Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind

2019

Biography / Documentary

1
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 163

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 03, 2021 at 01:30 AM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
994.86 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S counting...
1.8 GB
1920*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

rejection fallout

Greetings again from the darkness. It's been 50 years since the horrific and tragic Tate-LaBianca murders, and that has caused a renewed fascination with that era in general, and the Manson family specifically. History has rightly labeled Charles Manson as a monster and a madman and a demented cult leader, but it's even more frightening to think of him as a human being ... and that's exactly what music documentarian Tom O'Dell does with his latest.

O'Dell examines Manson's dream of becoming a rock star. If you've read anything about Manson, you are likely aware of his interest in music and quasi-affiliation with Dennis Wilson, Terry Melcher and other movers and shakers in the 1960's music industry. But O'Dell digs deeper. We learn more of Manson's childhood and early exposure to music. We learn of his dreams to become a songwriter and musician, and how many recognized his raw talent. And most amazingly, we hear clips from Manson's actual recordings at Gold Star Recording Studio in 1967 ... including the quite unique "Garbage Dump".

O'Dell follows Manson's journey after his release from prison. Attracted to communal nature and music scene, Manson made his way to Northern California. The Haight/Ashbury scene made famous by The Grateful Dead appealed to him very much, and it's here where his charisma drew his first followers. Soon Manson and his followers headed to Southern California where the music scene was even more dynamic and offered even greater opportunity. He fell in with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys, and Wilson's musical partner Gregg Jakobson provides some insight into what it was like to have Manson around.

Others interviewed include Rolling Stone magazine writers Anthony DeCurtis and David Felton, Dennis Wilson biographer Jon Stebbins, Manson biographer Simon Wells, and former 'family' member Dianne Lake. Ms. Lake was 14 years old at the time she was swept up by the family, and her recollections are quite chilling ... though fortunately for her, she left before the murders took place. It's through these interviews where we fully understand Manson's broken dreams, his magnetism, and his delusional state.

After being rejected by Terry Melcher (son of Doris Day), the highly successful music producer of The Beach Boys, The Byrds, and Paul Revere and the Raiders, Manson seemed to slip from reality, which fully formed the historical figure of which we are most familiar. It's quite interesting to note the effects on Dennis Wilson. The Beach Boys' drummer had fully supported Manson as a songwriter - taking the song "Cease to Exist" and changing the title to "Never Learn to Love" and adjusting the lyrics so the group could record it as a "B" side. Manson was paid for his original song, but this connection likely pushed Wilson over the edge after the murders.

The influence of The Beatles White Album and "Helter Skelter" (a song about a fair ride) are discussed, and we hear stories from sound engineer Stephen Desper and Manson's fellow ex-con Phil Kaufman about the recording and release of "Lie", Manson's only album. The story is filled with the best and worst of 'Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, Violence, and a Race War". We leave with a better understanding of how a rejected Manson corrupted a community built on love and peace. It doesn't soften the blow of the tragedy, but it does help explain. O'Dell's film works for those who 'know all about it' and those who are interested in learning more.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 8 / 10

"The real story of Charlie Manson...is music." - Music Producer Phil Kaufman

The only other review posted for this documentary (as I write this) by 'ferguson-6' does an excellent job of describing what it's all about, from the troubled early days of a youthful Charles Manson, to the horrifying events that transpired on August 8th and 9th, 1969. On successive nights, members of the infamous 'Manson Family' brutally butchered actress Sharon Tate and four others, upon the direction of Charles Manson, who's dream of becoming a rock star was sorely tested by reality, plunging the cult leader into a spiraling descent of paranoia and delusion. A failure as a criminal (he was always caught), Manson served seven years in prison, and was already thirty two years old when he arrived in Los Angeles in 1967, during the 'Summer of Love'. Oddly, for all of his criminal tendencies, he had a crafty and charismatic personality, and was a great performer and teacher who managed to attract young followers to a cultish lifestyle. When two of his family members hitched a ride with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys one day, Manson found his opportunity to gain an audience with some of the most influential people involved in the LA music industry.

Probably the most interesting thing about this documentary is actually hearing some of the songs written and performed by Manson. In all fairness to the people associated with Manson during that ill fated time, I think some of their views and opinions often bordered on being overly complimentary. When you hear Manson's voice and listen to some of his lyrics, it's not all that good. I won't deny that Manson might have had a talent that could have been developed, but what comes across in the documentary is mostly juvenile. Think along the lines of The Beatles' 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand'; his writing was mostly like that. Which may not be surprising, as Manson was miraculously inspired by the Beatles when they hit the pop charts. But the Beatles were in their early twenties at the time, starting out by appealing to a teenage audience, while Manson was a decade older and still attempting to find himself.

What I didn't know about Manson is revealed in the latter third of this documentary, when he went off the rails after the Beach Boys recorded a song that he and Brian Wilson collaborated on. Manson's tune was titled 'Cease to Exist', but Wilson reworked the lyrics and renamed the song 'Never Learn Not To Love'; it earned a 'B' side on the single 'Bluebirds Over the Mountain'. Though he was paid for the collaboration, Manson received no credit, sending him into a rage and a direct confrontation with Wilson. Shortly after, Manson became obsessed with what he believed was an imminent black/white race war, furthered by the belief that the Beatles were speaking directly to him with their song 'Helter Skelter' from the White Album. Mistaking words from the song as a call to action, Manson had members of his cult family go to the former home of record producer Terry Melcher to create the chaos that eventually ensued at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles where the Sharon Tate murder occurred. The irony of the song 'Helter Skelter' is demonstrated by a clip from a British fairground, the term and the lyrics in the Beatles song describe an amusement park ride! That's something I never knew, and was the biggest surprise coming out of this story for me.

Over all, this was a fascinating look at the 'real' Charles Manson, separate and apart from what we all remember him for. Unfortunately, what we do remember him for is so totally abhorrent that it's hard to imagine him having any kind of life apart from the vicious and brutal murders that define his legacy. Check this out and you'll see what I mean.

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