Charles Manson – Part 1

Trying to encapsulate Charles Manson and his connection to music in one post is basically impossible. So, this will be part one of a multi-part series spread over the next few weeks. 

I’ve been watching this 70-minute, in-person interview from 1987 that Geraldo Rivera did with Manson. Absolutely fascinating stuff. Manson is unquestionably crazy; you don’t have to be a psychologist to see that. He is absolutely all over the place while talking to Rivera: saying that he’s Jesus Christ, telling Rivera that he’s not in prison, saying he is in harmony with the world and that all he’s really being kept from is his guitar. 

Manson played a huge role in bringing the peace and love of the 1960s to a horrendous end. On the night of August 8, 1969, Manson sent his “Family” to Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon (LA) to commit multiple murders. By August 10, there were 7 people dead.

The music connections to Manson are numerous. He was pursuing some sort of life in the music industry. According to the book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood,

“‘Circulating around Elektra Records or A&M when I was there was some Manson tape that had come in, gotten rejected, come in, gotten rejected again’,” says Michael James Jackson, an A&R executive soon to become a successful record producer.”

I’m unable to determine who the reporter is, or when this clip was shot, but I found a video where the following Q&A takes place between a reporter and Manson.

“‘People look at you today, 20 years later and they still have no idea what you’re about. Tell me, in a sentence, who you are.’

After multiple different facial expressions in succession, Manson responds,



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