Charles Manson Knew The Beach Boys

by Kayla Hawkins
Mark Davis/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Before Manson became infamous, he wanted to become regular famous, and therefore spent a lot of time around LA people in the entertainment industry, including encounters with California surf-rockers the Beach Boys. How did Charles Manson meet the Beach Boys? According to members of the group, it was all by chance.

In the ABC documentary special Truth & Lies: The Family Manson, airing Friday, Mike Love, one of the original members, calls it "the worst thing that could possibly happen" to the group when they met Manson in 1968 through Dennis Wilson, another founding member of the band and Love's cousin (brother of Brian and Carl Wilson). Dennis met Manson in a random hitchiking pickup, but was quickly intoxicated by the drugs and women in Manson's orbit.

According to Bugliosi, Manson and a few of his cohorts lived with Dennis for a while in the late 1960s, around 1968. According to Love, "Dennis was enthralled by him at one time, and it didn’t hurt that Charlie Manson came with this group of girls — young girls, who were very enamored with Charlie, and looked up to him as a leader."

"I only recall meeting him once," Love explained to The Wall Street Journal, in the interview below. It was during the period where Dennis was hosting Manson, in a dinner attended by several accomplices in the Tate murders. Dennis attempted to convinced Love and fellow Beach Boy Bruce Johnson about Manson's talent, calling him "the wizard," according to Love's comments to ABC.

According to Love's memoir, Good Vibrations, "Dennis carried that guilt with him for the last 14 years of his life." But before then, Manson's quest for fame and his connection with Wilson even led him to write a song for the Beach Boys. "Never Learn Not to Love" was originally written by Manson under a different title.

Charles Manson's brush with the Beach Boys is just one of many ways his own twisted history crosses over with entertainment history.