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1993.12.08 - Press Release from Geffen - Guns N' Roses Leave Manson Track On Album

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1993.12.08 - Press Release from Geffen - Guns N' Roses Leave Manson Track On Album  Empty 1993.12.08 - Press Release from Geffen - Guns N' Roses Leave Manson Track On Album

Post by Blackstar on Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:52 am

Many thanks to @troccoli for sharing this with us, and for the amazing collection of GN'R memorabilia he has made available on his site. The original images of the press release can be found here:

DECEMBER 8, 1993
Guns N' Roses have decided not to remove an uncredited bonus track, "Look At Your Game Girl," from their recently released album "The Spaghetti Incident?" because it has been verified that no royalties will accrue to the owner of the composition's copyright, Charles Manson.
All mechanical royalties due Manson will go to satisfy a judgement obtained in 1971 on behalf of Bartek Frykowski, the son of Wojiciech (Voytek) Frykowski who was one of seven victims of the 1969 Manson family murder rampage in Los Angeles. Wojiciech had come to America from Poland with his friend Roman Polanski and was the boyfriend of Abigail Folger, also a Manson murder victim.
"All monies to be derived will certainly be beneficial to Bartek," noted his Los Angeles attorney Nathaniel Friedman. Frykowski, who was 13 when his father was killed 24 years ago, lives in Poland and is a working father of two.
A federal court judgement in the amount of $500,000 has been legally renewed every ten years as required by law and now exceeds $1,200,000. At Geffen Records request, Friedman has served the label with a writ of execution requiring all royalties otherwise due Manson be paid to satisfy the judgement. The label has confirmed royalty estimates of $60,000 for each million of sales is reasonably correct.
Although Guns N' Roses knew Manson had recorded the track, they didn't think he'd written the song and didn't realize substantial royalties might be paid Manson, according to Guns N' Roses manager Doug Goldstein of Big FD Entertainment. When the issue was raised last week about Manson potentially earning money from the band's recording, Goldstein said, vocalist W. Axl Rose and lead guitarist Slash resolved to drop the track if, in fact, Manson was to benefit.
"When it was confirmed this week that Manson would not receive royalty payments, we decided to leave the track on the album," Goldstein explained. "We feel it only fitting we can help the family of at least one of the victims."
Slash elaborated: "We naively thought there was a certain dark humor in Manson singing these love song lyrics at the time, but now I find the word 'humor' doesn't fit into the equation at all. Especially when we think about the families of his victims and how this makes them feel. Even though I was only four in 1969, I remember what a shock it was to my hippie parents that there would be someone like Manson out there. It was one of those 'wake up and smell the roses' kind of things that signaled the end of the whole love era.
"We didn't credit Manson on the album because we didn't want to draw any attention to him. We simply didn't anticipate everyone making such a big deal out of it. We especially don't want Manson to think we think he's bitchin' - or anybody else to think it for that matter," Slash continued. 'There are no words to describe him as a human being. He's the epitome of what's wrong with human existence at this point and we don't want to glorify Manson in any way. But rather than pull the track it seems like we could at least help out a kid who lost his Dad."
In a statement to the press last week (November 30), Rose wrote that when he learned of Manson's potential royalties from the album he'd committed to donate all his personal profits from performing the song to an environmental group.
Geffen Records President Ed Rosenblatt commented: "We would have preferred the song wasn't on the album, but given our belief in freedom of speech, as well as the clear restraints of our legal agreements with the band, it is not our decision to make. That decision belongs solely to Guns N' Roses. Although we'd reviewed the lyrics for warning sticker purposes, none of us fully appreciated the impact the song would have. We genuinely regret the distress this situation has caused."
Last week Geffen Records pledged to make a contribution to the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public safety and helping the victims of crime and their families. The bureau is named after its founder, the late Doris Tate, whose daughter Sharon was also murdered by the Manson family.
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