By: David Rice
Re: C. Manson and G'N'Roses
Magazine: the Body Politic
Issue: April, 1994
Title: Roses to Manson & O.R.
Author: Michael Novak
Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N' Roses, has introduced
convicted mass murderer Charlie Manson to a generation of young
fans. Over the objections of other members of G N'R, Rose included
a version of a song by Manson, _Look at Your Game, Girl_, on their
new album, _The Spaghetti Incident?_ Audible on the album after
the unlisted song is Axl heaving a sigh and saying, "Thanks,
Chazz." Manson stands to earn $62,000 for every million copies of
the album sold. Thankfully, the album seems to be sinking swiftly
Most of the controversy over the recording has focused on
Manson's leadership of the group that killed actress Sharon Tate,
then pregnant, and six others in 1969. He was convicted of seven
counts of murder, and separately found guilty of murdering a stunt
man and a musician. The Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, named for
the actress's mother, has called for a boycott of Geffen Records.
But did you know about Manson's nazi beliefs and practices
both prior to and after his arrest for the Tate mass murder?
Manson has often been photographed with a self-inscribed swastika
tattoo. His avowed purpose in planning the killings was to blame
them on blacks and try to foment an apocalyptic race war. Even
inside prison, Manson continued to associate with neo-nazis.
In 1982, Manson was visited repeatedly at Vacaville prison by
northern California nazi leader Perry "Red" Warthan. Warthan
shortly thereafter killed one of his own teen-age followers, Joe
Hoover, after Hoover admitted that he and other members of
Warthan's band had stuffed racist flyers into lockers at Oroville,
CA High School. Support for Manson was part of Warthan's program
in seeking to organize a group of youthful neo-nazis. In June,
1983 Warthan was sentenced to prison for murdering Hoover, whom he
called a race traitor and informant who deserved to die.
Manson's earnings from the G N'R song are supposed to go to
the son of one of his victims, under the terms of a 1971 court
order. But Manson has pocketed most of the money he made over his
years in prison, including tens of thousands of dollars for
interviews and cash sent in by supporters and fans.
Ignoring his nazism, "Satanism" and mass murders--or perhaps
glorifying him because of it--young fans have made Manson a cult
figure, and exploitative entrepreneurs have rushed in to make a
quick buck. Manson shirts, dresses, and children's clothes are
available. Some are bootlegged, but at least one, which Axl Rose
popularized by wearing on Guns N' Roses last tour, is officially
licensed by Manson himself.
The T-shirt is produced in southern California by the Lemmons
brothers of Zooport Riot Gear in Newport Beach and pays Manson ten
cents for each shirt. Dan Lemmons of Zooport told the press,
"There's a good side to Charlie that hasn't gotton out...Kids
today don't look at Charlie Manson as a mass murderer. He's
like a rebellious figure."
Perhaps it is the neo-nazi nature of Manson's rebelliousness that
makes him such an appealing figure to the Lemmons brothers. They
are giving "a good chunk of the proceeds" from the Manson shirt---
they won't say exactly how much--- to Randall Terry's anti-
abortion group ["Opperation 'Rescue'"].
In defending the shirt, which shows Manson and the slogan "Charlie
Don't Surf", Lemmons said to the _San Francisco Examiner_,
"People get all worked up over some murders that happened almost
25 years ago. Why not be concerned with the babies who are
murdered in the U.S. every year."
This comment was made in reference to his anti-abortion beliefs.
The Lemmons also referred to Manson as a philanthropist and
environmentalist. Manson's "environmentalism" is probably akin
to the anti-immigrant, preserve the white-man's land variety
preached by neo-nazi Tom Metzger.
Axl Rose and Guns N'Roses were promoted heavily by Metzger and
WAR when, on an early album, they recorded lyrics attacking gays
and immigrants. Rose claimed at the time that he was only singing,
and that his views were not racist. But with the flap over Manson,
and his promotion of the shirt which is benefitting both neo-nazi
murderer Manson and the Christian-fascistic Operation Rescue, Axl
Rose's true colors are showing through.
What is the justification for a musician glorifying a man who
killed a musician? What is the hypocrisy of abortion opponents
promoting a man whose followers stabbed a pregnant woman to death,
killing her after she pleaded for the life of her unborn child,
stabbing her in the abdomen with a fork? What is the popularity
among young rock fans of a man whose nazi associate murdered a
teenaged band member for confessing to circulating racist flyers?
This is the sinister appeal of the irrational that promotes
what Wilhelm Reich referred to as "the mass psychology of fascism."
It is rooted in racism, hatred of women's independence, and a
desire for fascist authority disguised as "rebelliousness." Only
an intense cultural and social struggle among young white people
will overcome these unhealthy tendencies.
Reprinted from Turning the Tide, a bi-monthly journal of anti-
racist activism, research, and education available from P.A.R.T.
(People Against Racist Terror), PO Box 1990 Burbank, CA 91507
... I'm not evil. I'm "good-impaired."