A Bit Like You And Me Radio

February 27, 2020

The Beach Boys - Never Learn Not to Love (1968)

In late spring 1968, Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys was driving through Malibu when he noticed two female hitchhikers. He picked them up and dropped them off at their destination. Later, Wilson noticed the same two girls hitchhiking again. This time he took them to his home on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. He told the girls about The Beach Boys recent involvement with the Maharishi and they, in turn, told him about their own guru, a guy named Charlie. Dennis then went to a recording session; when he returned later that night, he was met in his driveway by “Charlie,” who happened to actually be Charles Manson. Wilson then walked into his home and found about a dozen people occupying the premises, most of whom were young women, but all of whom were members of Manson’s cult, the Manson Family.

Unaware of what evil Manson was capable of, Dennis was initially fascinated by Manson and his followers, referring to Manson as "the Wizard" in a Rave magazine article. Wilson and Manson briefly became friends and, over the next few months, members of the Manson Family (mostly women who were treated as servants) were housed at Wilson's household, costing Wilson a small fortune to maintain.

In late 1968, Wilson told Record Mirror magazine that when he met Manson, he found that he had great musical ideas and that they were now writing together. Dennis also introduced Manson to a few friends in the music business, including The Byrds' producer Terry Melcher, whose home at 10050 Cielo Drive would later be rented by director Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate, where less than a year later, Manson family members would murder Tate and several others.

In September 1968, Dennis Wilson reworked (and The Beach Boys recorded) a Manson song, heard below, which was originally titled "Cease to Exist" that you can read more about and listen to here. The song was credited solely to Dennis Wilson. Angered by this, Manson threatened Wilson to murder him and his children. According to one of The Beach Boys collaborators, Van Dyke Parks, Wilson supposedly responded by grabbing Manson by the head, throwing him to the ground, and pummeling him. Wilson then attempted to cut ties with Manson by moving out of his own home, but allowing Manson and his followers to remain.

In August 1969, Manson Family members committed the Tate-LaBianca murders. That November, Manson was apprehended and later convicted for numerous counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Some attribute Dennis Wilson's subsequent spiral of self-destructive behavior to the guilt he felt for ever having introduced Manson to the Hollywood music scene.

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The Beach Boys - Never Learn Not to Love (1968)

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Lyrics:

Cease to resist
Come and say you love me
Give up your world
Come on and be with me
I'm your kind, I'm your kind and I see

Come on, come on
I love you, pretty girl
My life is yours
And you can have my world
I'm your kind, I'm your kind and I see

Never had a lesson I ever learned
I know I could never learn not to love you
Come in, now closer
Come in closer, closer, closer

Submission is a gift, give it to your lover
Love and understandin’ is for one another
I'm your kind, I'm your kind and I see

Never had a lesson I ever learned
I know I could never learn not to love you
Come in now closer
Come in closer
Come in closer

Charles Manson - Cease to Exist (1967)

Charles Manson (November 12, 1934 – November 19, 2017) was an infamous American cult leader, murderer, and the mastermind of the Tate-LaBianca murders, which notably resulted in the death of actress Sharon Tate who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time.

Prior to his national infamy, Manson was an unemployed ex-convict who had spent more than half of his life in correctional institutions. In 1967, he began gathering a cult following (named the Manson Family) in Los Angeles while attempting to break into the music scene as a singer-songwriter.

Through a chance association with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys, one of Manson’s songs, “Cease to Exist,” was tweaked, recorded, and released by The Beach Boys in 1968 under its new title, “Never Learn Not to Love.” Manson was never given credit. You can read more about that and hear The Beach Boys’ song here.

After the Tate-LaBianca murders in August 1969, Manson was to be put on trial. An associate Manson had met in prison, Phil Kaufman, hoped to capitalize on Manson’s national attention and worked with Manson to release a record of his recordings, titled Lie: The Love and Terror Cult, which was eventually released on March 6, 1970.

Although the album has always primarily been sought after by serial killer enthusiasts more than music aficionados, the album is most notable for the song heard below, “Cease to Exist,” which was the inspiration for The Beach Boys’ “Never Learn Not to Love.”

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Charles Manson - Cease to Exist (1967)

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Lyrics:

Pretty girl
Pretty, pretty girl
Cease to exist
Just come and say you love me
Give up your world
Come on, you can be
I'm your kind- oh- your kind and I can see

You walk on, walk on
I love you, pretty girl
My life is yours
And you can have my world
Never had a lesson I ever learned
But I know we all get our turn
And I love you
Never learn not to love you

Submission is a gift
Go on, give it to your brother
Love and understanding
Is for one another
I'm your kind, I'm your kind
I'm your brother

I never had a lesson I ever learned
But I know we all get our turn
And I love you
Never learn not to love you
Never learn not to love you
Never learn not to love you

January 24, 2020

The Stampeders - Sweet City Woman (1971)

In 1964, Rich Dodson, Kim Berly, and three others created a band known as The Rebounds in Calgary, Alberta. The group shuffled members a bit in 1965 (notably picking up Ronnie King) and renamed themselves The Stampeders. The following year, in 1966, they finally downsized to a trio, solidifying their most famous lineup, and relocated to Toronto, Ontario. All three members of the group provided vocals, but Rich Dodson played guitar, Ronnie King played bass, and Kim Berly played the drums.

Unless you were in Canada in the early 1970s (when and where the group had multiple top-ten hits), there’s a fair chance you’re only familiar with this band from their signature song, heard below. Written by Dodson and released on their debut album, Against the Grain, in 1971, the song reached number eight on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it shuffled around for sixteen weeks. The song was such a hit that the group’s American distributers renamed their album to Sweet City Woman for its stateside release. The group sustained success (in Canada, at least) through the mid-1970s.

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The Stampeders - Sweet City Woman (1971)

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Lyrics:

Well, I'm on my way
To the city lights
To a pretty face that shines her light on the city nights
And I gotta catch a noon train
I gotta be there on time
Oh, it feels so good to know she waits at the end of the line

Sweet, sweet city woman
I can see your face
I can hear your voice
I can almost touch you

Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh, the banjo and me, we got a feel for singing

Yeah, yeah

Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, c'est bon, bon
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, c'est bon, bon
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon

So long, ma
So long, pa
So long, neighbors and friends

Like a country mornin’
All smothered in dew
Ah, she's got a way to make a man feel shiny and new
And she sing in the evening
Old, familiar tunes
And she feeds me love and tenderness and macarons

Sweet, sweet city woman
I can see your face
I can hear your voice
I can almost touch you

Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh, the banjo and me, we got a feel for singing

Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh, she's my sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman

Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh, my sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman

Everybody
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman
Sweet, sweet, sweet…