There have been plenty of bizarre stories in the classic rock scene over the years, but Charles Manson’s relationship with the rich and famous of the day is perhaps the most bizarre. Today, of course, we can’t hear Manson’s name without thinking about the horrific murders and violence that ultimately led to his obsession.
Before that tragic event, however, Manson’s quirks were another wrinkle in the strange landscape of Hollywood, and it has left many with horrifying tales of brushes with the infamous man.
One of them is Mike Love, a Beach Boys member. When he decided to leave the drug-fueled party, he was lectured by Manson for his liking.
Charles Manson had a passion for music
Manson may have been known to side with the elite of the day, but he had a special penchant for musicians. In fact, Manson himself had his sights set on becoming a musician. Doris Day’s son Terry Melcher, who had worked in the music industry, declined to offer Manson a record deal after auditioning for a potential killer.
Although Melcher and Manson kept in touch after the rejection, they eventually parted ways. Melcher moved from his home to Cielo Drive – where the Tate massacre would eventually take place. At least one member of Manson’s “family” said the massacre was meant to intimidate Melcher.
Manson’s continued obsession with the music industry led him to seek coded messages in music, most notably the Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter”.
The Beach Boys’ Mike Love met Charles Manson
Manson had a friendship with Dennis Wilson because of his passion for the music industry. Back in 1968, Wilson—then at the height of his fame as a member of The Beach Boys—raised two women who were hitchhikers. After talking for a while, the women told Wilson about their spiritual master. Soon after, as Biography Reportedly, Wilson came home to find lights in his house and inside Manson. Oddly enough, a close friendship followed.
Manson – and about 20 of his female companions – began to live in Love’s home: “Manson was fishing for a record contract at the time, and Wilson, who had called him ‘The Wizard’, took him to friends and industry executives. Presented in different ways together. Results.”
That’s how fellow beach boy Mike Love came to visit Manson. As abc report, he later recalled:
“It’s just an unfortunate episode that happened because of one of our group members, one of our family members inadvertently inviting the devil into our midst.”
Love is reminiscent of being at a party where almost everyone – except her and one other person – was naked. Manson “invited everyone to go to a den area, and turn on a strobe light, and pass what was said acid, which [Love] Rejected.”
When Love retreats to the shower from the wild scene, she is surprised to see none other than Manson opening the shower door. Love recalls the conversation: “They said, ‘You can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Sorry.’ He said, ‘You can’t leave the group.’”
The Beach Boys distance themselves from Charles Manson
While Love was being told by Manson from the beginning, Wilson remained close to the cult leader for a long time. In fact, The Beach Boys recorded a song that Wilson had originally composed with Manson. After changing the song’s lyrics and taking sole credit, Wilson drew Manson’s wrath. Wilson is also the link between Manson and Melcher.
By the time the massacre took place, Wilson had distanced himself from Manson. In fact, he had left his home and left Manson and his followers there, but knowing what Manson had done was still a shock.
Shortly after Melcher moved out of the Cielo Drive house, Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski moved in. When Manson ordered his followers to “kill everyone in the house”, they took him at his word. Wilson eventually carried a lot of guilt for his association with the person prior to his violent act.
Bryan Cranston says Charles Manson was ‘out of his mind’ when they crossed paths: ‘You couldn’t take your eyes off him’