Manson - Part One
Greetings. My name is Jerome Alexandre and I’m the guitar player / co-songwriter in a group called Deadcuts. I've been waiting to write about this particular subject for a very, very long time. In some ways this is an attempt on a spiritual purge on a topic that has had me obsessed for years. I doubt I'll fully be able to disconnect from it completely and I'm not sure I can rationally explain why that is. I must add also that I was cautioned not to write about this particular subject by certain individuals, as it still remains a very controversial topic. However, being fairly headstrong, I've run with my gut instinct to tell at best something that has been common knowledge to some, but for the majority of the world it's been guarded and veiled for over several decades now.
You may find that this knowledge (depending on how willing you are to open your mind) either revelatory or you may even believe it to be false. It’s of no consequence. I'm asking you the reader to look at this subjectively. The obsession conjures forth a name that has brought fear and terror to the American public for decades. The name ‘Charles Manson’ carries with it either an interesting debate or an angry misinformed argument and in many cases - a great way of destroying a social evening at the dining table. If you’re ever stuck on a date that you really want to get out of fast - a conversation on Charles Manson can be a great way of terminating that date immediately.
But before I even start I want everyone reading this to know the following - I'm not an advocate of murder nor ever have been - and neither are any of the people I've interviewed for this article. In this piece I'll be looking at the impact Manson has had culturally, the clues that piece together a far more complex case than the brief analysis and assumed knowledge of the crimes would suggest, and in addition interviewing a few of my musician friends who have expressed interest in the case.
Among others, these include Meechy Darko of Flatbush Zombies, Boyd Rice of Non, Nikolas Schreck (Kingdom of Heaven / Radio Werewolf), Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave, my brother and song-writing partner Mark Keds (Deadcuts / Senseless Things) and Saul Adamczewski (Fat White Family / Moonlandingz). I wanted to get their take on the Manson phenomenon as well as exposing the links between Roman Polanski, The LaBiancas, the seedy drug underworld and its connection to the mafia and ultimately how Manson's image continues to be exploited for profit. There will be certain things I will leave out - as this is an article (not a book) - that tie to the murders, and vary in such information that it would impossible to add, analyse and list every detail of those events. Should you want to find all the degrees of separation I would suggest reading the books I've listed beneath this article.
I would like to thank Boyd Rice and Nikolas Schreck for the wealth of knowledge they've have shared with me regarding Manson and without them this piece would be merely a guessing game. I understand Manson May not be a model citizen - he was a car thief, forged a couple of cheques and for a time was a pimp and drug dealer. He is very shrewd when he needs to be and has a firm understanding of all degrees of criminality. It’s ironic that such crimes provide kudos especially if you’re in the entertainment industry nowadays and in many ways echo the seedy underworld that is in alignment within it. Manson is the first to admit to cutting music-teacher/ drug-dealer Gary Hinman’s ear (in which I'll go in to detail later).
However Manson is adamant that he did not send the Family members (Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krewnwinkel, Leslie van Houten and Linda Kasabian) to kill Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Woijechk Frykowski and The LaBiancas on those hot August nights of 1969. So why admit to cutting a drug dealer’s ear off but not to ordering a bunch of murders? Especially when you know that you'll never get out of prison anyway? Let’s have a look at who stood to gain…
Manson's effect on Culture
Today Manson's image is printed by fashion designers - and interviews are but a click away on social media, easily accessible to any curious psychology student, historian or fanboy. The books that have sprung up in his wake are vast, his philosophy and phraseology is continually sampled by a wide variety of groups and his music is now easily purchased and distributed. And as the world’s population grows so does the fascination with Manson.
As a 13-year-old in the 90's attracted to the occult and all things macabre it was very different. If you were into any of these subjects your only source of information were rare books and magazines, and you had to know where to purchase them or where to order them from.
I wanted to know more about this character who'd been deserted as a child by his prostitute mother and had been passed back and forth to various relatives; who the media claimed was referring to himself as the second coming of Christ and Satan, and had spent his entire life in and out of juvenile halls and prison. Why were the media so adamant that he had hypnotised a bunch of hippies on L.S.D. to go and carry out these atrocities? Even as a teenager I'd tried L.S.D. a few times and knew that trying to even tie my shoe-laces whilst tripping on acid was impossible, let alone committing something as calculating and difficult as murder.
Why was Manson referenced by a lot of my favourite underground groups such as Death in June, Boyd Rice, Psychic TV, Rozz Williams, J.G. Thirwell and Current 93? Guns N’ Roses had also copped flack for covering Manson's most well known number, "Look at your Game Girl " - a song that a young Marilyn Manson claimed to have told Axl Rose about, who allegedly then went and stole the idea from him. Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor had also recorded the infamous album "Downward Spiral" at the Tate / Polanski residence. What was the hypnotic attraction of this character?
Since I didn't have the luxury of social media back in the day - as it didn't exist - any information I had to find out by myself - and in a way I'm glad as it made the journey more of a forbidden fruit. So my initial search began in Tower Records that used to be in Piccadilly Circus in London and which featured a wide range of alternative magazines such as Propaganda, Seconds, and The Black Flame. However, I still couldn't find anything on Manson so I went to the video section and found a movie entitled "Charles Manson Superstar".
The film was narrated by Nikolas Schreck who interviewed Manson throughout, along with his wife Zeena - who's father was the late Anton LaVey. Nikolas Schreck still converses with Manson today and co-wrote "The Manson File: Myth of an Outlaw Shaman". Watching "Charles Manson Superstar" lit something within my consciousness. I find it impossible to describe in words. It instantly struck me on a very profound level, and brought to light at the time many facts I wasn't aware of - such as Anton LaVey (who formed the Church of Satan in 1966) had actually employed Manson family member Susan Atkins, the main killer alongside Tex Watson, as a stripper in a topless witches review, long before she'd gone to live on Manson's "Spahn Ranch".