In 1969 Charles Manson and his Family made headlines worldwide, the main suspects in six brutal, seemingly unmotivated murders. Having initially dismissed him as a cult leader, as the police dug deeper into Manson’s past they discovered that he had spent the previous three years pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter – and got remarkably close to the highest level of the music business.
A career criminal, since his release from prison in early 1967 Manson had been following his greatest passion – music – and had come to Los Angeles to break into the flourishing pop industry. He not only befriended major figures on the scene – including Dennis Wilson and Neil Young – but also recorded sessions at LA’s most illustrious studios and had been pursuing a contract with Columbia Records through The Byrds’ producer Terry Melcher.
Manson: Music From An Unsound Mind reveals the full, untold story of Manson’s obsession to become a rock star. Investigating his rise in the LA music scene and his relationships with major stars of the era – in particular his tragic friendship with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson – this film uncovers the dark connections between Manson’s musical activities and the murders that would make him famous. Featuring: Manson Family member Dianne Lake; Dennis Wilson’s song-writing partner Gregg Jakobson, who became Manson’s closest ally on the LA scene; Manson’s fellow inmate from 1966, Phil Kaufman, who would release the cult-leader’s only LP; Beach Boys’ engineer Stephen Desper, who produced and recorded Manson at Brian Wilson’s home studio; Ernie Knapp, the guitarist in Manson’s short-lived band The Milky Way and many more.