Watching the Wheels Go Round… Confessions of a Beatlephile

Being the avid Beatles fan that I am- when I visited New York City in 2006 for the first time since I was a little girl, I tried to hit as many ‘Beatles places’ as I could during my short stay. The above photo I took while there, trying to match up the infamous shot of the Beatles first visit to America via New York on February 9th, 1964.   I got close, but not perfect. I didn’t have the picture with me, and smart phones were practically non-existent at the time.

The important part here being that you can clearly see the Dakota building in the background. The Dakota was John Lennon’s residence as well as the place where he suffered his ‘ultimate demise‘. Yoko still resides there to this day. I have always found it interesting that John Lennon’s American Experience began and ended in nearly the same spot.

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My attempted alignment- 42 years later.

Readers of this site already know- I am not your typical Beatles Fan. The Beatles are like an obsession for me. It takes a special kind of weirdness to do what I do here, and I am actually proud of the odd angle in which I view these ‘Lovable Liverpool Lads‘ and just hope that someone besides myself reading these musings finds my angle interesting. If you asked my family, they would probably say that I am over-obsessed with anything and everything Beatles, and they would probably be right (I’m pretty sure there is a coordination effort underway for an intervention haha). However, these days we Beatle-philes have to be careful.

Obsessed Beatles fans sometimes get a bad rap. That is probably due to the ‘fact’ (alternative fact? Who knows!) that a obsessed, lone crazed Beatle Fan shot and killed John Lennon in front of the Dakota building where he resided in December of 1980.

Now I may be obsessed.  I am certainly beyond-a-doubt weird. But I am not THAT weird. I am not THAT obsessed. Seriously- if Mark David Chapman’s story is the accurate story, then that man had a plethora of issues. John Lennon has always been and probably always will be one of my favorite people to have ever walked on this plane(t). I admire him in many ways, even with all of his complexities, hypocrisies and controversies. I would never want harm to come of him, or of anyone for that matter. It is a shame that some individuals have so much hatred in their heart and confusion in their brain to do something like this, it is truly unfathomable for me.

Simply walking by the Dakota building, I got the sense of overwhelming enchantment. The Dakota is famous for its interior and exterior use in films, it’s rustic design and of course for its most famous residents- John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It has not had a vacant apartment within its confines since the building was built in 1884. The project was commissioned to an architectural firm as designed by Singer Sewing Machine Company head, Edward Clark. Which is interesting considering the still shot below from the Beatles 1965 film- Help! Working title for the film: “Eight Arms to Hold You” and eight years prior to Lennon moving into the Dakota. What was the creative process behind this shot? Why the use of the antique Singer Sewing Machine? Another ‘strange Beatles coincidence’ to add to the very very long list.

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Scene from the Beatles film- Help! 1965 Eight years prior to Lennon moving into the Dakota

What exactly was the Beatles film Help! all about really? Well, that is a tale for another time, but let’s just say human sacrifice to the Hindu goddess Kali is the central theme and leave it at that, for now.

In addition to the horrible atrocities likened to the man known as Mark David Chapman, he is certainly not the only culprit in the degrading of the obsessed Beatle-phile reputation.

We also have the likes of Charles Manson, who supposedly according to official reports believed that the Beatles were speaking directly to him- via the White Album, to which John had remarked in a 1970 Rolling Stone interview:

“I don’t know what I thought when it happened. I just think a lot of the things he says are true, that he’s a child of the state made by us. And he took their children when nobody else would, is what he did. But of course he’s cracked, alright. Well he’s barmy. He’s like any other Beatle kind of fan who reads mysticism into it. But I don’t know what “Helter Skelter” got to do with knifin’ somebody, you know?”

You see, I am one of those “any other Beatle kind of fan who reads mysticism into it” but the problem here is that I honestly and truly believe the Beatles PURPOSELY put these “mysticism” things into their work- and it wasn’t until the whole Manson thing happened that the Beatles had to deny doing any such thing.

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The Beatles were exploring their spirituality and belief systems and actively promoting such activities all through the mid-late 60s. They dove deep into transcendental meditations with the Maharishi and even before that with their explorations with LSD and other psychedelics, gurus and other spiritual teachers.  The entire White Album was written during the Beatles extended stay at the Maharishi’s camp in India.  The Beatles made no secret of this, quite the opposite really. So why the harsh denial of mysticism within the Beatles music after-the-fact? In my humble opinion, there was only one reason- Charles Manson.

Charles Manson who in 1969 is said to have been the mastermind and ring leader of a hippie-commune group that carried out the heinous murders better known as the LaBianca-Tate murders in Los Angeles. During the Manson trial, John Lennon was subpoenaed to testify on his own interpretation of the meaning of certain lyrics contained on the White Album.  The prosecution’s angle was to prove Manson’s messianic complex and delusional belief that the Beatles- through the White Album were instructing him  to kickstart ‘Helter Skelter‘ and bring about the Revelation of the New Testament. Of course, John Lennon denied intentionally doing any such thing.

In My Life with Charles Manson, Paul Watkins wrote that Manson “spent hours quoting and interpreting Revelation to the Family, particularly verses from chapter 9” many of which bled over into his interpretations of the Beatles White Album songs and lyrics, solidifying Manson’s messianic role to his followers. See “Getting to the bottom of Helter Skelter” for more Manson/Beatles weirdness.

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Door at Spahn Ranch, Manson Family hangout

Reading “into” these things does not make me have any violent, aggressive thoughts, quite the opposite actually. It gives me a deeper appreciation for the Beatles as a whole. This act of brutal violence against some of L.A.’s young elite class put an endcap on the free-love and good feeling days of the 1960’s, as well as an end or a least a taboo on looking deeper into the meanings and subliminal messages in the Beatles musical catalogue.

The crimes committed in the name of the “Hidden Beatles Mystic Music” did not end with Manson. They continued into 1980 obviously with John Lennon’s death by a ‘crazed lone gunman‘ and well beyond that to the end of the century, when Michael Abram attacked George Harrison claiming Harrison’s song “Got My Mind Set on You” contained messages intended for him, Causing Abram to seek out his ex-Beatle victim.
The Beatles have a far-reaching audience, with a fan base of multiple millions even now, 50 years later. There is bound to be a few dedicated fans out there that are mentally unstable that may take the intended (or not intended) subliminal messages in the wrong capacity.  According to official reports, that is what we are seeing here with the likes of Manson, Chapman and Abram.
But could there be another explanation? Another perspective in which we could gain further insight to the overall picture? Could there be more information that the general public have not been privy to?
We have seen in the Manson situation that yes, there very well could be. Possibly in the Abram situation and probably in the Mark David Chapman situation as well. Perhaps the Beatles hidden messages have been vilified, contorted and ultimately dismissed because of these few rotten Apples. Or perhaps that was the forced narrative and the point all along, keeping sacred knowledge in the hands of a few and not to the masses of obsessed ‘Beatle-philes who reads mysticism into it‘. If that is the intent, then I know at least a few other Beatlephiles that aren’t falling for it.
We will just be sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.
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John and Yoko in front of the Dakota
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11 Comments

      1. Yes. I’ve been haunted by the Krays. Reviewing John Pearson’s first biography putting the Krays into the context of the music business. Nothing really new but a new organization of the material.
        .

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dezy, there are so many weird and creepy Beatles/Manson connections. I know it’s farfetched but have you ever seen any research that proves Charles Manson met The Beatles? Do you think it’s possible that they might have met through the Derek Taylor/Beach Boys connection? Or were given some of Manson’s songs? Do you think it’s possible that Manson wrote Helter Skelter and The Beatles recorded it without giving him credit (similar to what the Beach Boys did with ‘Never Learn Not To Love’)? Manson nicknames Susan Atkins ‘Sadie’ and John Lennon just happens to write a song called ‘Sexy Sadie’ after he’s seen Mike Love at Rishikesh? Really?

    BTW. Loved your reference to flat earth.

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      1. Okay… I’m a bit late to the party here but according to Peter Brown, one of ‘Apple’s’ head honchos back in the late ’60s / early ’70s, the office at Savile Row was regularly called by Squeaky Fromme, one of Charlie’s so-called ‘Family.’ This is lifted from his book ”The Love You Msake. An Insider’s Story of The Beatles’:
        “Derek (Taylor) and I only now remember the persistent phone-calls from someone named Squeaky Fromme in Los Angeles to talk to us about Charles Manson. I took many of those phone-calls or transferred them over to Derek.”

        This is about as close as I’ve personally got to finding any real, tangible connection.

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  2. Hi Dezy – thanks for your reply.

    Forgive me, I’ve read the Manson article before (which, of course, I found fascinating, as always). I was hoping you knew of a direct link or a ‘smoking gun’ that might connect Manson to England and The Beatles. I wonder if it’s possible that Manson did a demo for Apple Records. It was the time when The Beatles were supporting emerging talent – e.g.: Mary Hopkin; James Taylor. And wouldn’t you know, Peter Asher was in charge of Apple A&R at the time. How’s that for synchronicity?

    As an aside; I was a kid living in the San Fernando Valley in the 1960s. It was truly frightening when the Tate-LaBianca murders took place. In the summer of 1970 I needed a passport and my mom took me to downtown LA to get one (somewhere around City Hall), and we saw Manson’s followers outside the courthouse protesting. As an impressionable 15 y.o., I was totally freaked out (and although she wouldn’t admit it, so was my mom)!

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    1. Hi Tom-
      I do not have a ‘smoking gun’. I wish! I feel as though you are absolutely right in your line of questioning. The Beatles and Apple at the time were actively seeking new artists to sign to the Apple label, and Charlie was indeed out there trying to get signed by a label… so that really IMO just makes a lot of sense.
      The door taken from Spahn Ranch of course had the lines painted on it “1234567 all good children go to heaven” which would not have been released by the Beatles until 1969- after the La-Bianca/Tate murders took place. I’m not one to really believe in coincidences- so that sticks out for me as well as a plethora of other so-called ‘coincidences’ that surround this narrative.
      Between the likes of Derek Taylor and/or Terry Melcher, I would have to assume that the Beatles or at least 1 or 2 of them indeed met Manson, and may have even jammed with him on occasion. I don’t think Manson would have been able to leave the states to record in England, but anything is possible, I’m not ruling anything out at this point. Paul spent a fair amount of time in the Laurel Canyon/LA area during that time, as did John and George. Derek Taylor I believe had a home in the Hollywood Hills, not too far from Ceilio Drive. And then of course there is Blue Jay Way….
      I have no way of “proving” this, but my gut tells me you are absolutely correct. Thanks again for your responses.

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  3. Of course if there was any solid evidence of ‘proof’ about a Beatles/Manson connection- (a demo tape, etc.) I would think that would have been destroyed long ago as to sever any ties they may have had with Manson. You can bet on that for sure.

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