Beach Boys' Mike Love on meeting Charles Manson through Dennis Wilson

"We were invited by Dennis to come to dinner to meet Charlie and the family," Mike Love recalled.
9:39 | 03/18/17

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Transcript for Beach Boys' Mike Love on meeting Charles Manson through Dennis Wilson
The late '60s in Los Angeles, especially in places like laurel canyon, is an incredibly exciting time musically. ??? Don't it always seem to go ??? You have Joni Mitchell up there doing ladies of the canyon in 1969. You have the doors. ??? I've been to Hollywood ??? Neil young's here. You've got Jackson brown is here, Glenn Frey. Genuinely really talented people, who will make music that we'll listen to for the next 50 years. If you wanted to be a rock 'N' roll star, you had to come to Los Angeles. Manson's goal in life, his obsession, was to become a bigger rock star than the beatles. That's why he comes to Los Angeles. At this particular moment in the entertainment community, you had an open door policy. Musicians, their addresses were really well known around those times. People would come down from their bedrooms and there'd be three or four people waiting to get a recording deal, and you weren't supposed to call the cops. He was convinced he would acquire a patron among all the rock stars who lived in L.A. So Manson would send some of the women out to places where musicians lived to try and make a connection. And one day, two of the women in the family, Patricia krenwinkel and a woman called yeller, are hitchhiking. And a fancy car pulls up beside them. And it's Dennis Wilson, the drummer of the beach boys. ??? If everybody had an ocean ??? The beach boys were fantastically talented with that classic Los Angeles sound. Dennis Wilson was the sexy beach boy. There was no doubt about it. Couldn't play drums that well, but my gosh, he looked like a rock star. He picks up two girls, two Manson family members. He takes them back to his house. And he goes off to a recording studio to work. He gets back late that night and Manson has moved into his mansion, along with several other family members. He came home one night and he told me that Charlie and the girls were kind of invited themselves over and stayed for a while. One of the Manson girls talks about being at Dennis Wilson's house, walking around with the family members, around Dennis Wilson's pool on a beautiful southern California afternoon. The girls are topless. Joints are being passed. It just sounded so blissful and that was the '60s. Always party time. Dennis really liked women. Dennis appears to have liked women pretty much indiscriminately. Initially for Dennis Wilson, it was great. It was girls, drugs, and Manson could supply both. We were invited by Dennis to come to dinner to meet Charlie. And the family. There were in a group sex kind of situation. And it wasn't my cup of tea, so I excused myself to take a shower. No sooner than I got in the shower, the door opened, and Charlie Manson stood there. And looked up at me and said, "You can't do that." I said, "Excuse me?" "You can't leave the group." And he looked at me with these wide eyes and kind of maniacal look. One of your group members is involved with something so weird. It was kind of frightening and freaky to me. Dennis Wilson loved having the Manson family with him for a while. He thought Manson was a great intellect. He nicknamed him "The wizard." He was definitely under Charlie's influence at that point in time. Because Charlie could talk such metaphysical mush. Dale Carnegie, the bible, and homing in on Dennis's insecurities about his own talent. Dennis was intimidated by the other beach boys. He's low man on the totem pole in the group. Charlie builds him up. You're great. Your music is exceptional. Little did Dennis know that once Charlie got his hooks into you he didn't let go. He was the perfect target. He paid for a lot things, like food and transportation and medication. The months that the Manson family stayed with him cost him, then over $100,000. Living with Dennis Wilson put them with other benefits. Manson got to meet other people in the business, rock stars. Oddly enough, the one he seemed to impress most was Neil young. I knew Charlie Manson. Neil young talked about Manson in a bbc documentary. He wasn't really a songwriter he was like a song-spewer. It is astonishing to think that Neil young took an interest in the music of Charles Manson. It's good. It was just a little out of control. For a few months, Dennis Wilson thought Charles Manson was a music genius. And he wrote a song called "Cease to exist." ??? Cease to exist just say you love me ??? Dennis Wilson brought that song, "Cease to exist," to the beach boys. Only he renamed it, gave it some new lyrics. It was called "Never learn not to love" and we actually recorded that song. I wasn't told about the origins of the song. As far as I knew, Dennis had written. I remember Mike Douglas. I remember doing a show. ??? I'm your kind I'm your kind ??? The squeaky clean beach boys are singing a song written by Charles Manson on the Mike Douglas show. In light of what happened, boggles the mind. And when it appears on the album it's credited only to Dennis Wilson. Manson was furious when he found that Dennis Wilson had not only changed the lyrics, but had listed himself as the sole composer. When Manson goes looking for Wilson afterwards and at one point leaves a bullet, and tells Wilson that "I know where you live. I know where your children are. You know what this means." I gave Dennis Wilson a bullet, didn't I? I gave him a bullet because he changed the words to my song. Dennis Wilson was so terrified ultimately of Charlie Manson that he ran from him. With anybody else, Manson would have physically attacked them, but he has to live with it. He has to swallow it. Only because Manson still needed Wilson's best friend, Terry Melcher. Terry Melcher was the son of Doris day, the famous movie star and singer, he was living on cielo drive in Benedict canyon. Terry Melcher is a genius at recognizing how to get marketable hit music. ??? Hey Mr. Tambourine man ??? He would produce the Byrd's version of "Mr. Tambourine man," "Turn, turn, turn,." He'd have over 80 hit singles within a few years. A significant force who could on his say so have signed Charles Manson to a record contract. So this makes Manson all the more determined, whatever it takes, he is going to make Terry Melcher his friend and Terry Melcher will love it. Manson never ever considered the fact that maybe he wasn't going to be good enough. Manson pursues Terry Melcher for months. Unlike people like Dennis Wilson, you know Melcher was a child of Hollywood. He learns from childhood how to keep people at arm's length. You don't let everyone in. With Manson as a person, he's not somebody Melcher wants to be around. Manson once, riding around with Melcher and Wilson -- they actually drive up cielo drive to Melcher's home. But Melcher does not invite them in. And that frustrates Manson. Terry Melcher, on the other hand, did take an interest in finding out about Manson's music. He finally gets Melcher to listen to his music. He records Manson at the Spahn ranch. Melcher talked about the visit to bbc radio one. I arrived and they played a bunch of songs by the camp fire. It was quite an interesting thing. Manson tells the family that Melcher has promised him a recording contract. Then Melcher had second thoughts, didn't think Manson was talented enough. He tells Manson, "Your music is good, but I wouldn't know what to do with you." And at that moment Charlie Manson's life turns completely. Manson was furious. Because he did wrong. He lied. When you make a contract, what does a contract mean to you? When you make a contract, you keep your word or you lose your life. The dream of being a rock star is not going to happen. For Manson, the house on cielo drive comes to represent all he wants to achieve and hasn't been able to. And that's where he will exact his revenge.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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