Charles Manson is a universally reviled figure, and for good reason: Of course, he’s best known as a cult leader who is responsible for multiple murders in the ’60s. Manson, who just passed away at 83 years old, also has some connections to the music world: He released an album called Lie: The Love And Terror Cult in 1970, and his songs have been recorded by the Beach Boys and Guns N’ Roses.
The latter is the side of Manson that System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian chose to remember when he mourned Manson’s death on Facebook yesterday, calling the news “very sad” and citing Manson as “a big influence on me as an artist,” writing:
“Very sad to hear the news about Charles Manson’s death. During the time I was writing the Toxicity album, Manson’s interviews and music were a big influence on me as an artist. I titled the song ‘ATWA’ after Manson’s environmental organization. My interest was in the way he articulated his thoughts and his views on society, not in the murders.”
Naturally, Facebook users were quick to flood the comments section of Malakian’s post, with one user summing up the vibe of the reactions: “I love you as an artist, but if you kill a pregnant woman with a knife, I’ll never see you as an inspiration anymore.” Malakian explained himself in a comment, comparing Manson to OJ Simpson:
“Let me try to explain one more time for those who just don’t get where I’m coming from on this Manson post. I don’t back the murderer Charles Manson, I back his art and his views on social and environmental issues. Sometimes talented people do bad things. For example, OJ Simpson killed his wife, which is horrible. But you can’t deny the fact that he’s was one of the best football players in history. So there is the murderer OJ, and the Football OJ. So if I was a football player, I could not deny Simpson’s contribution to the game and the impact he had on future football players. Yes, he did a horrible thing by killing his wife, but his talent as a football player in undeniable.”
In another comment, he attests that Manson “had very valid view points on the society and the environment” and says that “if Manson was just some idiot who killed people, he wouldn’t inspire me in any way”:
“If all you know about Manson is what you’ve be sold by the media, I don’t blame you for you negative comments. But the other side of Manson was that he was a songwriter whose song ‘Look At Your Game’ was covered by Guns N’ Roses. Manson also had very valid view points on the society and the environment that even some of you people who are calling me disgusting couldn’t argue with if you took the time to look into his interviews. I would say you would be the disgusting ones if you disagree with him on some of these topics. If Manson was just some idiot who killed people, he wouldn’t inspire me in any way. I don’t back murders or murderers in any way shape or form! Manson was a genius who could articulate his thoughts in very clever ways. That was the Manson who affected me as an artist. For all of you who say you’re happy he is dead and he should burn in your imaginary Hell, you’re the ones who should be ashamed of yourselves. You seem to be just as bad with your thoughts as the murderers you say that you hate so much!”
Find Malakian’s post above or here.