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Charles Manson: what was his influence on Axl?

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Hi folks, still come on this forum but barely post. I'm currently making a documentary on Charles Manson (will post the link for those interested once it's done but it's in french so I doubt it will be of much interest to you), I'd like to mention Axl at some point in this documentary as I've been a fan for a while.

I'd like to know if some of you have some knowledge about Manson's influence on Axl. There's obviously the "Look at your game" bonus track on TSI, and Axl wore a couple of Manson shirts back in the day.

Now, as I had to watch a lot of Manson interviews for the documentary, some things he said weirdly reminded me of some things Axl said. For instance, Manson said at some point to his interviewer that most people who would come off of bus and stop at Saint Louis would call their mom and get some help. I'm pretty sure Axl said something close to this during a rant at a Saint Louis show.

Don't know if this is a coincidence or if Axl was so inspired by Manson that he came to the point of quoting him.

If you have more examples and informations I don't have, Axl's quotes about Manson, etc, please let me know as I could throw in some Axl in this documentary. It's incredible that such a mainstream rock n' roll star kind of advertised Manson to a young audience. I'm not sure if Axl did this for the provocation or if he was naïve enough to think Manson is a political prisoner.

Please throw me your thoughts about this (and even argue if you think Manson was "framed" and deserves to walk among us, though I don't share this point of view). Thank you folks.

Edit: I will edit this topic to gather stuff I got from this forum, just stumbled across this on another topic, thanks to "Dr. Who" for sharing this!

Q Magazine - March 1994

Bring Out The Manson

Statement from W. Axl Rose concerning the unlisted bonus track, Look At Your Game, Girl by Charles Manson, on Guns N' Roses' new album, The Spaghetti Incident?

It's come to my attention that some people have taken offence to a particular song, Look At Your Game, Girl, on our new album The Spaghetti Incident?. What it all boils down to is this: The Spaghetti Incident? is 13 historical and musical gems that may have been overlooked. For instance, New Rose was one of The Damned's main songs but for whatever reason a lot of the world didn't hear it.

In Indiana, I was ridiculed and physically attacked for my musical tastes, tastes that I never made any effort to hide. I thought it would be interesting for the so called mainstream and the people who were against this material when I was a teenager to actually hear these songs. Maybe they'll hear something they like, and more importantly, maybe they'll go and find the originals better, including Look At Your Game, Girl. The reason we didn't list that song on our album is we wanted to downplay it. We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album; it's like a hidden bonus truck.

It's my opinion that the media are enjoying making a big deal out of Guns N' Roses covering a song that Charles Manson recorded, but if another band had recorded that song, it probably wouldn't have been of interest. The media need their "bad guys" to guarantee some ratings, so they use Manson's name coupled with mine to promo their news programs.

However, when I do something positive, like contribute to charity, it's hard to get the news to pick up on those stories. The media is an interesting beast.

Why did I choose to cover that particular song?

Oddly enough, one of the things we do up at my house is have "Name That Artist" contests where we play obscure songs and everyone tries to name the artist. My brother Stuart found Look At Your Game, Girl at a large record chain and, needless to say, he won that round. Personally, I liked the lyrics and the melody of the song. Hearing it shocked me and I thought there might be other people who would like to hear it.

I like the words because, to me, it's about a woman who has thrown things away. She thinks she's gaining love but basically she's gaining sadness. It was very fitting for a personal situation I happened to be in. The song talks about how the girl is insane and playing a mad game. I felt that it was ironic that such a song was recorded by Charles Manson, someone who should know the inner intricacies of madness.

Manson is a dark part of American culture and history. He's the subject of fear and fascination through books, movies, and the interviews he's done. Most people hadn't heard anything Charles Manson recorded.

A lot of people can say I wear the "Charlie Don't Surf" T-shirt for shock value, but I've worn that shirt for the past year on tour, all over the world. Yes, I was trying to make a statement. I wore the T-shirt because a lot of people enjoy playing me as the bad guy and the crazy. Sorry, I'm not that guy. I'm nothing like him. That's what I'm saying. There's a real difference in morals, values and ethics between Manson and myself and that is "Thou shalt not kill," which I don't. I'm by no means a Manson expert or anything, but the things he's done are something I don't believe in. He's a sick individual. Look at Manson and then look at me. We're not the same. Plus, I like the black humor of the "Charlie Don't Surf" line for the movie Apocalypse Now.

I think people think I'm crazy because I believe in telling the truth. I'll admit sometimes I don't do a perfect job of it, but my efforts are true.

It is my understanding that the song was written by Dennis Wilson. To what extent Charles Manson is involved in the publishing, I'm not aware. However, I am donating all my personal profits from having that song on our album to a charity, an environmental group to help protect wildlife and our oceans. In our video for Estranged, which will be the last video for the Use Your Illusion albums, we used dolphins, and this is my way of giving something back to the dolphin, which are endangered and threatened with extinction.

Unfortunately I Don't Surf Either.

Edited by D..

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None. Alls Axl said he wore the t shirt over was to highlight how he was 'not that guy' i.e. not the badman that he was made out to be post OIAM and the various controversies surrounding his good self. Thats what I'd gathered anyhoops.

Edited by Len B'stard
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manson is a nobody

I don't think he is a bad dude at all he never killed a single person so... he was mad as hell but doesn't matter now
His followers were much more dangerous than him (like Axls followers lol)

Edited by Motivation

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manson is a nobody

I don't think he is a bad dude at all he never killed a single person so... he was mad as hell but doesn't matter now

His followers were much more dangerous than him (like Axls followers lol)

People always wheel that 'he didnt kill nobody else cuz he was convicted under the laws of conspiracy', not for Shorty Shea he wasn't, that was straight murder.

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manson is a nobody

I don't think he is a bad dude at all he never killed a single person so... he was mad as hell but doesn't matter now

His followers were much more dangerous than him (like Axls followers lol)

OMG you'e kidding, right? He was pissed off at Melcher, Wilson's friend and record exec, as he thought Dennis would help make him famous. He went to the house to confront Melcher, who had already moved, and Polansky and Sharon Tate lived there now. He didn't realize this, though he was told, and he sent his 'family' there to kill them all soon after. She was 2 weeks from giving birth, he's a sick fuck, and what you say is like saying "Hitler wasn't a bad guy as he never killed anyone himself". Read some history before you speak such things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Manson#Involvement_with_Wilson.2C_Melcher.2C_et_al.

Edited by axlskAmpf

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I think Axl was looking for a way to demystify him and I think Manson's childhood and upbringing was something Axl could relate to.

Greg Ginn has an unreleased Manson album that Henry Rollins edited together, I don't know if Black Flag was trying to do some sort of spoken word with music to it, he answers his email so you could probably ask him about it.

There's also a documentary called "Cease to Exist" which goes into the Beach Boys tie in.

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"look at your game, girl" is the "one in a million" of The Spaghetti Incident, a song Axl can't justify with any reasonable reason.

I think he is just attracted to the psyche of serial killers and found it interesting. Not sure to call him naive but as an artist, he has no limits, I guess.

Was LAYGG removed from the newer editions of TSI?

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Definitely post a link or give me a heads up if it's airing, I'd be interested in seeing this!

Hi folks, still come on this forum but barely post. I'm currently making a documentary on Charles Manson (will post the link for those interested once it's done but it's in french so I doubt it will be of much interest to you), I'd like to mention Axl at some point in this documentary as I've been a fan for a while.

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Source DR DOOM? (for the Marilyn Manson quote) : )

Thanks for the various replies, always interesting to read the point of view from other people, especially GN'R fans. I didn't grow up in America so CM isn't part of my culture and if it wasn't for GN'R, I would probably have found out much later about him.

As for the comparison with Hitler that somebody made, I think it's appropriate (although the number of their victims is on a different scale). I see a lot of people forgiving Manson "hey, he wasn't so bad, it's not like he killed anyone", part of the point of the documentary is explaining to a young audience the horror of what he did, and how people like this still exist in society today, even in the medias or politics.

Of course, Manson is a very clever guy and it's kind of incredible to see his level of manipulation through interviews. He doesn't try to convince his interviewer, he directly talks to the audience, portraying himself as the regular dude that the media manipulates to make money and get the more "shocking stories" they can out of him (which is true to some extent).

Even if it's old stuff, I think it's still very relevant to talk about this today, I hope so anyway. I will provide the link once it's complete, but again, it will be in french. Will see if I can subtitle it in english.

Thank you for your help guys, any advice on the subject is interesting (even if you support CM).

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I don't think people are forgiving Manson as much as what led to the decision to massacre, but the way he isolated them, got them constantly dosed on acid, had some of their kids as leverage, beyond Debra Tate wanting them all to rot in prison, he was a conman and a pimp. But you also have to look at what was going on in 1968 as what stirred it up and not just the Terry Melcher/Dennis Wilson grudge. Bobby Beausoleil was Manson's entry into the musician community.

It was a con job and Manson liked playing up the boogey man, and I think why they want to keep him behind bars is for his own good, but because they don't want him to build another cult, and there's definitely people who would want to join and do his bidding. He's an anti-hero to some, intriguing to most, but a product of the prison system who had a tragic childhood.

John Waters as you prob. know was at the trials and wanted to know what a bunch of suburban kids got themselves into. They were really young and stupid, and no forgiveness for what they did. He wrote a book where one of the chapters was about getting to know Leslie over the years and becoming an advocate for her release. I think the book is "Role Models".

You might want to ask Marc about it because this was close to home for him, even if he was really young at the time, but I can imagine that the home invasion scared the shit out of everyone in LA. To me, it would be like how I felt about the Amityville house and over time the mythology and ghosts were all about selling books and creating a story, cashing in on a family tragedy. No one famous was killed, so the "celebrity" became the house itself.

I think once Trent met Debra Tate, he felt like an asshole for recording in the house, but if Roman Polanski wasn't in exile, he's twisted enough that he may have done the same thing himself for a movie around that time. He didn't really have any heartfelt connection to the house because they'd just bought it. It has to suck that he can't visit Sharon's grave all these years later.

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Some musicians have said Charles Manson wrote songs and was an artist.

Having his crazy followers killing those people just showed what a low life murderer he really is.

Why Axl wore a shirt with his face on it, I don't know why? And for Marilyn Mason taking his name from him and Marilyn Monroe, he said it was people he admired. WTF? I can see Marilyn Monroe but Charles Manson? Please!

the guy is a crazy racist and what he did to Sharon Tate and her baby and her friends was just horrible and should never be forgotten.

I can't believe no one's tried to kill him in prison? He must be all alone in there.

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Some musicians have said Charles Manson wrote songs and was an artist.

Having his crazy followers killing those people just showed what a low life murderer he really is.

Why Axl wore a shirt with his face on it, I don't know why? And for Marilyn Mason taking his name from him and Marilyn Monroe, he said it was people he admired. WTF? I can see Marilyn Monroe but Charles Manson? Please!

the guy is a crazy racist and what he did to Sharon Tate and her baby and her friends was just horrible and should never be forgotten.

I can't believe no one's tried to kill him in prison? He must be all alone in there.

Manson LIKES being in prison. When they released him from jail in like 1967 or so, before the murders, he didn't want to be let out. He's totally institutionalized. He doesn't know any other life outside of prison, having spent the overwhelming majority of his life (even before the Tate murders) in jail. He was happy to be back in prison. Crazy as it sounds, it's quite common for people who've spent most of their lives in jail: They can't adjust normally to life outside, and will do shit to get themselves back where they feel more "at home."

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Axl went through a period c.1992 - after seeing Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrison in The Doors, and, reading into Charles Manson, of growing a big hairy beard and wearing Manson t-shirts in order to make some rhetorical Axl-logic point, on 'celebrity' and being victimisation. Axl's head works like that.

Edited by DieselDaisy
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Charles Mansons songs are actually good, that whole LIE album by Manson has great lyrics and music. Ive even recorded a few Mansons covers, he may be a nut job but he can write good songs.

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Axl went through a period c.1992 - after seeing Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrison in The Doors, and, reading into Charles Manson, of growing a big hairy beard and wearing Manson t-shirts in order to make some rhetorical Axl-logic point, on 'celebrity' and being victimisation. Axl's head works like that.

He even had a photo shoot done in 1992 evoking a very "Christ-like", martyr sort of image.

tumblr_mwrqkiFoGf1sqx2q1o2_500.jpg

tumblr_nekvgmeAH51tj7dd7o2_500.jpg

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Axl went through a period c.1992 - after seeing Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrison in The Doors, and, reading into Charles Manson, of growing a big hairy beard and wearing Manson t-shirts in order to make some rhetorical Axl-logic point, on 'celebrity' and being victimisation. Axl's head works like that.

He even had a photo shoot done in 1992 evoking a very "Christ-like", martyr sort of image.

tumblr_mwrqkiFoGf1sqx2q1o2_500.jpg

tumblr_nekvgmeAH51tj7dd7o2_500.jpg

Yes. He was also wearing those t-shirts with the Crucifixion on the Illusion tour also. Axl basically had an obsession with bearded, persecuted, celebrity, in 1992. Guy is a complete tool.

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And for Marilyn Mason taking his name from him and Marilyn Monroe, he said it was people he admired. WTF? I can see Marilyn Monroe but Charles Manson? Please.

He actually took that name to reflect two completely different opposites of society.

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