From my April 8, 2009 post, Charles Manson – Part 1:
“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.”
In looking back over history, one of the main objectives is to look for touchpoint moments, determine why they happened, and analyze the effects.
Why Manson helped orchestrate this? Dear God, who really knows? Sure, we can point to the fact that he had a messy past and his mind had seriously gone off the deep-end. But I’m not sure this world can effectively construct a satisfactory answer.
The effects have left scars so deep that full-healing will likely never occur. There was an actual sense of trusting-your-neighbors that existed before this touchpoint. Even if future generations don’t know Manson’s name, they will live the effects of the paranoia he helped create.
In the book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood, the evidence is clear.
“The effect of the Manson murders on the canyon was profound. ‘That’s when it really started to turn weird,’ says Graham Nash (of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). ‘Because up until then everybody’s door was open, nobody gave a sh*t – y’know, come on in, what the f*ck – and then all of a sudden it was like; I gotta lock my car. I gotta lock my door. It was the beginning of the end, I think.’ ‘Once people found out that hippies were killing people, it was a whole different thing,’ says Paul Body, a musician and doorman at the Troubadour. ‘It was really scary suddenly,’ says Sally Stevens, an L.A. record executive who lived on Lookout Mountain at the time.”
As I learn more about Manson I’m amazed that this guy had so much effect on not only the music industry, but an entire nation. The innocence of the Hippie Generation was not entirely brought to its knees by Manson, but he surely tolled the death knell.
From Laurel Canyon,
“During his incarceration [at Terminal Island prison in San Pedro, south of L.A., where he served seven years of a ten-year sentence for cashing a stolen check; paroled in 1967] Manson had becomed obsessed with the Beatles and taught himself to play the guitar and write songs. After hitting the bricks at Terminal Island, he insinuated himself into the Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco, where he looked like just another guitar-toting, songwriting freak.”