Did Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart hang out with the Manson family?

You’re probably confusing the Wilson sisters with the Wilson brothers–Brian, Carl, and Dennis–who were the core of the Beach Boys. In 1968, drummer Dennis Wilson picked up two nubile hitchhikers, brought them back to his house for an afternoon menage a trois, and then left for a recording session. When he returned that night, he found they had invited over some friends. His house was filled with naked young hippie girls having a party–and their leader, Charles Manson.

Manson and his acolytes stayed with Wilson for most of the year, spending his money and providing an ongoing orgy. Manson fancied himself a songwriter, so Wilson took him over to Brian’s home studio to record some demos–a session that ended when Manson pulled a knife. The Beach Boys even recorded one of Manson’s songs, “Cease to Exist,” renaming it “Never Learn Not to Love” and releasing it as a B-side. When Dennis was asked in 1971 why he didn’t give Manson songwriting credit, he replied, “He didn’t want that. He wanted money instead. I gave him about a hundred thousand dollars worth of stuff.” Even before the Manson family began their killing spree in 1969, Dennis realized they were bad news. He couldn’t kick them out of his home without provoking Manson’s wrath, so while the Beach Boys were on tour, he found a new place to live and let the lease expire on his old house.

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)