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Charlie don’t surf: Charles Manson meets the Beach Boys
08.02.2014
12:58 pm
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Charlie don’t surf: Charles Manson meets the Beach Boys


 
Although Charles Manson didn’t actually write “Never Learn Not To Love” for the Beach Boys, he did in fact, write a number titled “Cease to Exist” that drummer Dennis Wilson—a friend of Manson’s in the late 1960s—convinced his cleancut brethren to record for their 20/20 album

Dennis even arranged for Manson to get some studio time in Brian Wilson’s home studio and let him and his entourage crash in his mansion for a while.

Manson’s original “Cease to Exist” lyrics go like this

Pretty girl, pretty, pretty girl
Cease to Exist
Just come and say you love me
Give up your world
C’mon you can see
I’m your kind, I’m your kind
You can see
Walk on, walk on
I love you pretty girl
My life is yours and
You can have my world
Never had a lesson
I ever learned
But I know we all get our turn
I love you
Submission is a gift
Go on, give it to your brother
Love and understanding is for one another
I’m your kind, I’m your kind
I’m your mind
I’m your brother
I never had a lesson I ever learned
But I know we all get our turn
And I love you
Never learned not to love you
I never learned

“I’m your mind”>? “Submission is a gift”? Well, isn’t that special?

Freeway Jam writes at Lost in the Grooves:

The Beach Boys’ version changed the key phrase to “cease to resist,” but otherwise left the lyrics and melody essentially unchanged. Dennis Wilson sings lead vocal, a rarity, and the Beach Boys supply their famous group harmonies and dense production. There’s an ominous intensity to the recording; even divorced from Manson, it conveys a vaguely sinister edge, with its tribal rhythm and hypnotic chants.

“Never Learn Not To Love” was originally released as the B-side to the “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” single in November of 1968, but was credited solely to Dennis Wilson who Manson owed money to. The story goes that when Manson heard the song, with the lyrics altered, he threw a fit and went to Wilson’s house with a loaded gun. When he found out the Wilson wasn’t there, he took a bullet from the gun and told his housekeeper to give it to Dennis with a cryptic message.

Dennis WIlson wasn’t the only one impressed with Manson. None other than Neil Young said of him:

“He had this kind of music that nobody else was doing. He would sit down with a guitar and start playing and making up stuff, different every time. It just kept comin’ out, comin’ out. Then he would stop and you would never hear that one again. Musically, I thought he was very unique. I thought he had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet.”

Young even gave Manson a motorcycle!

Here are the Beach Boys performing the song on The Mike Douglas Show:
 

 
A version of “Cease to Exist” appears on Manson’s LIE album:
 

 
Below, The Beach Boys and The Satan, an unusual 2008 documentary that includes interviews with Kim Fowley, Brian Wilson, Pere Ubu’s David Thomas, the late artist Mike Kelley, Don Was, Dick Dale and Kenneth Anger. The title, aside, the doc is more about the group (and their wilder times, and Brian WIlson) than the Manson connection per se.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.02.2014
12:58 pm
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