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There are better ways to get your music in front of people than by having your followers commit some of the most atrocious murders of the 20th century, but that’s what Charles Manson did. Manson and some of his followers were charged with the August 9, 1969 murders of Sharon Tate, her friend Jay Sebring, writer Wojciech Frykowski, and coffee heiress Abigail Folger, as well as the deaths of Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary the next night (via Britannica). The case received widespread media attention, and perhaps realizing that he could use that to his advantage, Manson asked Phil Kaufman, a man he knew from his time in the local music scene, to release his music for him. Kaufman at one point managed Gram Parsons and was a roadie for the Rolling Stones and Frank Zappa, per The New Yorker.
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, that’s just what Kaufman did. He raised enough money to churn out 2,000 copies of Manson’s album “Lie: The Love and Terror Cult,” which was released by Awareness Records, who up to that point were most notable for having released Bob Dylan’s “The Great White Wonder.” Despite the fervor surrounding Manson’s murder case, his album sold just 300 copies. The most traction his music career ever got stemmed from other artists occasionally covering his songs — likely just for shock value — with perhaps the most notable being Guns N’ Roses’ version of the song “Look At Your Game Girl,” which appears on the band’s album “The Spaghetti Incident.”