It was recently revealed on Tiktok that Euphoria's Alexa Demie is related to none other than founding member of the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson. Wilson was Demie's grandfather by adoption, dying in 1983, after drowning despite being the only member of the Beach Boys who knew how to surf.
It gets even weirder from here, though, as another one of Wilson's relationships has been brought to light---his connection to notorious serial killer, Charles Manson.
Everyone knows Manson for his brutal killing spree in the 1960s. What they don't know is that Manson was actually an aspiring musician at one point, befriending legendary artists such as Neil Young and the Beach Boys before his heinous crimes came to light.
Manson moved to California a year before his crimes to pursue a career in music. As Young once said about Manson,
“He had this kind of music that nobody else was doing, and he would sit down with the guitar and start playing and make up stuff, different every time. Musically I thought he was very unique. I thought he really had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet.”
In her memoir Member of the Family, survivor of Manson and key witness at his trial, Dianne Lake, confirmed the relationship between Manson and the Beach Boys' founding member, Dennis Wilson. She wrote,
“Dennis really took Charlie under his wing. Charlie was teaching Dennis how to play the guitar and I think he admired Charlie. He was proud to show him off to his friends. They had a good time together.”
After Wilson unwittingly let Manson and some of his female followers stay at his house (costing over $100,000 per month in medical, food, and property damage bills), the Beach Boys invited Manson to record at their studio. Things reportedly went South, with Manson pulling a knife on Wilson. The band then went on to use one of Manson's songs as their own, as Lake explains,
“They stole one of Charlie’s songs and changed the name. So he wasn’t happy about that… It just wasn’t the same. I think they tried to mold him into being a rock star and Charlie wasn’t going for it. Because I think Charlie’s message was more important to him than being a rock star. He didn’t want the words to his music changed and didn’t want to dress differently; he wasn’t happy.”
Matters settled after Wilson moved out, until Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” was published as the Beach Boys “Never Learn Not to Love.” Though he was given a one time payment for the rights, and even a motorcycle, Manson was reportedly unhappy with the events. Furious, he confronted Wilson, threatening his children. As Manson once explained the encounter,
“I gave him a bullet because he changed the words to my song.”
Manson's next action was to go on his two day long killing spree, something Wilson claims he'll always feel guilty over. He stated to the Guardian before his death in 1983,
“As long as I live, I’ll never talk about that.”
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