Charles Manson and The White Album
When one of Charles Manson's acolytes scrawled "Healter [sic] Skelter" in blood on the refrigerator in the Los Angeles home of the LaBiancas in August of 1969, he dragged the Beatles into one of the most notorious acts of violence of that very violent decade. With Manson's death in prison this week, some 48 years later, I listened to The White Album again, not to relive Manson's psychopathology, but to revisit an album that was played constantly in my youth.
The many many songs ...
Why Don't We Do It In the Road, Julia, Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey, Yer Blues, Honey Pie ...
all of them and more brought the memories flooding back, mostly about growing up, its sense of loss combined with its ever-expanding sense of freedom.
That Charles Manson's death should have sparked this chain reaction of reminiscence for me is strange but not unknowable. It is probably understandable too. He in his own terrifying way is inextricably linked with that album too. As long as people remember the 1960s in a personal way, they will remember that simple fact.
A commentator added the other day, "the world is a better place with him gone." About that I have no doubt.