Stealthily entering a private residence, the intruders quietly, yet methodically, set about their work. “Creepy crawling,” they rearrange furniture and leave other tell-tale signs that the sanctity of the home has been breached. But no one would be hurt …. yet. That would all change, however, on the nights of August 8th and 9th at homes in Benedict Canyon and Los Feliz.
In Charles Manson’s Creepy Crawl: The Many Lives of America’s Most Infamous Family author and scholar Jeffrey Melnick (Professor, American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston) reveals not just how “the Family” creepy crawled their way through Los Angeles in the 1960s, but how they’ve continued to creepy crawl through American social, political, and cultural life for fifty years, firmly embedding themselves in the popular imagination.
In his fascinating and compulsively readable cultural history of the Family and their influence from 1969 to the present, Melnick provocatively argues that the Family weren’t so much outsiders but were emblematic of the Los Angeles counterculture freak scene; Manson as less an aberration and more a manifestation of the mainstream’s cooptation of the counterculture.
Melnick will appear at the Echo Theatre on Tuesday, July 23 at 8pm for a discussion of Manson’s continuing resonance in cultural references that span Joan Didion to Quentin Tarantino and Melnick’s personal acquaintanceship with Manson family members and associates, including Bobby Beausoleil, still serving a life term for the murder of musician Gary Hinman (that, arguably set off the Tate-LaBianca slayings). You will not want to miss this compelling presentation!