John Moore And The Expressway. Town And Country Club. London. 1989.

Jail House Rock

Number 47 said to number 3
You’re cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company

This is so, so wrong – it’s absolutely right. As you read this, members of The Jesus And Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth and every other band that wore black leather and kicked a fuzz pedal in the pursuance of Healter Skelter will be reaching for their oxygen cylinders and defibrillaters to calm the paroxysms of ecstasy that have thrown them out of their bath chairs. The ultimate rock and roll dream has come true. Charles Manson has asked fellow inmate at Corcoran State Prison, Phil Spector to collaborate with him. So far Spector isn’t playing ball – somewhat disingenuously saying that he finds Manson creepy, but when the offers of a free pardon and a fifty night residency at the O2 centre come crashing into the exercise yard in a puff of green smoke like a scene from Batman and Robin, every body in the whole cell block will be dancing to the jailhouse rock.
This rather naive attitude to a couple of sleazy murderers making a record was my first reaction to hearing this news. As one whose youthful interest in Charles Manson and the Family’s bad vibes destruction of the peace and love generation went as far as visiting Cielo Avenue – the scene of the Tate slayings, tracking down pre CD reissue Manson recordings, naming his debut album Expressway Rising in tribute to Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising which starred family member Bobby Beausoleil, and whose alcohol and substance fuelled musical conversations from 1985 to 1991 normally concluded that the greatest record it would ever be possible to make would be Charles Manson with the Wall Of Sound – I was a bit of a tit, I find the prospect horrible but fascinating.
Of course, like the good middle-class home-counties boy that I am, I have renounced violence and embraced pacifism in all but the most trying of circumstances, and think that any body who has referenced Charles Manson since 1990 – Marilyn, Mansun, Kasabian etc deserve a good slap. I realize that however good somebody is at making records, they can not go about murdering people. One human life should be worth more than every record ever made..and it is but…did I mention my personality disorder? Can you imagine how it would sound? Can you imagine the reverb you’d get in a prison block? The slap back off the walls, the spring of the suicide nets?
Manson-Spector has a ring to it – that strange blurry Californian shimmer, like Wilson Phillips. There would be no shortage of willing accomplices either to provide the musical backing – I just hope that the man from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers would not be allowed to add slap bass.
Perhaps Manson thinks that he will be paroled soon, he’s been in clink pretty much since Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind, and a hit record under his belt could rebrand him and set him up for a comfortable retirement. Spector on the other hand is just beginning his stretch so he’s hardly going to jeopardize any early release by helping fellow inmates…and there is the little matter of Starsailor to make amends for. You never know, perhaps like a Pet Shop Boys from Hell, they’ll appear on an all-new Top Of The Pops. Come the moment, come the men, this unlikely pairing may just be the ones to save the music industry.

AND LASTLY. While we’re on about Crazy Charles, here’s a good clip

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