June 8, 2015
When music met murder.
What might be a contender for strangest record ever has popped up on online market place iOffer. A seller who specialises in pop culture signatures has listed a copy of The Beatles White Album, autographed on the front cover by mass murderer Charles Manson and his ‘Family’ members Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel. This criminal record is on sale for £31,000 ($49,000), not quite a steal, but if you’re familiar with the Manson story, you’ll understand the significance of the item.
For the initiated, rewind to 1969 when terror swept through Los Angeles after actress Sharon Tate and four other people where brutally murdered at Tate’s home. The next day, more murders were carried out by the Family at Manson’s instruction. In a bizarre twist, the Beatles‘ ‘White Album‘ was played in court during the subsequent murder trial of Charles Manson because Manson believed the lyrics from certain Beatles songs — notably ‘Helter Skelter,’ ‘Revolution 1,’ ‘Revolution 9,’ ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Piggies,’ all from the ‘White Album’ — alluded to an impending racial war. He was confident that the songs were calling upon him to stir up a race riot to topple the existing order, creating a situation in which he would emerge a Christ-like figure and his Family would be installed as the new hierarchy.
The White Album is crucial to understanding the warped ideology that led Manson to commit the crimes he did, making this item a curious object in the saga or as the seller puts it “the ultimate signed Manson relic.” Have a look at the signed record sleeve below and scroll down for more information about the sale:
The listing provides details on the autographs:
“All are signed in blue ballpoint or biro pen except Leslie Van Houten, who is signed in black. Manson added the inscription: “Can you live in sin or in it LAST WORD-NO easy, Charles Manson” and added a swastika through his signature. The signatures were obtained by a gentleman who was at one time associated with the Manson family at the Spahn Ranch, I choose not to post his name here
The top and bottom seams are cut through with a knife, as the album was checked for possible contraband as it was brought into the prison. Because the seams were cut, the cover is now separate from the inner gatefold… The album cover shows other signs of wear, including a water stain in the lower left corner, the result of a fire in the previous owner’s home. Both vinyl records are included. There are a number of scratches on both which I expect would affect play.”
The sale also includes a signed copy of the Bible which along with the White Album was one of the biggest influences on Manson, and a copy of Life Magazine, autographed by Charles:
“As further provenance, I have two additional items from the same source: a bible from the prison chapel signed by the same five individuals, and a Life Magazine signed by Charles, see other photos. I am currently offering the bible here also. An iconic image of the sixties, and perhaps the ultimate signed Manson relic. I will also issue a certificate of authenticity with a photo of the item, the signing details, and will have it notarized as I sign it.”
The seller is an experienced seller in signed memorabilia that will issue a certificate of authenticity with a photo of the item, the signing details, and will have the item notarized once a sale is agreed. Head here to check out the listing.
[via Dangerous Minds]