Charles Manson Wrote Songs Before His Conviction & Some Well-Known Bands Have Covered Them
Although its a story that's been rehashed in many books, movies, and television shows, the public never seems to tire of hearing about Charles Manson. His story will be told again through jail house interviews, interviews with victims' family members and with former Manson family cult members in a new ABC special, Truth and Lies: The Family Manson on March 17. People might be surprised what they learn about the convict in the special. For example, before being imprisoned, Charles Manson wrote songs. In fact, artists that you know have actually covered his original music.
Despite not getting his hands technically dirty, in 1971, Manson was still convicted of murder for Tate-Labianca crime. He was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was automatically commuted to life in prison when California's Supreme Court abolished death penalty rulings prior to 1972. Before being committed to a life behind bars, Manson had dreams of becoming a famous recording artist. And, he was able to meet some of the right people to almost make that happen.
According to People magazine, after becoming friends with Dennis Wilson of The Beach boys (yes, those Beach Boys), Manson was able to record some songs for an album. He released some of those songs just before he was convicted in an album entitled, Lie: The Love Terror Cult and, since then, his songs have been covered by a few well-known artists.
According to Rolling Stone, The Beach Boys even used a song that Manson helped write. On the album 20/20, the song "Never Learn Not To Love" was originally titled "Cease to Exist" and was written by Manson. The band changed the title and took away his writing credit when the put the song on the album after his conviction.
The Beach Boys weren't the only ones, however, to cover Manson's original songs. According to Rolling Stone, actor Crispin Glover actually recorded an album and included a song written by Charles Manson called, "I'll Never Say Never To Always."
Probably the most well-known track written by Manson and performed by a notable band is by Gun N' Roses. The song is called "Look At Your Game, Girl" and was popular when it was released in 1993. According to Rolling Stone, Axl Rose released the song secretly and later said he’d donate the proceeds made to an environmental charity.
Even in a case that's been as explored as Manson's, it seems there are always new things to uncover — and his musical background is just the start.