Black and white photo of white man in a suit pointing to a picture of himself in his hand

They love to do the dog all night long!

And from everything in the good and the bad books and magazines I have read--anytime of day. How 'bout that?

This may come as no surprise to you. In fact, it is biblically and scientifically important that the entirety of humanity desires to do and indeed does go at it all night long--or there would be no more humanity. What is hidden in this is how often sex is and isn't the driving force in human behavior. Predators beware, we're getting hip to your trip.

To wit: I bought the Beach Boys "Heroes and Villains" for a dollar (hardback) at the Acorn Book Shop's going-out-business sale. And while I knew a bit or two about the Beach Boys dysfunctional family life and drummer Dennis's not entirely brief connection to Manson, I was stunned to learn just how close the two became. Sex with a harem of young girls was Manson's clever if unsubtle bait to catch rich fish like Wilson. And Wilson's music biz connections were Charlie's driving force motivation. Sex, fame and fortune...and what people'll do to attain them. Interestingly enough, it could be argued Manson the genius predator was more after fame than sex. Sex was just an avenue to the bright lights.

So it was I was prompted to check out "The Life and Times of Charles Manson" by Jeff Guinn to better understand the media-obsessed pimp-guru and sad-sack failure of a musician. During the latter portion of his 17 intermittent years in prison Manson was a devout devotee of Dale Carnegie's teachings in convincing people to do what you want as well as Scientology's existential belief systems and explanations of the universe. Cosmic truths and cosmic lies were Manson's keys to the devil's highway.

Nevertheless on the morning of his 1967 release from prison Manson begged the warden to let him stay incarcerated for Charlie may have known what we didn't. Within two years at least half-a-dozen innocents would be slaughtered as a result of his will, much of which he learned how to exert while in prison.

Now this is where the evil, wicked but helpful ladies of the Grandview Heights Public Library come in.

Mentioning my desire to review some of Manson's recorded songs, one of the GHPL associates almost immediately had the five-foot-four nut job's entire catalog on a screen in front of me. I knew of his 'Lie' album and another piece of trash he recorded but I was stunned to find out there'd be several more full-length pieces of junk related to his songwriting 'genius'.

Yes, sweet Virginia, there is such a thing as The Manson Family Sings The Songs of Charles Manson. And it is as numbing as the Serendipity Singers tribute to Barbara Bush. Knowing it is sung by the crew who did the goaty little man's diabolical dirty work, by the seventh song the thing is as creepy as Hitler's briefs.

The style is earnest, speedy folk. A clear-toned young man energetically sings dopey cliched lyrics of with an all-female gang of low-I.Q. airheads offering almost a call-and-response background vocals scheme. "When you travel fast/it's much better than slow" goes the better of Charlie's dull, cheap musings on life while the rest call out fate and fire, death and love. And yet amazingly enough, as a critic for nearly 30 years, I have heard worse--especially from locals who own music stores.

How-some-ever and be that as it may--two of my favorite meaningless transitional phrases--I think a lot of blood wouldn't've been spilled if Wilson and Manson had followed the first golden rule of being a musician: start out doing covers. That's how you learn the craft of writing a song. And don't forget John Mellencamp's personal rule: write six songs a day and throw the first five away.

Only people who shop at Used Kids Records think they're exempt from learning how to write by playing other people's material in the beginning.

Thus, history could've taken a different turn if Hitler had been given a paint-by-numbers coloring book at the age of five and Charlie had entered elementary school talent shows doing his hero Frankie Laine's hits, like Rawhide, Mule Train, 3:10 To Yuma or Gunfight At the O.K. Corral.

But he didn't. That would've meant pleasing people. And Charlie was all about pleasing Charlie.

If Dennis Wilson and Charlie had wanted to start a band, they could've spent a month or two covering:

   --16 Tons, a Frankie Laine song made to order for Manson's West Virginian roots (though born in Cincinnati). 

   --Elvis's Jailhouse Rock or, Charlie being an avowed racist, El's In the Ghetto, which might've aroused the empathy virtue otherwise unknown in Charlie. Besides, the Mac Davis-penned song told a story--which none of Charlie's ever came close to doing. Record store owners-turned-songwriters also seem to have a problem telling a story, or at least one anyone cares to hear.

   --James Brown's, It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World. Again, Charlie's music could've used some 'black' influence (or any influence for that matter). Canaan of The Randy's suggested this song. He too works at the GHPL, he too is evil, wicked and helpful. Manson's influences have long tentacles. But seriously--how many people do you know don't have an opinion on almost inarguably the world's most famous mass murderer? (Dictators are in their own league). The thing about reading about Charlie was how human he actually was.

  --Dennis on the drums with Charlie playing guitar? They'd have to do the Surfaris' 1963 instrumental hit, Wipe Out, though I'm not sure Dennis was good enough to play it right. But with Charlie screaming out the maniacal opening phrase, "Yee-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, Wipe Out!" it would've gotten the lads laid a thousand times over.

  --Louie, Louie with Charlie singing? Something especially creepy about that. Do it.

  --Helter Skelter, the Beatles song that started it all. That there's no definitive Manson version is a crime. Have no fear, holographic possibilities are improving with ever new production season in Silicon Valley. Then Charlie could sing 'Blackbird'.

  --Get Up, (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine--Yes, more James Brown--if Dennis could've played funk and Charlie channeled his con man energy into the groove, the chicks on the Sunset Strip would've gone nuts for these two white sex machines.

  --Funny Farm (They're Coming To Take Me Away)--ha ha, ho ho, hee: Charlie could've dressed up as Napoleon, bookings would've been endless. Who needs a genius like Brian Wilson when you've got Dr. Demento?

  --And while you're at it, imagine if Charlie'd invented his own dance step? Beside Walking The Dog he could easily have achieved fame bloodlessly by creating Do The Con Man replete with double-entendre or even a truthfully crude The Hand Job. Well, maybe not. The point is, parents were warned not to let their daughters date a Rolling Stone and every good girl in Boston knows a car ride with a Kennedy is a bad idea. My last to wit: female gullibility is what empowers the Mansons, the Weinsteins and even both Clintons. Mama, don't let your little girls grow up to be easily conned.

I mean, everybody knew Charlie was a criminal crackpot from a very, very early age. Even with the inexact science of psychology circa 1959 he was constantly being observed as an incorrigible menace. Just as today nearly every mass murderer we've experienced has expressed either his intentions well prior to the act or was even on the FBI's radar.

But Charlie could've had fame and fortune and infinite teen fanny with even just one hit record--minus the bloody toll. Or he was just born too early to give Eminem a run for his money.

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