The Beach Boys‘ Mike Love appears in an ABC documentary special about Charles Manson and his followers called Truth and Lies: The Family Manson that premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
The two-hour event includes a new interview with Love, who shares his recollections about how his cousin and fellow Beach Boy Dennis Wilson befriended Manson and some of his followers members the year before the horrific killings perpetrated by his “Manson Family” cult.
Love tells ABC News that Wilson’s relationship with the Manson Family began when he picked up two young female hitchhikers, who happened to be disciples of the cult leader. Mike says Dennis brought the women to his home and shortly after that, they — and Manson — moved in.
Explaining why Wilson got involved with Manson, Love maintains, “Dennis was enthralled by him at one time, and it didn’t hurt that Charlie Manson came with this group of…young girls.”
Love also talks about how Wilson tried helping Manson with his aspirations to be a pop star.
“In fact, we did one song that was essentially started by Charlie Manson and then re-crafted a bit,” Mike notes, referring to “Never Learn Not to Love,” which appeared on The Beach Boys’ 1969 album 20/20. The song was a reworked version of the Manson-penned tune “Cease to Exist.”
Wilson eventually ended his association with the Manson Family, but not long after that, the cult was involved in the infamous two-day murder spree in August 1969 that left seven people dead, including actress Sharon Tate.
Love says the murders shocked all of The Beach Boys, but they especially affected Dennis, who accidentally drowned in 1983 at age 39.
“[T]o have the guilt associated with that, I mean, had to be a tough…burden for him to carry for the rest of his life,” Mike maintains.
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