Charles Manson's Hollywood Part 3: The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson and Manson the songwriter / by Karina Longworth


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After bringing his family to Los Angeles so he could look for a record deal, Charlie Manson befriended Beach Boy DennisWilson, and used the drummer to gain credibility in the music Los Angeles scene. In this episode we’ll talk about Charlie Manson’s arrival in Los Angeles in 1967 with designs on spreading his gospel through rock n’ roll, trace DennisWilson’s life and career leading up to this point, discuss the role Wilson played in enabling Manson’s rock n’ roll delusions, and explain how The Beach Boys came to record a song written by Charles Manson. Finally, we’ll talk about how Wilson suffered in the years following his association with Manson, leading up to his own untimely death.

Show Notes:

Today's special guests include Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace, who returned as Charles Manson, and Noah Segan as DennisWilson. 

This episode includes many scraps of audio from DennisWilson's extraordinary solo albums, Pacific Ocean Blue and Bambu -- as much as I could reasonably fit in without egregiously violating copyright. If you like what you hear, these records are available as a single set on iTunes. 

In addition to our previously cited sources (particularly Waiting For the Sun), here is a bibliography specific to this episode:

Closing of club ignited 'Sunset Strip Riots,'LA Times, August 5, 2007

DennisWilson and Charles MansonNational Post, June 13, 2012

The Death of a Beach BoyPeople Weekly, January 16, 1984

On The Road With The New Hollywood (The Making of Two Lane Blacktop), Show, March 1971

DennisWilson: The Mayor of Washington BoulevardThe Guardian, December 31, 2013


Album Tag Song by Dennis Wilson

Out of the Skies, Under the Earth by Chris Zabriskie

Friday Night by Dennis Wilson

I am A Man Who Will Fight For Your Honor by Chris Zabriskie

For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield

Once Tomorrow (Instrumental Version) by Josh Woodward

By Request by Apache Tomcat

Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles

2PM Wake Up Call by Apache Tomcat

Pacific Ocean Blues by Dennis Wilson

Au Coin de la Rue by Marco Raaphorst

Garbage Dump by Charles Manson

Cease to Exist by Charles Manson

Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues

Never Learn Not to Love performed by The Beach Boys

I Need to Start Writing Things Down by Chris Zabriskie

Farewell My Friend by Dennis Wilson

Dreamer by Dennis Wilson