This is the second post in a multi-part series on Charles Manson. You can read part 1 at Charles Manson – Part 1.
Have you ever heard that crazy, prophetically apocalyptic The White Album by a band called The Beatles? I’m not saying the album’s (often goofy) lyrics have zero deeper meaning, but for some reason I doubt they were meant to be fulfilled to the extent Manson took them.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Law put together an in-depth study of Manson, and part of the study is looking at the influence of the Beatles on Charlie. Here’s an excerpt from the study. I bet you had no idea what you’ve been listening to for all these years.
“One of the two great influences on the thinking of Charles Manson, along with the Book of Revelation, was the musical group the Beatles. According to Family members, Manson would most often quote ‘the Beatles and the Bible.’ The two influences were linked, in that Manson saw the four Beatles members as being the ‘four angels’ referred to in Revelation 9. Revelation 9 also tells of ‘locusts’ – the Beatles, of course – coming out upon the earth. It describes prophets as having ‘faces as the faces of men’ but with ‘the hair of women’ – an assumed reference to the long hair of the all-male English group. In Revelation 9, the four angels with ‘breastplates of fire’ – electric guitar – ‘issued fire and brimstone’ – song lyrics.
Manson believed that the Beatles spoke to him through their lyrics, especially those included in the White Album, released in December 1968. Several songs from the White Album crystalized Manson’s thinking about a coming revolt by blacks against the white establishment. He interpreted many of the songs idiosyncratically, believing, for example, that ‘Rocky Raccoon’ meant black people and ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’ was a song about getting firearms to carry on the revolution rather than – more obviously – a song about sex.
The White Album played a key role in forging Manson’s warped ideology. According to Family member Paul Watkins, ‘Before Helter Skelter came along, all Charlie cared about was orgies’.”