New Charles Manson Documentary Explores How the Cult Leader Almost Became a Rock Star

There’s a new Charles Manson documentary out that tells the untold story of Manson’s love of music, and just how close he got to becoming a rock star. Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind is a story that lurks in the shadows on the infamous murders. But it may just be the music industry’s rejection that pushed Manson to such extremes.

“It could never have happened before or after. It really was the perfect storm,” Los Angeles Songwriter Gregg Jakobson says during the trailer. “That period of time, when someone like Charlie could walk into the scene. There was no cap; there was no limit; there were no rules.”

When Charles Manson was released from prison in 1967 after ten years, he headed straight into the heart of San Francisco. It was the Summer of Love, and he had one goal. He wanted to become a rock star.

Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind follows Manson’s journey from the Haight-Ashbury to the Sunset Strip. It showcases his recording sessions in Hollywood’s most illustrious studios and his auditions for the most influential figures in the music industry. Therein, lies the untold story of Manson’s musical ambitions, his close friendship with Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson, and the fear and pain that spread through his Los Angeles contacts once they discovered the darker side of the man they called “The Wizard.” As Manson’s dreams fell apart, it would lead to his descent into violence and chaos.

Charles Manson Documentary Highlights Untold Story

“I first found out about Manson’s musical ambitions back in 2007, while producing a Byrds documentary,” said writer and director Tom O’Dell (How the Beatles Changed the World, Rise of the Superheroes). “It was an unbelievable backstory to a case I thought I understood. We’ve gone back and have interviewed those who were actually there, who believed in Manson’s talent and were appalled by his transformation into a monster. The revelations in this film make the Manson myth more real, more complex and ultimately more tragic.”

The recent popularity of serial killers in film and television (with such series as Mindhunter) has lead to many new projects being released. But this Charles Manson documentary isn’t quite like anything else that has been released.

Curious about Manson’s musical background and the role it played in the murders that the Manson family committed? Or just curious if his music was any good? Check out the documentary now on iTunes or Amazon Prime.

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