode featured contributions from Moises Chullian, who played Richard Nixon; and, of course Nate DiMeo, concluding his run as Charles Manson. Special thanks to all of our guests on this series, including Wiley Wiggins, Max Linsky, TS Faull, Sam Zimmerman, Noah Segan and Ram Bergman.

Other sources for this episode include:

Charles Manson's trial testimony

Manson family ties

Charles Manson's fiancee wanted to marry him for his corpse

The episode also includes a clip from the Dennis Hopper film American Dreamer, which you can watch on YouTube, and one from Jann Wenner's December 1970 interview with John Lennon, which Rolling Stone has made available as a podcast.

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” http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/9/newsid_2998000/2998214.stm

Sly Stone interview on Doris Dayhttp://www.laweekly.com/music/sly-stone-interviewed-on-kcrw-discusses-doris-day-terry-melcher-charles-manson-and-que-sera-sera-2411278

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

Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 1: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Manson Murders by Karina Longworth

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This season, You Must Remember This will explore the murders committed in the summer of 1969 by followers of Charles Manson, and the Hollywood music and movie scene surrounding the killings. Throughout the series, we’ll learn how a single sociopath’s thwarted dreams of fame and fortune led to the gruesome events which became the symbolic “end of the sixties.” Future episodes will explore the various celebrities, musicians, movie stars and filmmakers (including Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, The Beach Boys, Dennis Hopper, Doris Day and more) whose paths crossed with Manson’s in meaningful ways, both leading up to the murders and in their aftermath. Today, we’ll talk about what was going on in the show business capital that made Manson seem like a relatively normal guy. Then we'll lay out the basic facts of who was killed, and how, in order to begin to explain how these unthinkable crimes fit in to the tapestry of one of the most tumultuous times in Hollywood history. 

ShowNotes:

Welcome to our new season! This series will run a total of 11 weeks (I think; I’m still researching and writing) and will touch on topics as disparate as Doris Day and Michaelangelo Antonioni, Pet Sounds and Pink Flamingos. I became interested in these stories about a year ago, when I somehow found myself reading the obituary of Terry Melcher. Melcher had a really full Hollywood life, which we’ll talk about in one of these episodes, but the headline is that he was born to a teenage Doris Day, and 27 years later he became convinced he was the person the Manson family were really looking for the night they massacred everyone at Sharon Tate’s house. I knew Day and Melcher’s stories were enough to fill at least one episode; as I began researching Melcher’s connection to Manson, many, many other Hollywood stories began to emerge. I realized the story of Charles Manson and the murders he is responsible is really (or, also) the story of Hollywood and its mythology draining of hope, and I wanted to tell that story.

This should probably be obvious given the subject matter, but every single episode of this season is going to contain content and language that will probably be offensive to someone. Apologies in advance.

Bibliography:

The foundational text of this series is Jeff Guinn’s recent biography Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, which I read in long stretches late at night when I was supposed to be on vacation. I couldn't put it down to go to sleep, partially because I would have nightmares every time I tried. 

Here are some other books that I read or re-read to prepare myself generally for this season. I’ll make note of additional/specific sources as we go along:

Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family by John Gilmore (This book was previously published as The Garbage People, a much better title, I think) 

Waiting For the Sun: A Rock n’ Roll History of Los Angeles by Barney Hoskyns

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris

Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream by Dave McGowan

Shadows and Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood by Gary Kent

Discography:

The Last Ones by Jahzzar

Stormy Moods Orchestra by Apache Tomcat

Scubba Adventure by Apache Tomcat

Alabama Song by The Doors

Alabama Song by Bertolt Brecht

Beware of the Fall by Apache Tomkat

Au coin de la rue by Marco Raaphorst

Private Hurricane (Instrumental) by Josh Woodward

Divider by Chris Zabriskie

Devastation and Revenge by Kevin MacLeod

Helter Skelter by The Beatles