Healter Skelter

As returning readers know, I had an early fascination of sorts with The Manson Family. This came from an article I read on them back in 1984. The first time I saw the name zero was in that article. So yea, that article had an impact on me. I’ve written about all this so I won’t repeat old posts (I would never do that). It is also known that I am a pretty big Beatles fan. This is due to many reason separate from Manson, The Family, or that article, but Manson and The Beatles were kind of connected in my teen and early adult life. This is primarily because of The White Album, which we’ll will get to shortly.

Rewind to 1979. I was just a kid, just beginning to find my own music. I saw the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I loved that movie. I know, Bee Gees doing The Beatles in a corny movie, not the coolest way to get into The Beatles,  but this is how it happened. Besides my other favorite movie at the time was Grease. Makes sense, no?

Getting side tracked, I know, some things never change.

So a friend of mine’s older sister had a copy of The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper and played it for us. I still remember looking at the cover for the first time.

sgt pepper cover

I didn’t know most of the people on it at the time so I didn’t study it too much. Definitely not like I would do later with my own copy. Then I opened the cover and looked at The Beatles in their bright uniforms just like from the movie (I know the movie was just like the album, this is just how I was seeing it then) I thought it was cool but it was not the big bang. That came when I saw the back cover..

sgt pepper sleve

Lyrics!

I was sucked in. She played it from beginning to end and I read along beginning to end. This was the first time I had ever done that but is tradition now. All my favorite albums were first listened to this way.

I can picture the 3 of us sitting there in her bed room listing to it on her record player with such, what’s the word I want? Nostalgia? Well it definitely is a an easy memory to dig up.

The following year while staying at my grand-parents, I learned my aunt had Abbey Road on 8-track and that thing got played and played.

I fucking loved that album. These just happened to be the 2 albums where most if not all the songs from The Bee Gees‘ movie came from, but I was really hearing some of these songs for the first time… obviously.

It’s not like I had never heard The Beatles before 1979. Of course I had. On the radio or my parents playing them. That was kind of why I liked the movie so much. Seeing the characters in the songs brought to life was fun.

But as I said this was the time of me finding my own music, The Beatles was not that. The 80’s had kicked in and I was on a ride that would detour through new wave, punk, hip hop, and metal.

In 1984 my new-found interest in The Family brought The Beatles back into my life. Well with the help of Motley Crue.  Later that year  I got the Motley Crue picture disc for Helter Skelter.

motley helter skelter pd

Inside on the record sleeve was this:

motley helter skelter sleve

Lyrics!

But this time there was more.

Now I had read the Manson family article but I did not know all the details of the murders, my mom filled me in. My mom was a little taken back by the picture of the bloody refrigerator. After explaining that The Family had written on the LaBinca’s fridge in blood my mom expressed how she thought Motley’s album sleeve was sick and disrespectful. I thought it was cool. We were both right.

There was no internet to chase back then, but I chased anyways. I talked to anyone I knew who knew about Manson’s fascination with The Beatles. Plus we had the library. My dad bought me The White Album on cassette and I wore it out.

What a master piece! Still one of my favorite albums long after my interest in The Family fizzled.

Back then though The White Album and Charlie Manson went hand in hand. I even had it playing while I read Helter Skelter. It helps set the mood.

From the idea that The Beatles were The four Horsemen from the bible speaking directly to Manson through their music to the idea that Helter Skelter was a call to war of the races that Charlie and his family would hide away from in the desert and return to rule over this end of times survivors. It’s just some freaky shit.

While reading in Helter Skelter about how Susan Atkins is the first to admit to The Families infamous murders to a cell mate while sitting in jail (at the time the family was only charged with some stolen vehicles) and started the whole investigation into Charlie and The Family connection to the murder cases (all separate at the time since cops had not relied Tate and LaBinca murders were related), I was listening to Sexy Sadie.

I think most people know Susan was known within the Manson family as Sadie Mae Glutz or Sexy Sadie. And the lyrics are:

Sexy Sadie, what have you done
You made a fool of everyone
You made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie, ooh, what have you done
Sexy Sadie, you broke the rules
You laid it down for all to see
You laid it down for all to see
Sexy Sadie, ooh, you broke the rules
Coincidence?  Of course. Don’t make it any less trippy.
After reading Manson In His Own Words, Charlie becomes a lot less of a big scary boogie man. Yes, Mansson tries to down play himself, but still you can see that there is a middle ground between the ultimate evil described in Helter Skelter and the average criminal some other accounts paint. You can see how most of the madness did not start to create some race war but over money Manson thought was owed to him by Gary Hinman. The Family was trying to scare Gary into paying up when he was killed. Family member Bobby Beausoleil was arrested for that murder. So the Tate/LaBinca killings were done and then staged to look like the same person responsible for the Hinman murder was still at large therefore forcing the release of Bobby Beusoeil.
Most people know all this and really it don’t have much to do with the topic of this post. I am just pointing out that as with most stories we all tell and hear, they are not always as real as we make them. Was Helter Skelter the story line that inspired The Family? Maybe. But they didn’t even get the spelling correct:

 

Hence the misspelled title of this post.

None of this is is needed to go into this post’s topic (I thought some of you might find it interesting though), because we have the internet!

No need to rely on my memories or those I got my stories from. If you want to know about the connection of Manson and The Beatles you can chase it on the web!

I suggest you start with this:

https://www.beatlesbible.com/features/charles-manson/

It’s all there.

By the way, this post was actually began long ago and was meant to go up in the first year. So much was going on that it just got pushed aside and forgotten. It seemed to fit well with the previous posts so I sat down and got it out.

Hope some of you found it a fun read.

The Story Of Zero

In the  summer of 1984 I was 13 and going into the 8th grade. I spent the summer at my grandparents in Torrance, which is where I was born by the way, and got to hang out with good friends I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. I had been living the past 3 years in Inglewood, lo at one point we had lived right on Crenshaw Blvd. and believe me I could fill a whole blog with stories of the 3 years I lived in Inglewood, but that is not where I was the summer of ’84, so let’s get back to Torrance. That summer was one of my best childhood memories, though I wasn’t really a child anymore, it is more like my first teen memories. I spent most of it running around with friends having fun. We’d take the bus to Del Amo Mall and hang out all day, catching a movie sometimes, we saw Ghost Busters and Gremlins that summer. We’d hang out in donut shops and bowling alleys, smoking cigarettes and talking to girls. We’s go out late at night TPing people’s houses. I even got drunk for the first time, and I mean smashed. The whole summer was a blast for me and something I will blog about again one day, but let’s skip to the chase.

My grandma read the  The  National Enquirer Magazine, though any one who knows what the Enquirer is knows it isn’t really a magazine but a gossipy newspaper. Anyways, my grandma had a lot of them and I would read some of the articles. Two of them stuck with me for the rest of my life. They were both similar though about different subjects. The first was about the assassination of J.F.K. It listed names of everyone who had been killed due to an ongoing conspiracy. I remember being in awe that something so big as the assassination of a President could be so full of secrets and unknowns even after so many years. I was young and I believed every one of those names listed must have been killed for the cover up. I’m not gonna get into all of that, again maybe another blog. Besides it was the other article that really shook me, and is where I first read the word zero used as a name.

It was an article about Charles Manson and The Family. The article was similar to the J.F.K. one in that it was also about people who had died in connection to The Family and an attempt to silence people. I’m sure most of you who read here are very familiar with the Manson case and have probably read “Helter Skelter”, in the summer of ’84 I knew almost nothing of The Family or had any interest in serial killers, so this article pretty much scared the shit out of me. In fact over the next year with the coming of the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, serial killers would become a scary thing for everyone I knew, but that too, will have to wait for another post.

While reading that article one of the names stuck out, Zero. It was the nick name of one of the younger Manson Family members (real name is John Philip Haught). In 1969, while in a house filled with other Manson Family members, Zero died while playing russian roulette BY HIMSELF! At least that was the story told by those who were there, police couldn’t ask Zero about it, he was dead. I felt sorry for Zero. And as I said the article and Zero stuck with me.

Skip ahead nine years to the summer of 1993 when I finally read Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. I am no longer 13 years old and knew a little bit more about the “Family” and serial killers. I had seen the movie, Helter Skelter long before then but had not read the book yet. So I picked it up and read the book that began, “The story you are about to read will scare the hell out of you.” I chuckled a little, like I said I was not 13 anymore, I would not be so easily shocked. But it did scare me a little. To day it’s still one of my favorite true crime books. The thing is just scary. Like many cases like these, The Manson case is bizarre and the story of a thief, wanna be rock star, turned serial killer, turned super star has many different craziness to it, and in the book I was reminded of Zero, the kid who played russian roulette with himself and lost in a house full of “Family” Members. I started thinking about the nick name “zero”. Why did he go by it, who gave it to him? To me the name meant so much. It was nothing, but zero was something, and if nothing was something, it was also everything. Sorry to get so deep there, and it would take a little longer to explain that better, but simply put, a complete nothingness is also everything in its existence. It became somewhat of a philosophy for me in my twenty. Everything was nothing and nothing was everything. I know mumbo jumbo, blah, blah, blah. Point is the name zero became sort of symbol for me.

Flash forward a few more years, 1996 or so. I’m in Vegas by now and Zero is popping up everywhere. It’s a skate board company, it’s a song by Smashing Pumpkins, whose lead singer Billy Corgan actually wore a shirt with the word “zero” on it. I had used zero as a nick name a few times up to then, but it was at this point I really started using it. No one really called me it though, not many people I knew wanted to call me zero, so it was just mainly myself who thought of me as zero, but I did get to buy some cool stickers and t-shirts now with my nick name on it.

And finally a few more years later in 1999 while picking out a screen name for my AOL account, zero became permanent, and the rest as they say is history.

Many people now call me zero. At Fright Dome it is mainly what I am known by. Well that and Stranger, but again, that’s another post. Wow this post really set up a bunch of other crap about me I can write about. I bet a few of you like that.

How bout you Nancy? Isn’t that a much better story of how the screen name zero dinh came about. Makes a whole lot more sense then what Dorothy probably told ya. Of course you may still think that this is just some false reality created in the mind of your ex, but I really don’t care, the print is too small for you to read anyways, right?

For everyone else I hope you enjoyed a little more insight to me and my little screen name. It’s not complete but it is all real. I’d had to write my whole life story to explain the whole connection to me and the name zero. Someday I might.