Charles Manson and The Beach Boys

In 1968, after much badgering, music producer Terry Melcher granted some studio time to aspiring singer/songwriter Charles Manson, who was a popular figure among the jet-set as a purveyor of easy girls and hard drugs.

Manson and Melcher (Doris Day’s son) knew one another through their mutual friend, Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson.

Members of the Manson Family play various instruments, with Manson on lead vocals and acoustic guitar.

Of the tracks that were recorded, there was one stand out; the darkly melodic “Cease to Exist“.

Have a listen:

After a few months of waiting for word on what –if anything– was to become of the recordings, Charlie and The Family were shocked to hear a song on the new Beach Boys’ album, “20/20″…a song which was obviously derived –lyrically and melodically– from “Cease to Exist”, albeit with the central refrain changed to the sophomoric “Cease to Resist”.

…here it is…

Never Learn Not To Love (Cease to Resist)

by The Beach Boys | 20/20

Manson and his followers were incensed; Charlie’s aspirations of becoming a musical success had been crushed, and worse, the pig-establishment had betrayed him. There would be consequences as The Family’s world of peace and love turned instead to apocalypse and death.

The focus of the hatred would be Terry Melcher….who had just moved away from his home on Cielo Drive…

An American Tragedy