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1993.12.19 - The San Francisco Examiner - New generation decides the mass murderer is cool

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1993.12.19 - The San Francisco Examiner - New generation decides the mass murderer is cool Empty 1993.12.19 - The San Francisco Examiner - New generation decides the mass murderer is cool

Post by Blackstar on Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:23 am

1993.12.19 - The San Francisco Examiner - New generation decides the mass murderer is cool 1993_150
1993.12.19 - The San Francisco Examiner - New generation decides the mass murderer is cool 1993_148

Transcript (excerpts):

New generation decides the mass murderer is cool

Those too young to remember make him rich in prison

By John Flinn

All in all, it's been a very good year for Charles Manson.

The notorious mass murderer has a song on one of the hottest albums on the pop charts, an officially licensed T-shirt — and a legion of young fans.

Thanks largely to Axl Rose, lead singer of the phenomenally popular rock band Guns N' Roses, Manson is basking in a new glow of popularity among some too young to remember the grisly events of August 1969.

To some of his new fans, he’s great for shock value. To others, he’s a counterculture hero. But to the families of his victims and those working to keep him behind bars — not to mention just about everyone else whose memory goes back 24 years — Manson is nothing but a nightmare.

No doubt about it, though: right now, Charlie is chic. At the Ameba boutique on Haight Street, you can buy Charlie Manson dresses, Charlie Manson hats, Charlie Manson leggings, Charlie Manson jackets, Charlie Manson shirts and Charlie Manson “scrunchies.”

That’s not all. The shop even carries its own line of Charlie Manson children’s wear. It's selling briskly, at $28 for tops and $23 for pants.


Boycott sought

“To some kids today, he’s a cult leader and he’s bizarre,” said a horrified Jan Miller, chairwoman of the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, named after the mother of the late actress.

“But if they really knew the true story of how absolutely horrible and heinous the crimes he committed were, even today’s children would be repulsed.”

Her organization is calling for a boycott of Geffen Records for the inclusion of a song written by Manson on the latest Guns N’ Roses album, “The Spaghetti Incident?”.

The song, “Look at Your Game, Girl,” is not included in the song list and was apparently placed on the record by Rose against the wishes of some of his band mates. At the end, Rose takes a deep, satisfied breath and says, “Thanks, Chas.”

Manson, now 69, stands to make about $62,000 in songwriting royalties for every million copies sold of “The Spaghetti Incident?”. Given the track record of Guns ’N’ Roses, the CD is expected to sell at least several million copies.

It has been reported that Manson’s royalties will be paid to the son of one of his victims, Wojiciech Frykowski, under the terms of a 1971 court order. But the man who prosecuted Manson, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, has doubts.

Who gets the money?

Over the years, Kay said, Manson has kept the tens of thousands of dollars he has received for television interviews. The convicted killer also has pocketed the cash he receives in “fan letters,” which arrive at his jail cell at the rate of four a day, according to Kay.

“This old court order requiring Manson to give money to the son of his victim has never been executed,” Kay said. “All of the money has gone straight into Manson’s prison account. I’m very skeptical that any money would go to Frykowski’s son.”

Manson has another new source of income: the proceeds from his officially licensed T-shirt. The shirt, which Rose popularized by wearing on Guns N’ Roses’ latest concert tour and in its latest video, has Manson’s face on one side and the slogan, “Charlie Don't Surf" on the other.

Manson receives 10 cents a shirt, according to Dan Lemmons of Zooport Riot Gear in Newport Beach, which markets the shirt. Lemmons and his brother Richard claim credit for convincing Rose to include the Manson song on the new Guns N' Roses record.

“Kids today don't look at Charlie Manson as a mass murderer,” Lemmons said. “He’s like a rebellious figure. The press makes him out to be this terrible person, but there’s a good side to Charlie that hasn’t gotten out.”

Manson, according to Lemmons, is an ardent environmentalist who fought polluters long before it became fashionable. He’s also something of a philanthropist, sending money regularly to an impoverished family in Appalachia.

In San Francisco, the Headlines chain, the only stores that stock the “Charlie Don’t Surf" T-shirts, sold out weeks ago, said a spokesman. He didn't know when more would arrive.


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