Pacific Palisades, CA, 1968. It was all about acceptance and love.
“Rolling up the long driveway to what had once been Will Rogers’s mansion, I played with the idea of what it would be like to tell my brother about the time one of the Beach Boys had me in for coffee…
The first thing I saw when we came into the kitchen was a heavyset, bald-headed man with a big gray beard pouring down his chest, sitting at the table with a few girls. He introduced himself as Dean Morehouse…
There he was—surrounded by five or six girls—on the floor next to the huge coffee table with a guitar in his hands. He looked up, and the first thing I felt was a sort of gentleness, an embracing kind of acceptance and love.
“This is Charlie,” Dean said. “Charlie Manson.”
There was a large ashtray full of Lebanese hash sitting in the middle of the coffee table, and pretty soon Charlie and Dean and Dennis [Wilson] and I were lounging back on the oversize sofas, smoking. Nobody said much. As we got stoned, Charlie started playing his music, softly, almost to himself.
Here I was, accepted in a world I’d never even dreamed about, mellow and at my ease. Charlie murmured in the background, something about love, finding love, letting yourself love. I suddenly realized that this was what I was looking for: love…
…He was short—five-foot-two—with a strangely high voice. He was, as some of the girls put it, always changing. One moment his movements would be slow, almost trancelike, and then the next he could be exploding with a violent energy that shook off him to set everything around him on fire. He changed his hair and beard constantly, and with each change he could be born anew—Hollywood slicker, jail tough, rock star, guru, child, tramp, angel, devil, son of God. He was a magician; he charmed—in the original sense of the word—and he had an uncanny ability to meet a person and immediately psyche him out, understand his deepest fears and hang-ups, his vulnerabilities. It was as though he could see through you with the all-encompassing eye of God.
from Will You Die for Me?, by Charles (Tex) Watson, as told to Ray Hoekstra (Fleming H. Revell Company, 1978)
Provided by Dana Cook, Contributor to the Los Angeles Free Press.