Manson’s Music

(Above source: YouTube video)

The lurid legend of Charles Manson, who died in 2017, resurfaced recently thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s latest film and the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders.

However, a new documentary, available starting at $3.99 from Vudu, FandangoNow, iTunes and other providers, explores Manson’s lesser-known ambition — to be a rock star.

Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind follows his rise in the 1960s’ music world and the rock-and-rollers who supported him. In 1967, having just spent 10 years in prison, Manson started auditioning for top music figures in Hollywood. Along the way, he became a friend of Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson. But word about Manson’s darker side began to spread throughout the industry, and soon he was on the path that led to the 1969 Tate murders.

The film includes interviews with Manson Family member Dianne Lake; Dennis Wilson’s song-writing partner Gregg Jakobson, who was a prosecution witness at Manson’s trial; Manson’s fellow inmate from 1966, Phil Kaufman, who would release Manson’s one-and-only album; Beach Boys’ producer Stephen Desper, who recorded Manson at Brian Wilson’s home studio; and Ernie Knapp, the guitarist in Manson’s band, The Milky Way.

The film “dives into Manson’s dream of becoming a musician so we’re focusing on a little known area of his life that has never been fully understood,” said Lise Romanoff, CEO and managing director of Vision Films, the documentary’s distributor. “It’s a revelation just how close he came to stardom and how closely tied his failure in the music industry was to the murders that made him infamous.”

The film was written and directed by Tom O’Dell.

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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