Charles Manson Monkee Business
Rumors also circulated for years that convict/cult figure Charles Manson had been an unlikely participant in the Monkees auditions as well. Now serving a life sentence in San Quentin for organizing the infamous Tate-LaBianca killings that terrorized Los Angeles in 1969, Manson was indeed a fringe figure in Hollywood's music scene during the '60s, a wannabe songwriter who eventually manipulated his way into the circles of Columbia producer Terry Melcher and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Wilson not only briefly played host to Manson and his "family" of outcasts, but convinced the Beach Boys to record one of Charlie's songs, "Never Learn Not to Love," for their 1969 20/20 album and the B-side of their "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" single.
Manson's persistently rumored Monkees connection likely comes courtesy of longtime KROQ radio personality Rodney Bingenheimer, the veteran L.A. scenemaker/male groupie who'd also failed his Monkees audition, yet remained close enough to the band to be cast as Davy Jones' double in an episode of the show. Bingenheimer claimed that Manson was a part of the Monkees auditions so frequently that the story even made it into Eric Lefcowitz's biography of the band, Monkees Tale. But a quick review of Manson's extensive criminal record puts the kibosh on Bingenheimer's oft-told legend: Charlie served time at the U.S. Penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington and Terminal Island prison from 1961 until March, 1967. - You might be surprised who else tried out for the band
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