I first saw this poster early last month on the signal box where West Silver Lake T-bones into Rowena. The location and timing is significant for two reasons. First, it coincided with my reading of “Helter Skelter,” Vincent Bugliosi’s epic account of the Manson murders and trials. Second, from reading that book I recognized that someone had the bad taste to paste that poster up just a few blocks from the Waverly home of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca where they were savagely murdered by Manson followers August 10, 1969.
Why “bad taste?” Well, because a little more than two weeks before the La Biancas were killed, Charles Manson’s good friend Bobby Beausoleil (who’s pictured in said poster that’s promoting the CD release of his soundtrack to Kenneth Anger’s 1972 short film “Lucifer Rising”) killed his buddy Gary Hinman by stabbing him twice in the heart out at Hinman’s Toganga Canyon house.
To say the least it was an eerie coincidence to be reading all about such a horrible time in L.A.’s history and then find one of those responsible for it pushing a new disc (and with such a chilling title) so near one of the nightmares. The day after seeing the poster I returned to get a picture of it only to find it removed. Whether it was taken down by city workers or by an area resident as offended as I was, the thing was gone, but not forgotten. Walking through Sunset Junction this morning on the way home from breakfast at Millie’s, they were back.
So buyer beware or just be aware that the devil’s in the details. At face value it may look like nothing more than the reissue of 32-year-old psychedelia, but underneath it’s the music of a first-degree killer who has stated that his offing Hinman was the flashpoint that set off the 35-year-old terror of the Tate/La Bianca murders.