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POP EYE

It's No Illusion: Guns N' Roses Does Charles Manson

November 21, 1993|Steve Hochman

You'd expect to hear old songs by the Damned, UK Subs and maybe even Nazareth on the new Guns N' Roses album saluting some of the band's punk and hard-rock influences.

But a song written by convicted mass murderer and one-time pop aspirant Charles Manson?

Despite heated denials by Geffen Records when a rumor about the alleged track circulated last month, sources close to the label now confirm that the song is part of the package due in stores Tuesday.

Don't, however, look for Manson's name--or even the song title--on the album's credits. The selection, titled "Look at Your Game, Girl," is an unlisted bonus track on the album, which is titled "The Spaghetti Incident?"

The band has kept the Manson tune--described by someone who has heard it as a "pop song"--so hush-hush that it wasn't even included on advance tapes sent out to reviewers (see review, Page 62).

This wouldn't be the first time GNR singer Axl Rose has invoked Manson's image--he used to perform wearing a T-shirt with Manson's picture on it.

Asked about the song, GNR manager Doug Goldstein would only say, "There is a bonus track on the album, but Axl (Rose) wants it to speak for itself."

As to why the song wasn't on review copies, he says, "It wasn't done for the critics or anybody else. It was a bonus for the fans."

Manson--now 59 and serving a life sentence in Corcoran State Prison near Fresno for masterminding the Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969--was on the fringes of some L.A. pop circles well before his crimes.

In fact, a widespread theory at the time was that Manson ordered his attack on the Benedict Canyon house where actress Sharon Tate and others were staying in the mistaken belief that former tenant Terry Melcher still lived there. The record producer had supposedly rebuffed Manson's pop ambitions. Bootleg albums of some of Manson's demo tapes have been available over the years.

Will one of the most notorious figures in U.S. crime annals get royalties from the sale of the album?

Replied a Geffen spokeswoman, "Our legal office says that we don't comment on legal matters like royalties statements."

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